Monday, January 20, 2014

What Works Marketing Symposium - REBORN and After the Curtain Falls Cover Reveals

Welcome to my What Works Marketing Symposium post. Today, bloggers all over are sharing some of their victories and defeats in the hopes that we all can learn from each other. For many authors, marketing is an aspect of the business that is as enjoyable as getting an ingrown toenail cut from your big toe.

I'm new to the whole marketing part of writing, but I'm not new to marketing. In fact, I'm a brand sales consultant when doing the whole day-job-thang. But when marketing and promoting your own work is quite different.

As far as what's worked, I would say that I really haven't pulled the trigger on enough stuff to give you a whole lot here. In fact, I'd give myself an F when grading my marketing prowess so far. So whenever I find myself in a rut, I always reach out to my fellow writers for help. I'm banding together with other authors in February to help promote our steampunk books. And I'm also part of an international steampunk project that I will be unveiling very soon.

My hope is that I will gain some visibility among the steampunk community.

What has not worked? Let me count the ways...I was so focused on getting my book out, that I completely ignored the whole marketing thing. So my book was released, my friends and family bought it because they love me (and who can blame them?), and then nothing. No real momentum.

So I'm starting from ground zero. Hopefully in a few months, I'll have a success story or two.

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It's my pleasure to help beam Cherie Reich's cover for her latest novel, REBORN, all over the interwebs. Behold...
What an amazing cover!

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Reborn, book one of The Fate Challenges, by Cherie Reich will be released on May 23, 2014. For more information about Cherie Reich and her work, please visit her website or blog. The cover art is created by Laura Sava. To add on Goodreads, click here. If you’d like to be notified when Reborn releases, please sign up for her newsletter here.

Author Bio: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her ebooks include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and a fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014.

Website Link:
Blog Link:

Newsletter Sign-ups Link:

* * * * * * * *
How about another cover reveal? One from author Ainsley Shay. Here's the cover to her latest release:

You all know how partial I am to dragonflies!
Erik never had to be anything other than a 
freak… until now.

Ainsley Shay's new book is ready for the world to see, and she couldn't be more excited! A short blurb is below; but coming Friday, January 24th, she'll tease you with the first chapter.

After the Curtain Falls Blurb:

Two hundred fifty-three days is a long time to fake being normal when night after night you perform miraculous feats on stage in a freak show. Thousands have paid to witness the miracle, suspecting nothing more than a hoax. But it is very real and it is slowly destroying him. Erik is weakened to the point where he'll stop performing and start going to school for the first time ever—in his senior year. His only goal is to rebuild his strength so he can return to the stage and perform doing what he loves most in this world. What he didn't plan for was the appearances of beautiful Addison and mysterious Naya. Now, unfamiliar feelings and bizarre new friendships threaten to unbalance Erik's future as a miracle-performing freak.  

After the Curtain Falls will be released on January 31, 2014.

Edited by the amazing Todd Barselow.
The beautiful cover design was created by Najla Qamber.

About the Author

Ainsley Shay avoids insanity by living mostly in the fiction world. She believes surrounding herself with positive people, and strives for balance in everything. She owns more jeans with rips and holes than without; and has recently found the magic of patches. For her, reading or writing the perfect sentence is better than the smoothest piece of dark chocolate melting in her mouth. She is a deltiologist for pure enjoyment, not for the study of. She longs to move north one day, even though she hates the cold. (Go figure!) So, for now, she continues to live in warm south Florida with her incredible husband, three beautiful daughters, and two lazy cats. (We won’t mention the dog.)

Ainsley Shay's website:

* * * * * * * *
Can you relate to my marketing-mishap? What do you think of Cherie and Ainsley's covers? Have you signed up for my little blog tour in March to help rectify my marketing goof? If not, you can click HERE to fill out a very short form to help me organize my Dragonfly Warrior Tour.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cover looks awesome, Cherie!
I usually start planning my blog tours over six months in advance, because I know it takes time to set up and I need everything in place by the time the book releases. That also gives me time to find the best and biggest sites. Even if you didn't plan one for the release, you'll still benefit from a blog tour - so keep planning!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jay, you're not the first author to miss the early marketing. I always tell those who attend my seminars to plan 6-12 months in advance. But fortunately, marketing is a marathon not a sprint, and it's on-going.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm sure I could've done a lot more marketing-wise when I released my flash fiction collection, but I'm looking at the whole thing as a learning experience. Don't beat yourself up, Jay - when you know better, you do better. :)

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm lost when it comes to marketing. Both covers look absolutely amazing!

Lexa Cain said...

Great covers for Cherie and Ainsley! Don't feel bad about marketing late and think that did you in. I did nothing for 6 months before my release except market. I put everything on hold including my writing. And a month after my release the book's dead in the water. There are just way too many books coming out. And price matters more than word of mouth. Unless your book is free or 99-cents, strangers won't take a chance on the unknown. (I can't take my price down; only my publisher can...)

Rusty Carl said...

Cherie's cover is awesome! Holy wow! And I'm sure your books will take off soon, Jay. Word of mouth takes a while sometimes.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

great points.. you and i share the same styled pit falls, best of luck to see the road better and travel on it with your shoelaces tied. that sounded right i think...

Jeremy H.

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Crystal Collier said...

LOL! Jay, I was lucky enough to be taught by a local pro before launch, where he advised that successful books sales were 5% book, 95% marketing. You'll get your feet under you, I promise. =)

Yay for Cherie! And now I really have to go check out Ainsley's book. I shouldn't. I don't have time for this stuff, but tantalizing...

Jay Noel said...

Alex: I've been reading more and more about blog tours, and I think I'm going to keep it small and targeted. Plus, I want to keep it fresh on every blog during the tour.

L. Diane: I'll just try to keep it going long term. And I'll be more reader for the second book's release!

Madeline: You're exactly right!

Miranda: I'm lost, but I'm hopefully on the way to getting found.

Lexa: I also think multiple titles is KEY!

Rusty: It does. I think it'll get better with each book I release. Thanks for everything, by the way.

Jeremy: As long as the laces from both shoes are tied TOGETHER.

Crystal: I'm going to read your post today on blog tours...perfect timing. Hope to learn from everyone today.

M. J. Joachim said...

Friends and family are good, but it sounds like marketing would have been better. Never too late, and since it's your day job, you'll probably amaze yourself with the results. Best of luck, Jay!

Yolanda Renee said...

Great cover reveals! That is part of the secret of success. Friends / Authors helping friends / authors!

My first book, family and friends were all over it - the second one - silence. I think they felt used, or jealous, or both! LOL

Oh, and just so you know I've done the come from behind marketing and the six months in advance start - and I still haven't found the secret to making it a success. My instincts tell me it's all about the budget and where you put your money! Plus, I'm an introvert of the worst kind - does not help at all! LOL

Thanks for participating!

Robin said...

The good news (I think) is that it is never too late to market your book. How many books have become bestsellers years after they were published? Quite a few. How many become bestsellers many books later when an author "takes off" and writes The Novel? I think that happens regularly, too. Just keep at it. That's what I say.

cleemckenzie said...

I think we have a club, Jay. The Behind the Marketing Curve Club. We focus on our books and forget it's really a business that we're entering into. Here's to finding the momentum you need.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

*puts my hand up*

I did exactly the same thing. Sigh...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for the honest analysis of your marketing. I did post your book and links on its release day.

Jay Noel said...

M.J.: Hoping my brand marketing skills come into play. But 99% of that is planning, which I failed to do. Oops.

Yolanda: You're exactly right. I think it's putting your money in the right places at the right time. I'm taking notes today and seeing what's working for everyone.

Robin: Right. It takes time to build that kind of momentum, so I'll just "keep swimming."

cleemckenzie: That's funny (and a little sad). Oh well, we'll figure it out.

Cathy: You live and learn, right?

Susan: Thanks so much, Susan. I REALLY appreciate your help.

SittieCates said...

It takes courage to admit that you didn't reach what you were attempting to gain. I hope to hear a success story from you soon. All the best! :-)

For the covers, they all look great! :-)

The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

Jay Noel said...

Sittie: I have no problem with letting everyone know when I've screwed up! But I've gotten lots of helpful advice and encouragement.

Christine Rains said...

Two gorgeous cover reveals! I've found much more that doesn't work than what works myself. And funny how what works for one author doesn't for another. Marketing is a tricky thing!

Rebecca Douglass said...

I'm joining that "behind the curve marketing club." I did the same thing. Then I vowed to do better with the second book, and didn't. Now I'm realizing I haven't started soon enough with my third book, either. I might have to put off the release, though I am encouraged by those who say the tour doesn't have to come before release.

J.L. Campbell said...

Interesting covers, Jay, and story lines too.
I know how that book release thing goes. You stay focused on one area while a fire is starting in another.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Congrats Ainsley and Cherie. Jay you learned a valuable marketing lesson.

Jay Noel said...

Christine: You know, you have a point there. There's no exact science. There's so many variables, I think. Too much can change the outcome of any marketing plan.

Rebecca: You get this sorta sinking feeling, don't ya? Yeah. I do pledge to do better next time, but I'm sure I'll fall down again along the way. Just gotta keep picking myself up.

Sheena-Kay: I sure as heckfire did!

Ainsley Shay said...

Cherie's book looks like a great read!
Jay, I'm with you on the whole marketing thing - learning everything I can and hopefully doing one of those things right.
Thanks again!

Kimberly said...

I only started recently on marketing too. I have faith in us though. :)

Congrats to Cherie and Ainsley on the beautiful covers and soon to be released book for Aisnley!

Jay Noel said...

Ainsley: Thanks for sharing your cover with us. Marketing isn't an exact science when it comes to books, but I'm starting to see some patterns.

Kimberly: Good luck! It's a long road - that what I have to keep reminding myself.

Lynda R Young said...

Congrats to Cherie!

Marketing can be such a trial and error thing, despite the amount of info that's out there to help us along. One thing may work for one author but not another.

DEZMOND said...

AFTER THE CURTAIN FALLS has such a lovely cover

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Wow! Cherie's cover is awesome!

Deniz Bevan said...

I hope you do have a success story!
Lovely new covers. Sooo many books on my wishlist!

Sherry Ellis said...

Cherie's cover looks great! You'll probably learn a lot from this symposium, so you'll have success in the future.

Michelle Wallace said...

This online symposium has so much great info... but the truth is, what works well for one person may not be as effective for another... but we can only try...
I don't have a book out - yet!
The question is: when I eventually do, I wouldn't know what marketing info to use and what to leave out... it will have to be trial and error... and then there is the tried and tested blog tour option...

Cindy said...

Love those covers. The Steampunk promotions sound exciting. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

Tammy Theriault said...

don't worry Jay! you will get there!!! we got your back :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Congrats to Cherie! Great cover on her book. Jay, I had to chuckle at your marketing post "What doesn't work? Doing nothing." LOL. How true is that. I'm following your blog, nice to meet you! Will be visiting again,


Cherie Reich said...

Even with marketing, it can sometimes take a book awhile and another book or two out before it really catches on.

Thanks so much for featuring my cover today, Jay!

Congrats to Ainsley for her cover! It's lovely.

Mr. Shife said...

Good luck in your marketing reboot, and I'm signed up to help you out in March. I wish I could say it was out of the kindness of my heart but soon I shall reach out to you to ask you to promote my upcoming book on your blog. I'm planning on the marketing of my book hopefully next month. I have a few ideas that I hope work well and if they do I will definitely let you know about it. Take care Jay.

Anonymous said...

Marketing. I should really get on that.

Jay Noel said...

Marketing is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Guess I gotta dig deep and come up with some methods that work for me. Maybe going door to door? Oh wait, that only works when you're holding delicious Thin Mints.

Jenna Howard said...

If you show up at my door with Thin Mints...I'll buy your book.

Misha Gericke said...

Mmm yeah... I've started marketing ahead of and with my book being out... Can't see if it's really making a difference.

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