Marketing Tip 2: Advertising Can Pay Dividends

Marketing Tip 2Advertising can be expensive, but at times it can also be an effective way to promote your book, especially if it reaches your target audience, and what is better than either a magazine (online or print) that reviews and focuses on new books. Advertising can be especially effective if your novel or book has just won an award or there’s something new to announce. So it’s definitely something to consider.

Shelf Unbound is such an online magazine, which caters primarily to independent and hybrid presses, and also to self-published authors. Shelf Awareness for Readers is another such “magazine” you might want to explore. Publishers Weekly and Poets & Writers are another two. If you search online you’ll find lots of online magazines that promote books. Check out this post on www.bustle.comBut you’ll find ad pricing varies tremendously. Ideally, some of these magazines will review your book (at no cost), and your publisher will advertise it, but if not, you ought to consider investing some of your own money in advertising.

In my case, after I placed an ad in two issues of Shelf Unbound at relatively low cost, the publisher invited me to answer 7 questions, which constitutes the author interview they published in their Aug-Sept 2017 issue (page 28). They also included a small ad in the magazine, both at no cost to me.

Excerpt from Shelf Unbound Aug-Sept 2017 Issue, p. 28:


  • What interested you in writing a story about cyberbullying?


On January 10, 2008, I read a feature article in the Washington Post about a 13-year-old girl who was cyberbullied (on MySpace) and then committed suicide. Her name was Megan Meier. The boy who appeared to be leading the cyberbullying was 16-year-old Josh Evans, who Megan had a crush on but had never met. It turned out, though, that Josh Evans was actually a 47-year-old woman, named Lori Drew, who also was Megan’s neighbor and the mother of one of Megan’s friends, though they’d had a falling out. I simply couldn’t believe a woman – a mother at that – could be so cruel to a young, vulnerable girl. I was also intrigued by social media as the forum for such bullying, and decided I wanted to write a story exploring this new Internet era and how a woman, a mother no less, could do such a thing. I should add here that my novel bears little resemblance to the Megan Meier story, though it was inspired by that event.


  • How did you go about creating the character of teenage Phoebe?


Perhaps what surprised me most in the writing of Saving Phoebe Murrow was how easily her character came to me. Having had sons, I was afraid it would be difficult, but Phoebe’s character just flowed. In every scene it seemed as if someone else was writing her character. I am grateful to the Muse! One more thing though. It wasn’t until after I’d written and revised the novel several times that one of my readers asked me if I’d ever been bullied. Only then did I recall how I had been teased and ostracized in grade school. I believe I drew on this experience, and also on the difficulty I had with my own mother growing up.  In many ways, she was like Isabel Winthrop. Just as with the bullying, it was only in hindsight that I realized this, not during the course of writing the novel.  Perhaps it was because from the outside there were so few similarities between Isabel and my mother, who was a homemaker, not an accomplished, powerful attorney.

Read the complete interview here.

Also see: The novel is available at bookstores throughout the US and UK, on Amazon and other online booksellers. For a two-week period beginning on October 30th, 2017, the ebook (of Saving Phoebe Murrow) will be available in the US for 99 cents in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month. The audiobook has also recently been released and is available for free and/or for the relatively low price of $14.99.

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