Tag Archives: marketing your novel

#MondayBlogs Authors, Add Extras to Books

23 May

Writing a book is long process often filled with notes, maps, character charts, soundtracks, and Sticky Notes. If a novel is 350 pages long, there’s probably a stack of papers twice that high that led up to the publication of it. Whether it was an editorial letter or a rewrite or a list of background stories, authors are constantly juggling the writing of the journey and the creation of it—two very different things when you consider not all world-building and character creating makes it into the final story. But that doesn’t mean your notes have to be thrown away. It doesn’t mean that they have to collect computer dust either. You, as the author, can share them, and readers might just love you for it.

I’m talking about extras.

What are extras? These are elements of your story that didn’t make it into your novel but aspects you can still share with your readers. Below are some ideas to try out.

1. An Overall Extras Page

All three of my series have an Extras page on my website. (Check them out: Bad Bloods, The Timely Death Trilogy, and The Tomo Trilogy.) What do I include on my overall Extras pages? Anything and everything. I link to articles that relate to the building of the novel, I share fan art by awesome readers, I create games and personality quizzes, and I list anywhere else they might find other fun tidbits about the book. This could be where you offer signed books or swag. It could be where you post a map (if that’s not in your book) and/or maps of particular rooms. You could include music or favorite quotes or super fans who’ve sent photos in with your books or you at a signing. I have calendars that show what dates my chapters take place on. I’ve included scrapbooks where I pasted pictures on the pages that reminded me of characters. I’ve even discussed how much particular characters have changed. Any notes that helped you build would be great for this kind of page.

Example extras: fan art, calendars, and maps from my pages.

Example extras: fan art, calendars, and maps from my pages.

2. Wattpad Shorts 

Remember that scene you LOVED like crazy but your editor convinced you to cut? (Let’s be honest. It needed to be cut. It didn’t move the story forward, but it was SUCH a great scene.) Well, this is what Wattpad is for. Not only is Wattpad filled with aspiring writers and avid readers you can connect with, you can also give more to the fans you already have by posting shorts either cut out from your novels or brand-new short stories that are simply related to your novel. I’m doing this with my new release right now. Since there are so many characters, many of their background stories were very limited in the novels, but I had written longer, detailed versions, and I didn’t want them to sit on my computer. I’m now posting all their origin stories, spanning them out over a series of weeks, and they can be read as extras—before, after, or while reading Bad Bloods—or read just for fun. Never let that cut scene you love go to waste ever again.

3. Social Media Websites To Think About

Like Wattpad, there are dozens—if not hundreds—of websites out there you can use to host extras for your novel. Did you listen to certain songs while writing? Create a playlist on YouTube or 8tracks so readers can listen, too. Did you make a Pinterest board for all of your characters? Great! Link to it. Let readers see a physical representation of your imagination. Try to make personality quizzes (Which character are you? Which couple from the book are you? How long would you last in my post-apocalyptic story?). Think of your content and have fun with it! After all, you wrote an entire novel about it.

So, again, just a little list to think about: Fan art, any notes you had, related articles, maps, calendars, soundtracks, Pinterest boards, personality quizzes, swag, signed books, and more.

The only thing I’d warn against is spoilers. Be sure to warn and label spoilers accordingly. And, of course, have fun!

Original posted April 6, 2013

~SAT

13245233_1046886115358569_5859558976763581283_nIf you sign up for the Bad Bloods Thunderclap, I’ll send you signed swag from The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods. All you have to do is sign up, take a screenshot of your support, and email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. What’s a Thunderclap? It’s an automated message that will release from your Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Facebook page the day of the book release to help me reach more readers. I only have to reach 100 supporters for the message to go out, so any and all help is appreciated.

maggieIn other news, the Bad Bloods Prequel was updated on Wattpad! Read Maggie’s story today! Right now, you can read the origin stories of Adam, Michele, and Maggie. Ryne’s story releases June 3, with more stories releasing every other Friday. (There might also be an origin story coming up that relates to Jessica and Eric in The Timely Death Trilogy, so…wink…wink.)

On top of that, you can officially pre-order both books in the Bad Bloods duology. If you pre-order November Snow, I will send you November Rain for review today! (And if you write a review, I will send you November Snow right after that.) This means you could read these two books RIGHT NOW just by preordering and sending me a receipt to shannonathompson@aol.com. All of this news (and more) went out in my newsletter on Sunday, so if you’re missing out on the latest giveaways, you should sign up here.

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

 

Minutes Before Sunset: One Month

2 Jun

I’ve been overwhelming happy with all that’s happened over the past month. It’s a gift to be able to share my words and stories with readers, and I am working hard to get “Seconds Before Sunrise” ready for publication this Fall. Speaking of which, this blog will be changing in the future to support the entire trilogy. It will have the same layout, but I will announce when it’ll have new pages (with more extras!) I’ll probably be adding a page for just writing and publishing tips too, so you can go back without having to use my search engine.

Onto today’s topic: I have one review by Coffee Shop Reader and an interview from The Kuwait Times, but I’ll also be sharing stats and feelings over my recently published novel, Minutes Before Sunset. I also have a press release from AEC Stellar that I’d like to share. It includes my novel, but it also shows upcoming and talented novelists, including Amber Skye Forbes, Oliver Chase, and Gregory S. Lamb!

Coffee Shop Reader Review

“Thompson’s reversal of the Light/Dark archetypes is really interesting and wonderfully unnerving and seeing the two extremes come face to face during intense battle scenes only highlighted the genius of this role reversal. HOLY DRAMATIC IRONY. For the majority of the novel, my mind was screaming “OMG listen to me! I know stuff you don’t!” and it was oh, so good. Thompson’s use of dramatic irony kept me on my toes, just waiting to see when the characters would figure out things. Also, Thompson sketches in her foreshadowing beautifully. I cannot wait to find out what’s in store for Eric and Jessica in Seconds Before Sunrise. The romance is genuine and did not have raging teenage hormones; instead, it shows that…(ahh, best part. You’ll have to read it!)”

Read the rest here. Additionally, the host aspires to live in the realm of stories, and she loves reviewing novels, so check her out! Her reviews are detailed and honestly balanced.

The Kuwait Times Interview

“Shannon is a young writer who dedicates her books to people she had loved and lost. She wrote her first novel when she was 13-15 years old, and her second novel when she was 14-15. She is still in a university, managing normal life with her writing career. I hope this interview shows that it is never too early or too late to take your writing seriously.”

Read the questions and answers here. But I’d suggest reading about Anglowaiti writing. It’s culturally diverse and thoughtful, while challenging writers to expand their palate into the writing industry. Nada Faris (the interviewer) is a talented young writer with three novels published.

Press Release by AEC Stellar

Click the link to read more about these upcoming novels (and you can also sign up to get the latest news from all or specific authors sent straight to your email!)

Screen Shot 2013-06-01 at 6.14.15 PM

Stats: 

I wanted to share these, because I think it gives insight to the publishing industry. But I’m also sharing these out of the goodness of my heart. I will not lie and say I am in the top ten, because I am not (although that would be amazing!) I ask to please respect the rankings in the sense that this is information I am not obligated to share but am sharing in the hopes of helping others use this tools for their novels’ spectrum of sales. I specifically wanted to share the ratings through AmazonCentral. For all of you who aren’t familiar with this website, this shows a graph of ups and downs, along with ranking within the genre.

These are the stats Minutes Before Sunset hit during May on Amazon, which has a 4.5 star rating (15 customer reviews.) Ratings are pulled out of 12,500,000 novels (and counting)

  • All Books: 46,268
  • Kindle eBooks: 24,593
  • Literature & Fiction: 12,963
  • Romance: 3,389
  • Fantasy: 1,114

I find these rankings exciting, but I mainly think they can help you all sell your books! For instance, ranks go up on holidays (specifically Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.) They also go up on the days I blog post, so keep your blog going on a regular basis.

My Facebook Pages also help keep track of sales. For instance, I reached over 2,000 people between April 26 and May 2, so I can conclude the release date reaches many. Top cities were in the Midwest, but countries included US, Canada, Kuwait, France, and the United Kingdom. This helps me know my reached audience while also allowing me to realize where I need to improve.

Overall Facebook Shannon A Thompson rankings.

Overall Facebook Shannon A Thompson rankings.

Let me know if you’d like to know more about any topics, and I will surely elaborate in a future post. I will also credit your blog (with extra information on your blog) and, again, my publisher will give out a free copy of Minutes Before Sunset to anyone wishing to review the novel. Simply email me at ShannonAThompson@aol.com for more information, and, again, your blog will be credited on all of my websites including Facebook, Twitter, and here. 

Minutes Before Sunset is available as ebook and paperback on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, SmashwordsKoboDieselSony, and Apple.

Have a great weekend!

~SAT

Publishing Tips: Marketing Your Book

21 Apr

Website Update: April 22: 8:00 a.m.: Shannon A Thompson Facebook Fan Page hit 200 likes today! Thank you 😀

10 days before the Minutes Before Sunset release (AEC Stellar Publishing) ! 

I know many of you are fellow authors or are working to become one, so I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to bringing attention to your work. (Especially since I’m often asked how I gained as many followers as I have) So below is a list of aspects to consider along with websites before you begin marketing (which I used myself to get where I am today.)

1. Readers: There’s no mistake that they are my number one is my list. Readers are vital to an author’s ultimate success. A writer could have the best publishing team for their story available, yet if they don’t have a relatable and entertaining story, an author won’t make it. The readers, in the end, decide, and that’s why I really suggest connecting with your fans as much as possible. Have an email they can send you messages, questions, and reviews too. Connect with them on all the websites below (don’t force them to join, but rather connect with the ones that are already on the sites.) Create a Facebook page they can follow (since many don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal Facebook, and I completely agree with that.) and talk to them on there. Figure out what they like and what they didn’t like about your book. Be willing to change. Be even more willing to help them change by supporting their dreams to become a writer or something else entirely. Personally, I love searching around the web for fellow writers, readers, and bloggers. I follow their blogs, and I often like or comment on material. That way, I find readers, rather than expect them to come to me, and I don’t expect them to follow back. They can reciprocate or not, because I’m coming to them as a reader (not a marketing writer) and respecting their work. If they check me out, and decide to support me, that’s great!

Oh! And never stop writing. Even if you're drenched in monsoon rain in the middle of an airport.

Oh! And never stop writing. Even if you’re drenched in monsoon rain in the middle of an airport.

2. Internet: Join as many social networking sites as possible for both yourself and your work. If you click any of the website below, you’ll be taken to my personal page, but you can see how authors and readers can connect through these communications. You can even join, too!

  • Have a blog: If you don’t have a publisher yet, you’ll surely run into this in the future. Blogs are essential in connecting with readers, so you’ll almost be expected to have a website. If you don’t already have one that you keep updated on a regular basis, I’d suggest creating a page with a blog. I update mine (this very page) every two days (three if I’m having a particularly busy week) with information on entertainment, writing, and publishing. This allows my blog to be focused but also fun to write and fun for others to read. 
  • Facebook: No one can deny how popular Facebook has been over the past couple of years. Even when you create a new profile, you fill out your “likes,” and that’s where authors and books come in.

    One part of my Interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield.

    One part of my Interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield.

  1. Author Page: Create a page for only you. This way you can announce all of your books, events, and other announcements all on one page. Personally, my author page has the most activity, compared to my individual book pages.
  2.  Novel Fan Page: This is purely created so fans can put your book in the “favorite books” section and/or follow news specifically about the book they enjoyed. I have one for both “November Snow” & “Minutes Before Sunset.”
  • TwitterTwitter is wonderful for finding writers and readers. Simply use a hashtag (#) and find anyone under the sun that is discussing the topics you want to connect with. I’ve also done an interactive interview on Twitter with Sezoni Whitfield, and I gained 200 followers in one days.
  • Publisher’s page: If you have a publisher, be sure to include their page, information, and more contacts. This allows your readers to see what you’re up to professionally, and it also gives them the opportunity as writers to see how the situations differ and work.
  • GoodreadsShelfariBoth of these websites are focused on readers. It allows a place for readers to connect and discuss what they thought about a book. Add your novel to join in on the conversations which include reviews, favorite quotes, bookshelves, lists, and trivia.

    Flyer used

    Flyer used

  • Amazon Author Central: For both published and self-published authors, you can control your author page on Amazon. This is wonderful, because you can connect it with your novels, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also announce events.
  • Linked In: This is mainly for professionals you’ve connected with: publishers, agents, cover artists, editors, etc. But I recommend joining it, because you never know which one of those very types of people may come across your resume.
  • All Author’s ListA free database that enhances your ability to appear on the internet.

Think about the internet this way: the more you’re involved, the more likely your name will pop up on a Google search. Don’t hesitate to spread yourself across many social networking sites, because readers go to many different websites to find authors.

3. Now Market! 

Now that you’ve joined the World Wide Web, you can start sharing your name and news all over. Without going into extravagant details on all those websites again, however, I’ll give other opportunities.

  • Find local businesses willing to support you. Print out flyers and share them with their customers. I have to thank Ice Fire Hookah in Shawnee, Kansas for doing this for me. It is very kind to know such a great group of people willing to support the arts.
  • Accept interviews, but also apply for them: Currently I’ve done five interviews for Minutes Before Sunset, and I’ve added them to my Extra’s Page: If you want to interview me, please don’t hesitate to send an email to ShannonAThompson@aol.com
    1. Michael Fedison (March 11, 2013)
    2. Tim Flanagan (March 13, 2013)
    3. Dan Pantagram (April 16, 2013).
    4. Sezoni on Twitter’s #WritersKaboodle (April 18, 2013)
    5. The Magill Review (April 19, 2013)
  • Create Extras: This allows readers to interact with your work. I’ve talked about this before, so if you’re looking for ideas, visit my Extra’s Page. I also have 2 other extras coming this Wednesday !
  • Exchange Reviews: There are many authors like yourself that are wanting more reviews and buys. I’d suggest reviewing others’ works anyways, but if you don’t have a lot of time, I could understand why asking for them to exchange reviews is good. Try it out and see where you go from there.

I know today’s post was tedious, but if you have any questions or want further elaboration, comment below, and I will surely get back to you!

April 24: One Week To Go: Sneak Peek Chapter

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