Friday, February 10, 2012

Guest Blog Post by Christine Fonseca

Today I am pleased to bring you a guest post by a wonderful friend and author Christine Fonseca. She has a new novella and novel coming out this month and she was gracious to offer a guest post in exchange for some exposure on my blog. So without further distraction, here is her article.

Top 5 Things to Think About with Book Promotion.

I am no stranger to book launches. I’ve successfully launched two educational titles that continue to exceed publisher expectations a year or more later. I’ve also working in marketing previously. But launching fiction to a YA market is different. Sure, I can connect with writers who also read YA – but connecting with my teen readers? That is definitely a new challenge.

Building on things I already knew, things I’ve observed, and things my fabulous YA readers tell me—here are my top five things every writer should think about when planning their book promotion and self-marketing efforts.

1. Know Your Market.
Before you design a promotional campaign of any form, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your primary and secondary markets. With nonfiction, most authors figured this out when they wrote the “marketing” section of their proposals. Fiction authors should go through this process too. Ask yourself who the book is for—teens, children, adults? Who is the secondary market for the book? With DIES IRAE, I knew the primary reader would be both adults and teens, with the trend being adults as the novella is exclusively offered in digital format. With the upcoming novel, LACRIMOSA, the demographic may shift as it will available in both print and digit formats, and teens still trend towards print.

2. Know Your Comfort Zone.
As with all forms of social networking and marketing, it is important to know your own personal strengths and weaknesses. Are you comfortable speaking in person to a large group, or is Skyping or chatting more your thing? Do you like to cold call potential hosts for tours, or does the thought of that give you hives? Knowing your comfort zone is important. Don’t spent a lot of time doing things you hate—you will only make yourself crazy. Instead, spend your time promoting in ways that you are comfortable with. In today’s market, you are really only limited in terms of promotion by your own comfort level. So, get to know what works best for you and your book.

3. Blog Tours and other Author Events.
Connecting directly with readers is my personal favorite—whether it is a virtual connection, or a school visit/author event. The important thing to remember with either option—planning.

With blog tours, ask people in your particular niche to host a leg. If you are targeting teens, for example, try to have a blog that is frequented by teens host a leg of the tour. Make sure you are balancing book bloggers with writers, thereby tapping into a larger potential audience.

With Author events, you want to look at the entire scoop of options. I LOVE school events, for example, so I will be doing a few school visits before the big LA Book Festival, using the visits as a way to also encourage attendance at the LA event.

A couple of other things to keep in mind with any type of author event – virtual or live:
• Start early. Proper planning of events is really a key.
• Know the expectations of the host. Ask questions about how they envision your visit, or what they see as their role in the blog tour.
• Stay organized. Use spreadsheets and other organization tools to keep track of the places you pitched too, the hosts of your tour, and any giveaways. Follow up and double check everything. By you being organized, you will make it MUCH easier for your hosts—something they will really appreciate.
• Send reminders to participants. We are all busy and it is easy to forget things. Take on that burden and don’t be alarmed when things get forgotten. Just be prepared. That said, don’t spam your hosts. We all tend to get TONS of email. Make certain you have all of your ideas/thoughts/reminders/etc well planned and clearly stated. One detailed email is better than several chaotic ones. Take the time to think things through.
• Remember to follow-up with a thank you. There is no substitution for good manners! Personal thank you notes go a long way to letting your hosts know how much you appreciated working with them

4. Creatively Using Social Networking sites.
Promoting your message is about creating buzz. In this day and age, it is easier than ever to create buzz on a large scale. But, how do you separate yourself from all the noise out there? That’s easy. Be creative. Do something unique and different—and then make sure EVERYONE knows about it. With the Requiem series, there is great potential for Fan Art sites, quizzes on facebook, scavenger hunts, products for teens, etc. You know I will be working on these specific things with each book released. Furthermore, promoting where teens hangout on line, including facebook, is a great way to get your book out there.

5. You Are Only As Good As Your Last Book.
The very best promotional tool for your book is another fabulous book. So be sure to keep writing, creating, producing. This is who you cultivate a career that extends beyond your first book.

FAQ Sheet about the Requiem Series
About Christine Fonseca
School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

Short Blurb for DIES IRAE
Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.
Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. But when he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth as teenagers, following the rules is more difficult than they expected.
Being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia.
Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces, and fighting against his rising emotional, Mikayel must now decide how many rules he is willing to break to save his friends, a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.
Author Endorcement(s):

“Dies Irae is the perfect introduction to Christine Fonseca’s Requiem series. The beauty of the words will tempt you, the tragedy of the story will break you, and the love, woven throughout like music through the trees, will haunt you for days afterward. Dies Irae promises a tale unlike any you’ve read before.”
~Ali Cross, Author of BECOME

Format: Digital format only - from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers. Links not available at present.

Short Blurb for LACRIMOSA
As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.
He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.
Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.

ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)
Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers. Links not currently available.

Additional Titles in the series include LIBERA ME (Nov 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013). The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube -
For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – or her blog