#AuthorsAMA Ask Me Anything or perhaps answer me anything about how best to promote and launch a new book baby?

Coral McCallum
Mar 13, 2018

I am currently working on book baby 4, a spin-off from my Silver Lake series, and am starting to think on how best to promote it and launch it. Previously I've used social media, local press and word of mouth. For the Bonded Souls launch last year, I hosted a virtual beach party to promote the book. What ideas have you tried that worked well? What ideas have you tried that didn't work so well? What do you like to see/hear in a book launch? I'm happy to answer any questions on techniques I've tried to support other indie authors. Thanks in anticipation of your responses.

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Did you know that you would one day become a writer?
Mar 19, 4:05PM EDT0
What does "writing" mean to you?
Mar 17, 4:44AM EDT0

Writingmeans "me time", my escape from the real world.  It's as important to me as oxygen. It's also gret for your mental well being. It gives you an outlet. 

I've always said though that as soon as I stop enjoying it then that's the time to stop.

Mar 18, 4:00PM EDT0
Could you give three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Mar 15, 6:50PM EDT0

I use Wordpress for hosting both my blog pages.  As far as tools go I don't use anything complicated. I use Fotor to edit my photos or create collages. I use my You Tube channel to share any video links. Beyond that all I use is Word. 

I do have my Wordpress blog linked to automatically update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr to maximise the circulation of my blogs.

Mar 16, 4:20PM EDT0
What do you hope to achieve with your writing?
Mar 15, 8:35AM EDT0

oh good question!  Obviously an income would be nice. However if I can entertain people with my writing or I can provoke an emotional reaction whether that's laughter or tears then I'm satisfied. The greatest compliment I have ever been paid was by a colleague who said she had enjoyed my first book but it wasn't really her thing. She went on to say that it had inspired her to pick up other books and keep reading. If I can inspire someone to read then I'm happy. 

I write for the love of telling the story. There's more to life than money and I'm really not after fame.

Last edited @ Mar 15, 3:53PM EDT.
Mar 15, 3:53PM EDT0
What is Book Baby 4's theme and what sparked the book's concept?
Mar 14, 11:15AM EDT0

Book Baby 4 tells the back story of the band After Life who first appear at the end of Impossible Depths, book two in the SIlver Lake series and who feature in Bonded Souls.  

I created a flawed character in After Life's lead singer, Ellen and felt that I wanted to explore her further. Book Baby 4 ( it's nameless as yet!) tells Ellen's story and that of the band's rise plus her romantic involvement with a fellow band member. No spoilers ;)

Mar 14, 3:30PM EDT0
How successful was the virtual beach party? How do you rate the response?
Mar 14, 11:14AM EDT0

I think it was successful but on a small scale. I advertised it on social media  beforehand and had over 100 guest who indicated they would attend the 2hr online event. During the actual event over 50 were online at all times but that 50 changed as folk dipped in an out of it. There was good interaction to the posts and the feedback was positive. It's hard to quantify if it helped generate sales but the books ahve sold slowly and steadily. They are all gaining reviews online and maintaining their stars on Amazon, largely on Amazon.co.uk, and Good Reads.

Mar 14, 3:27PM EDT0
When did you first start writing and what was your first writing project?
Mar 14, 10:09AM EDT0

I have written stories ever since I could string a sentence together! As a child I was always writing stories. As a teenager I wrote a "book" , a family saga covering three generations of women in the same family. It was my means of escape and my coping mechanism for high school bullying. I still have those handwritten reporter notebooks but they are unlikely to ever see the light of day as a novel, The tale was written by a child about an adult world and lacks authenticity if I am being totally honest. It is very precious to me though.

My first "real" book was Stronger Within, book one of the Silver Lake series. I bought a notepad and some pens and literally sat down on my doorstep in the early evening sun on 8 May 2013 and began to write. That story grew and evolved into Stronger Within and I've not stopped writing since.

Mar 14, 3:24PM EDT0
Have you faced any rejection as an author? How did you deal with it?
Mar 14, 8:36AM EDT0

I have been incredibly lucky and not really faced much rejection. The vast majority of the reviews I have received on Amazon and Good Reads have been kind and honest in their feedback.

You have to develop a thick skin if you are putting your creative work out in the big bad world and be mentally prepared to take the rough with the smooth. 

I've had some criticism about my use of the English language.  I am from Scotland and was taught UK English. My books are set primarily in the USA but I still write in UK English. I have had criticism for this, for them not being American enough. The two versions of English are similar but in some ways are two separate languages and readers need to appreciate that.

I refer to my books as book babies and I count myself as being very fortunate that no one has told me my babies are ugly.....yet!

Mar 14, 3:02PM EDT0
Why is it important for an author to learn about marketing strategies?
Mar 14, 5:32AM EDT0

This is an area I really need to sharpen my skills in. If you are an indie author, you are a "one man band" usually and have to master all the skills associated with writing and publishing a book. If you get the marketing right then you sell more books and grow your readership, paving the way for future books. 

Mar 14, 2:55PM EDT0
Do you think social media websites are under-utilized by writers?
Mar 14, 3:40AM EDT0

Yes but they are also under-utilised by readers. There are dozens of Facebook groups dedicated to books and book promotion but how many readers know they are there? Social media is a great cost effective way to promote your work instantly and ideal for indie authors on a tight budget

Mar 14, 2:51PM EDT0
What kind of books did you write in the past?
Mar 14, 3:40AM EDT0

The Silver Lake series are my first and are rock star romances. On my blog I have experiemented with gothic horror, vampires and fantasy though so who knows in the future I may venture down those routes with a book or two

Mar 14, 2:46PM EDT0
Do you have a website or blog where people can follow you?
Mar 13, 2:08PM EDT0

yes I do.

I write a weekly blog post and share some short fiction pieces too on Wordpress

coralmccallum.wordpress.com/

I also have an author page on Facebook where folk and keep up to date with news about my book babies 

www.facebook.com/coralmccallumauthor/

You can find me on Amazon too

www.amazon.com/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

And on Good Reads

www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

I'de be delighted if you checked them out :)

Mar 13, 3:05PM EDT0
What are some suggestions you have for book authors who are struggling with their sales?
Mar 13, 12:41PM EDT0

Don't lose heart.

I too struggle for sales but books are slow burning things. Very few writers are going to make a fortune from telling their tale. 

If you manage to entertain someone and get an emotional response from them then take satisfaction from the fact that its been a job well done.

Keep promoting your books on social media, by talking to people about them, by advertising if your budget allows. Offer giveaways via KDP Select or Good Reads. 

Its not just about selling your current book its about trying to grow a readership/ a fan base who will eagerly await your next book and the next and the next.

Mar 13, 3:02PM EDT0
What is your favorite genre? How many books have you written in that particular genre?
Mar 13, 11:35AM EDT0

I've written and published three rock star romance novels so far with a fourth in progress.  An old English teacher once told me to write about a subject I was passionate about and rock music is a subject close to my heart.

I also write shorter pieces of fiction that I share on my blog and do enjoy a little dark twisted tale.  These are a bit of fun to write, especially my vampire angel ones.

Mar 13, 2:58PM EDT0
How do you manage to keep up with current trends in writing?
Mar 13, 8:21AM EDT0

I don't take notice of trends. I write from the heart so if I have a story to tell then that's the one I'm going to write.

Mar 13, 2:41PM EDT0

What sparked the idea of hosting a virtual beach party for your book promotion?

Mar 13, 4:32AM EDT0

Great question! I decided that the characters could promote and launch the book themselves. Jake and Lori, the central characters, live in a beach front house with a large sun deck so it made the ideal party setting. I scripted it as if it was a conversation and incorporated several of the characters as "guests".  I ran it for two hours , posting updates every 5 minutes to keep it flowing. It worked really well as "online guests" could comment and participate. I also included a giveaway in among it all.

Mar 13, 2:40PM EDT0

How did you attract interest from publishers for your book?

Mar 13, 12:23AM EDT0

absolutely no idea! If anyone knows please share! ha ha

To date I've only self-published via KDP and Create Space

Mar 13, 2:36PM EDT0
What is word-of-mouth considered to be a significance marketing tool for book promotion?
Mar 13, 12:08AM EDT0

From my own experience., book lovers tend to tell other book lovers about great titles they've read and so the word spreads. I've picked up many books on the recommendation of friends so it really is a great free marketing tool. People who buy physical copies of books also tend to share these with friends so while you might not earn multiple royalties from it there is satisfaction in knowing your work is being well read.

Mar 13, 2:35PM EDT0
How can the authors utilize their friends and colleagues to promote their book?
Mar 12, 7:51PM EDT0

I've answered a smiliar question below so please check it out. I honestly would never have come so far along this journey without the support of friends. They really do keep you going . I'd be lost without them.

They are great at telling their friends and family and colleagues about the books, particularly the close group of friends who are my "infamous five" and my "cavalry" (alpha and beta readers).

If you write a book that you believe in, others will believe in it and word spreads naturally

Mar 13, 2:32PM EDT0
Did you use social media for marketing and do you think the growth of social media has made the process of marketing easier?
Mar 12, 5:29PM EDT0

Social media is my primary means of marketing as I'm doing this indie author bit on a  tight budget. There are dozens of groups out there that allow you to promote your work and advertise freebie days on KDP.  I can't fairly comment if it has made marketing easier or not as its the only way I know. What I do wish is that Facebook would allow you to update more than one group at once,. It would save hours of precious writing time!

Mar 13, 2:28PM EDT0
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