This month’s Shameless Self-Promotion examines creative uses of the Internet for book promotion. Speaking of examinations, I’m very pleased to welcome Sue Thurman, a writer who promotes her work as a freelance journalist with the Arizona Examiner. Sue has graciously agreed to share her experiences writing for Examiner.com and other suggestions for book promotion. Sue is the author of the children’s book Maybe We Are Flamingos and contributor to Inside Scoop: Articles about Acting and Writing by Hollywood Insiders, winner of the EPPIE award in non-fiction anthologies and an honorable mention in Foreward Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards.
Shameless Self-Promotion: What have you found to be the most effective ways to promote your books?
Sue Thurman: Prior to joining the Examiner family, I don’t think I’d found the most effective way. When an author signs with a small publisher that doesn’t offer any marketing, it’s difficult to find the best avenue. Good reviews are great, however it doesn’t always transfer into sales if you don’t already have an established audience. With my YA novel currently in progress, I’m building my audience first. A good book trailer is a very effective tool and mine was done by Kim Chatel of Blazing Trailers.
SSP: The most enjoyable?
Personal appearances to autograph books, or just meet people.
SSP: The least effective ways or biggest challenges?
Trying to get into the major chains when with a small publisher.
SSP: What has been the most surprising thing about the experience of book promotion?
I’ve learned from other authors that virtual book tours aren’t very effective.
SSP: Tell us more about your experience with the Examiner.com.
The Examiner that I write for is looking for writers all over the country. The requirement is 3-4 articles per week on a dedicated web page in their network. They provide the template, there is no cost and you do make a tiny bit of money based on how many hits you get per month.
They are doing a special referral program and if anyone is interested, send an email to: safari at safarisue dot com, and I will give you the information to sign up.
You can view my page at http://www.examiner.com/x-2174-Arizona-Family-Examiner
If you don’t see a category you like, you can suggest one and there are a wide variety of people and interests. It’s fun and since I started in January, now people are asking me to cover stories. Some of the writers have gotten national attention and appeared on several network shows. The exposure is incredible and the network is getting millions of hits per month.
SSP: How did you get started writing for the Examiner?
Depending on what I write about and I do a variety of things, the research varies. The articles don’t have to be long, so time can be pretty short. However the research takes longer, but again that depends on the subject.
We include links in articles too. I do an editorial calendar for each month so I know what local things are happening. Right now I’m seeing which articles my audience likes. So far, the top ones have been UFOs, ghosts, on the movie sets with local productions, and everything related to Twilight.
SSP: How much time do you spend and how many articles per week?
Sometimes an hour to write and post a story. Other times longer.
SSP: Do you think it’s gotten your name out there? Any sense it is leading to sales or other useful benefits?
Yes. Since joining Examiner, now people are contacting me for stories and reviews. Therefore when my next book comes out, I’ll promote it on my Examiner page, which is part of a large network that’s growing everyday.
SSP: You mentioned that you are writing a YA novel–how do you see the Examiner experience helping that?
I’m working on a YA book that will target the same audience as the Twilight series. This time I’m building the audience before the book is even submitted to an agent.
Thank you so much, Sue, for sharing your experiences with us.