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Thursday Midday Links: Author Promo, Beyond the Book Trailer

A golden wedding Susan MalleryI thought this was a clever author promotion.   The magazine features the wedding of the couple in the first Fool’s Gold book by Susan Mallery and includes references to many parts of the story.   It’s one of the neater online author promos I’ve seen. I like it more than author videos.   Thoughts?


Speaking of interesting promotional tools, Author Elaine Viets (recent release Half Price Homicide) commissioned a study of mystery readers (so smart) and then emailed some of the results around.

The nationwide survey was conducted by Trigger Advertising Group.

Some 300 readers of Viets's books responded. Viets writes two bestselling series: the Dead-End Job mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper novels. Both are published by Obsidian, a division of the Penguin Group.

Word of mouth is critical for these mystery readers. They rely on recommendations from "trustworthy friends, renowned authors or magazines."

The survey also found that the majority of readers bought between 10 and 30 books per year. They bought books for leisure reading year round, but bought slightly more books during the summer.

When asked where they usually get their novels, those surveyed had the options of chain bookstores, local/specialty bookstores, online (Amazon, eBay), libraries and borrowing from friends. The option most chosen was chain bookstores, with online purchases coming a close second. A hefty 39 percent go to local or specialty bookstores.

Blogs, e-lists and websites play a key role in providing information about the mystery author: 35% first heard about Elaine Viets on the Internet. The other respondents learned about her mysteries through bookstore and library displays, her former newspaper column and word of mouth.

Book buyers had firm opinions about e-books. They believe "e-book prices should be lower than printed versions." They would "still buy the e-book at the same price as the print version if it was an author he or she already enjoys."


One more author promo, although this is kind of an unfair comparison, and only for the UK folks. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” will have a conversation with Paul Holdengraber. I confess to never having attended anything like this but it sounds pretty interesting. Kind of like an Actor’s Studio interview with an author? I kind of miss the zany Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe Authortalk videos although this is obviously more serious in nature.


I see a lot of author promotion and these are three that caught my eye.   What are your thoughts?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Mireya
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 12:29:13

    I think that authors have begun to realize how quickly the industry is evolving and are beginning to take a more hand’s on approach as to promoting their work. In other words, they are being proactive. Those who establish a “presence” online will definitely have the edge as it pertains to name (brand) recognition. It’s a very basic concept, and more often than not, it does work.

  2. colleen
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 13:43:17

    I liked Malley’s promotion of the Fools Gold series too. I guess you could say it worked because she linked to the site off twitter and I checked it out and then later bought one of the books. Now I’ve read the first two and pre-ordered the next one.

    But I wonder if it could also be problematic. If you see the images used to promote the book but you read one of the books and pictured the characters completely differently, would it prevent you from reading the future books?

    Still I like the concept.

  3. Shelia Goss
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 14:31:37

    I love unique ways to promote books. I used a similiar idea to promote my book Hollywood Deception.

    I like the idea of the survey so let me get my creative juices turning. :)

  4. Chicklet
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 15:58:02

    I really like the promotional piece, mostly because it indicates “romance novel” without using the cliched cover elements I’ve gotten used to (read: mostly skim over).

  5. Jane
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:30:37

    @Chicklet The magazine? Yes, I thought it was really clever. I’m getting tired of book video trailers (and watch so few of them) and different promotional efforts like this can be eye catching. It was different like the paper doll site for Gail Carriger’s promotional site was different.

  6. Angela
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:38:00

    I really, really like the magazine promotional! I think that’s a fantastic idea, and actually made me interested in the book. I too am sick of the book trailers. Actually, I got sick of them pretty quickly after seeing a few that I thought did the books a real injustice. Now I don’t even watch them.

    @colleen: Regarding the question about the images and if the characters don’t look like that to me. Honestly, I looked through that whole magazine promotion and read everything and the character looks didn’t even really register with me. More the theme. I don’t think the pictures are any worse than what would be/is on the cover of a book. For me, at least, I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem.

  7. Michelle W.
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 05:55:19

    I miss Jill & Gena’s video interviews too! What is the word on them? Will they start back up anytime soon or are they done for good?

  8. Annmarie
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 07:53:31

    Love Mallery’s Fool’s Gold promos! The website really sparks the imagination & the magazine is a lot of fun.

    I recommended Mallery to authors as an example of effective promo. Book trailers have never worked for me. The Fool’s Gold site does.

    Additionally. Mallery’s online presence is social, fun & engaging. I bet her online personality alone sells a ton of books.

    Authors: Susan Mallery understands Social Media/Networking. Study her!

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