Render Unto the Valley
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy launching Render Unto the Valley and am anxious to keep up the momentum. In response to the number of people who are using e-readers, I’ve scheduled to sell one of my early novels, Pelican Watch, for $1.99 for one day only on Kindle Nation on August 5th. This “beach read” has been around for six years and is still a good seller. In fact, it has a following all along the East Coast. I’ve reasoned that they’ll buy at that price and love it, then hopefully get my other novels for $9.99 each.
Rose Senehi’s other reviews and articles can be found below:
JAN 1st, ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES and the Dec. 28, THE READ on WNC
SUN., JAN. 8th, HENDERSONVILLE TIMES-NEWS
JANUARY ISSUE of THE LAUREL OF ASHEVILLE
FEB. 2nd, WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL’S “RELISH” http://www2.relishnow.com/news/2012/feb/02/wsrel10-reporter-turns-to-the-business-of-novels-ar-1880047/
MARCH ISSUE of RAPID RIVER ARTS MAGAZINE
SAVING LAND, SPRING ISSUE
Four Simple Marketing Strategies for Authors
IPPY Gold Medalist Shares the Scoop
Rose Senehi is the author of 2012 IPPY Gold Medal Winner Render Unto the Valley. With this article she shares her top four book strategies for promoting and selling books.
Go on Tour
An extensive book tour is my favorite way of launching a new novel. For Render Unto the Valley I went to 44 bookstores in three states in 90 days—basically every Barnes & Noble and indie in North Carolina, South Carolina and Richmond, Virginia. Many stores are being mandated by their home offices to restrict book signings only to authors who have previously demonstrated an ability to sell books. For that reason alone, the sooner an author develops a track record with a store, the better. It pays to always appear on time and be totally accommodating, because if you don’t sell out and the manager likes you, they will put your books on that “special” shelf or table that gets a lot of interest.
Almost all of my book signings were meet-and-greet events. People going into a bookstore, in many cases, are looking for an interesting experience and generally enjoy chatting with an author. If you’re friendly, outgoing and personable, you can generate an aura of excitement around your table that stimulates the reader’s interest and draws them to you and your book.
I find a book tour of this type very rewarding for several reasons. Out of the 44 stores I visited, I garnered 27 book club events by diligently asking people who came up to chat with me if they belonged to a book club. Keep in mind, book club people are great readers; and once they read one of my novels, a lot of them buy all the rest, demonstrated by the bump in sales for my previous books during each tour.
By the time you hit the bookstore circuit, you’ve already reached your fan base with emails, post cards, your web site, blog, social marketing, etc., and the tour gives you exposure to a fresh host of new readers. Also, these tours allow me to feel the pulse of the reading public. Two years ago when I did the same tour for The Wind in the Woods I found approximately 8 to 12 percent of the people I spoke with used an eReader. This time around, it was more like between 30 to 40 percent. Interestingly, these folks still come into stores and pick up books. In response to this trend, I am diligently investigating ways to generate more eBook sales.
A word about bookstores: I love these places. They welcome and excite the reader with a tempting eyeful of colorful book covers, blazing titles and the ubiquitous smell of ink on paper. And only in a bookstore do you find that special ambiance generated by a loose swarm of people thoughtfully scanning through books, looking for a new experience, or an escape, or an education. It warms my heart when a mother has to drag her tot out the door while the kid screams I don’t want to go. I want to hug the lady who runs up to my table and tells me she reads two books a week and is always looking for a new author.
Line up Speaking Engagements
Talking to between 50 to 200 people at one time is a great way to sell books, and I do five or six of these for every book. Organizations are always looking for good speakers, and if you have a dominate profile in the press when your new book comes out, you are more likely to be asked to speak at these gatherings. Again, this broadens your platform by reaching a segment of the market that you might not be exposed to otherwise. Also, presenting at book festivals gives you great exposure, especially through their pre-event and post-event publicity in the press and on their websites.
Enter Book Awards
I’ve been nominated or a finalist for more awards than I care to mention, but the honor of winning an IPPY did something for me that I never expected. When I write, I don’t care much about my editor. Heck, I don’t even care about my publisher. It’s my imaginary reader that I worry about. She’s read all my books and emailed me about how much she loves them. She even has my name in her wallet. When I won this award, I was so proud to email all my fans who epitomize this imaginary reader. It was like I was finally able to nudge them and whisper, see, you guys were right about my books.
Get Some Press Coverage
Extensive press coverage is the over-arching umbrella for every successful marketing campaign. And, remember, these publications all have websites that reprint this material. Comprehensive data on all magazines, newspapers, and media is essential. At least sixty days before my book tours, I make sure all reviewers and major media are mailed a book if available, and if not, a galley copy, along with a list of all my signings and appearances. Keep in mind, when an editor sees that you are doing seven or eight book signings in their backyard in a ten-day period, they’re more liable to give you a big spread…as opposed to someone going to a lone library or store. Also, a personal contact on the phone to these folks humanizes you more than a cold press release. Using this formula, I received a tremendous amount of publicity for Render, including major spreads in color in almost every daily in every town I toured in.
Render Unto the Valley is Rose Senehi’s sixth novel, and the third “stand-alone” book in a series that takes place in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. A contemporary fiction writer, Senehi is noted for weaving environmental themes into her Suspense/Romance novels. A resident of Chimney Rock, NC, in 1996 she moved to the South from Upstate New York after twenty years in the shopping center industry where she worked as the corporate marketing director for one of the nation’s major developers. Shadows in the Grass was published in 2001, Windfall in 2002, Pelican Watch in 2006, In the Shadows of Chimney Rock in 2008, The Wind in the Woods in 2010, and Render Unto the Valley in 2012.