Today, I'm pleased to introduce Jon Reisfeld, author of The Last Way Station. Read further for his take on Online Book Marketing. Tomorrow I will also feature his book trailer and an audio reading of a passage in his book as well as a giveaway. Stay tuned!!!
Guest Blog by Jon Reisfeld
Taking Online Book Marketing to the Next Level with the Launch of The Last Way Station Mega Book Tour
Years ago, as a reporter for Baltimore Magazine, I learned an important lesson about the positive role 'critical mass' sometimes plays in business. I was interviewing the upbeat owner of a prominent downtown art gallery, who had just told me how "delighted" she was that several new art galleries had recently opened up nearby, in the city's tony Charles Street neighborhood.
I raised an eyebrow. "Aren't they your competitors?"
"Not really," she said. "We all specialize in different niches. More importantly, their presence adds to the neighborhood's overall draw as an art-buying destination. We are finally approaching critical mass!"
In other words, the presence of just one or two art galleries in the neighborhood was not sufficient to "register" with passersby. But if half-a-dozen or more galleries suddenly set up shop in the space of a few blocks, they could redefine the entire area as an "art district." In short order, the theory goes, chic bistros, trendy tapas bars and sophisticated coffee shops also would take root, completing the area's transformation by deepening its art-shopping ambience and appeal.
Applying "Strength in Numbers" to Online Book Marketing
Recently, I wondered, 'could the principle of 'critical mass' do the same thing for online book marketing that it once did for the art galleries of downtown Baltimore? Could it help self-published/indie authors, with limited marketing funds, achieve greater visibility and enhanced sales?
To find out, on January 4th, I launched "The Last Way Station Mega Book Tour and Indie-Author Showcase" a 60-day book marketing group "experiment." The Mega Book Tour and Showcase scraps the traditional "lone-ranger" book-marketing mode favored by authors and publishers -- and often achieves limited visibility -- and replaces it with a large-scale team effort.
Instead of focusing on a single author, the Mega Book Tour book blogger events will frequently feature multiple authors, who will participate in panel discussions, roundtables, reader challenges and much more.
The Indie Author Showcase
Meanwhile, the Tour's website houses an Indie Author Showcase, dedicated to highlighting the talents, contributions and books from as many as 60 up-and-coming indie authors. My company, Marketing Advisory Group, LLC, is sponsoring the event at no cost to the authors, except for costs associated with supplying a few ebook and paperback giveaways.). Numerous links connect site visitors to the authors' websites, blogs, sample book chapters, Goodreads profiles, and their books' Amazon.com sell pages. Readers can even use the site's comment fields to start one-on-one dialogs with the authors about their featured books. (Notice: Neither Jon Reisfeld nor Marketing Advisory Group, LLC are an Amazon.com affiliates. They earn NO AFFILIATE FEES associated with the sale of books purchased on Amazon.com through the tour site's links.)
How the Tour Got Its Name
The Mega Book Tour coincides with, and, in part, promotes, the launch of my novelette, "The Last Way Station." That's why its formal name mentions my book. By working together to promote the tour, participating authors and bloggers, can benefit from exposure to a pooled audience that potentially includes every contact in their collective social networks.
To create excitement, The Mega Book Tour also is sponsoring a sweepstakes that offers a Kindle-Fire as Grand Prize. Everyone who applies gets one free Sweepstakes entry, but participants can earn extra chances by: promoting the Tour on Twitter or Facebook and by purchasing featured books or writing and posting reviews. (For more information, click here.) Site goes live on Tuesday, January 10th). [link to site: http://www.reisfeldgroup.com/lastwaystation_megabooktour/ ]
Why Promote Indie Authors?
Unlike traditionally published authors, who must write books with an eye to "mass appeal," Indie authors can write books that target smaller, niche audiences. This extra freedom allows them to produce more creative and varied, off-beat offerings. They often price their books lower than mainstream authors, offering the public a better value. Indie authors are highly accessible and interested in engaging with, and responding to, readers.
Indie Authors also face added marketing hurdles. Many book bloggers and editorial outlets will not review Indie Author books, or accept ebooks as review copies. Many online reader communities and book retailer sites frown upon, or sharply limit, opportunities for self-published authors to self-promote. At the same time, many of these sites establish policies that favor coverage for mainstream authors over self-published ones.
The book bloggers involved in "The Last Way Station Mega Book Tour and Indie Author Showcase" support indie authors. So please attend the book tour events, promote the book stops and book bloggers to your networks and help us give Indie Authors the added visibility they deserve.