by Pari Noskin Taichert
I’m in marketing mode.
My ARCs arrived at the publisher late last week. They’re gorgeous.
While I love the University of New Mexico Press, and consider it "exclusive" rather than "small," the reality is that my publisher doesn’t have the reach that some of its NYC counterparts do. As a result, I’ve had to do some things on my own; I’ve had to be inventive. I don’t mind at all. A lot of the work is downright fun.
I know many writers who like to keep their marketing ideas close to their chests and I can understand why. Though we work to help each other at times, it’s easy to believe we’re competitors when it comes to readers.
I don’t buy that. I think the more we share ideas, the more we’ll encourage reading and nourish crime fiction as a whole.
(I’ll step off of my soapbox now.)
Here are two tips I’ve found particularly useful:
Buy more ARCs than your publisher allots for media contacts.
My personal stash goes to bookstores and online reviewers, to fans and people who might be able to get the word out about my books.
Participate in the American Booksellers Association’s Book Sense Advance Access Program
For $100, an author sends a 50-word (or so) book description to the ABA. The Association, in turn, sends out an email to its 1200+ participating members across the country. Booksellers then contact the author directly for ARCs.
There’s a formula for the description, but you have some latitude. The first line is standard. It’s the descriptive part that is both challenging and entertaining to try to put together.
For an example, here’s what I put in for the mailing last week:
THE SOCORRO BLAST by Pari Noskin Taichert (University of New Mexico Press 978-0-8263-4384-0 HC $24.95 January 2008) Two-time Agatha Award finalist, Book Sense76 pick (2/2004), Book Sense Notable Mystery (10/2005), " . . . she’s a first class writer . . . " Tony Hillerman ". . . New Mexico is conveyed with a poetic eye that is truly evocative. The dynamic or dysfunction of families is captured brilliantly." Ken Bruen
That’s it. I got more than 20 requests. The last two times I did this, my books were well received and short descriptions ended up in newsletter print mailings to the ABA membership. Those newsletters were for customers.
Pretty cool, huh?
Put your best marketing tip in the comments section before midnight tomorrow. I’ll read them all and select the top 10. I’ll put those names in a hat and will draw for at least one ARC of THE SOCORRO BLAST.
The tips can be from authors, booksellers or people who just plain know about sales. My hope is that we’ll all learn from each other.
Let the games begin . . .