STATUS: I put another project out on submission this week. That’s always exciting.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? NO SURRENDER by Bruce Springsteen
When I was at the CRW conference this weekend, I had a chance to hear Sue Grimshaw give a talk to a room of already published authors. Sue is the Romance buyer for Borders and has the inside scoop on buying for that industry but I think some of her tips can cross over to other genres.
First, some interesting general factoids:
1. Readers do pay attention to author quotes on the cover.
(Good to know so going after those blurbs can be worthwhile)
2. On the Borders e-newsletter, readers have more click-throughs on author letters to the reader than on the Borders coupons.
(I don’t know what this means but it sounds like readers like to hear from authors and feel personally connected).
Some interesting romance-specific factoids:
1. Sexy covers continue to sell well
(so take that shirt off…but only if you are a guy)
2. Paranormal is still selling well. Readers like tortured heroes. Vampires are in abundance so think outside the box.
3. Sales for historicals are still flat.
(So if you are a fan and want this to reignite, go out and buy more books. Editors, however, are asking for historicals—as long as they are sexy).
Some marketing hints:
1. Have a website but also have something that brings people back to that site time and time again.
2. Interview your own characters. Readers love to know the hidden back story that might not be in the novel itself.
3. Post an excerpt on your website but not necessarily the opening chapters. (Sometimes readers might mistake that for having already read the book). Use a tension-building, exciting, or slightly sexy excerpt instead.
4. Get thinking about Book Trailers. Borders does feature them on their site and in their e-newsletters.
(Professionally done folks. 1 Minute or less. And if in romance, shadow the hero. )
5. Get to know your local booksellers. Sign stock (and yes, it’s just a myth that book stores can’t return those copies because they can). Have your own autograph stickers on hand though.
6. Ask your editor/publisher about a pre-sale tools such as Shelf talkers.
7. Advertise in industry publications.