Friday, June 26, 2009

Book Promotion Lesson #209209: Run, Bike, and YouTube Your Way to Success?


Lately I've been finding some great examples of author promotion to share with our readers. Just when you think you've seen it all, an author comes up with something completely new (and possibly crazy) to do.

Dawn Dais is the author of two books. Her first book, The NonRunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On With Your Training, was published a few years ago and continues to garner tons of praise, word-of-mouth, and achy quads. The book took you from couch potato to marathoner, taking you along Dawn's own journey away from Cheetos and to the finish line. The book was written in a sarcastic tone, and you can bet that found its way into the way she promoted!

Here is a quick (and pretty darn funny) video compilation of the promotion she did to make that book a success.  And a success it is: it continues to sell strongly term after term.  In a day and age when publishers don't have the resources to promote books fully, the onus is on authors to do so.  Dais took up this challenge, and in my opinion, she set the bar for an author dedicated to promoting her book.  Her hilarious videos kept people coming back for more.

And now, with her follow-up book The NonCyclist's Guide to the Century and Other Road Races: Get On Your Butt and Into Gear, Dawn is taking her promotion to a new level.  For her cycling book audience, Dawn has actually set up Tour de Sacramento. Yup, you read that right! Tour de Sacramento will take place at the same time that Tour de France overtakes Europe. The event will involve three weeks of cycling, with 6 rides, safety seminars, and hey, a t-shirt! The event will be a fundraiser for Cycles4Hopewhile Big Brothers Big Sisters will have four used bike drives throughout the three weeks.

We always say that authors should go to where their readers will be. And Dais is taking it a step further, creating an event that her readers will want to go to.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Now THAT's What I Call Creative Self-Promotion!

I recently met author Lara Zielin, editor of the University of Michigan Alumni Magazine, when she came out to California to interview me and our author Jon Yang (Exclusively Chloe) for the next issue. Jon and I met because we're Michigan Alumni, and now, well the rest is history!

What I didn't know until we met was that Lara is a debut YA novelist herself! Her book Donut Days is out in August from Penguin. What I quickly learned is that while Lara is a first-time author, she is no stranger to promotion, and has been laying the groundwork for her novel to be a smashing success. If the novel is HALF as funny as she is, well then, we're in for a treat!

Check out this little YouTube gem. Personally, I laughed so hard I cried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3PGzjanWf0&feature=channel_page

Takeaways:
*promotion should be creative
*promotion should be targeted to your reading audience (her teen readers are all over YouTube and would certainly appreciate a Fergie spoof)
*it's possible to have FUN promoting your book!


-Lilly

(ps. we'll keep you posted when the U of M article is up!)
 

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