Sunday, December 06, 2009

I've taken on a new book promotion client.

I've taken on a new book promotion client. That's usually something I don't blog about (although, these days, I sometimes Twitter about it or make note of it in a Facebook update). But, then again, this is an unusual situation. My new book promotion client is -- well, me.

I've written and self-published (using my own imprint, BPT Press, through LightningSource, a P.O.D. printer that is affiliated with Ingram) a book called 101 Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes. The publication date was October 15, 2009. I've had all the help in the world with web site design (I'm in the rarified company of authors who have been lucky enough, and smart enough, to engage a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm called AuthorBytes), but the book promotion campaign has been entirely my own.

Here's where it's interesting to be a book publicist who is promoting her own book.

On the one hand, it's a luxury to promote your own book, because your budget and the time you put into garnering book publicity opportunities are determined by -- and only limited by -- you. So far, I haven't declined anything my book publicist has recommended. :)

I've been trying all sorts of new and cutting-edge book publicity tricks and techniques that I strongly suspected would work but, until now, hadn't had the opportunity to attempt. Also, on the traditional book promotion side of things, I've done it all: online publicity, radio interviews, print, bylined article placement, blogging, and national TV.

I'll say it now: I am in love with Rachael Ray and "The Rachael Ray Show" producers and "The Rachael Ray Show" viewers. "The Rachael Ray Show" producers were kind enough to invite me to appear on their show, and they were gracious enough to air the taped segment on December 4, 2009.

If ever a book publicist (or her potential clients) needed validation that a robust book promotion campaign that included outreach to as many media outlets as possible -- even "long-shot" national television shows, was worthwhile and could result in phenomenal exposure, my experience in promoting 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes is it. I now have "proof of concept," and I'd like to share it with you.

First, you might want to take a look at the clip of my appearance on "The Rachael Ray Show" that the show's webmaster was kind enough to include on "The Rachael Ray Show" web site. This short segment (most of which was taped in Massachusetts, before I was brought into New York to do an in-studio shoot), combined with the New York segment in which I appeared, was nationally syndicated by Harpo Productions from coast to coast at various times of the day on Friday, October 4.

Naturally, during that day, I "watched the numbers" very closely. Of course, I'm referring here to the book's rankings on Barnes and Noble online and Amazon. The book peaked at number 3 on (and has been holding steadily at number 4 as of this writing, which means that the book cover has been featured since Friday on Barnes and Noble's home page).

On Amazon, I had similar luck. My book reached a ranking of 126 and then (and this is the only sour note in my otherwise completely upbeat story) an apparent computer glitch occurred. Amazon (beginning on Friday) began to erroneously warn book buyers that the book would take between 1 and 2 months to ship. Of course, that's not the case. LightningSource supplies books to Amazon as fast as Amazon's buyers order them...but that's an issue that, I trust, I will resolve one way or another on Monday. Surprisingly, that hasn't even affected the book's ranking all that much. As of this writing, the Amazon ranking is still 351.

Traffic to the 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes web site has been phenomenal. Again, my appreciation goes out to AuthorBytes for making the site as appealing as it has and keeping up with the changes that I've requested, in real time -- along with keeping the server working even through an incredible surge of traffic!

To say that I'm awestruck by the success of my book promotion campaign for 101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes would be the understatement of the year. To say that I'm humbled by it, and that it's taken my breath away, would be on target ... but neither statement would go far enough.

Although I've been a book publicist for 20 years, and I've been involved in some incredibly successful book promotion campaigns, it always takes my breath away to see a book rise from obscurity to national prominence. And, since this particular book promotion campaign involves my book -- which I wrote to amuse and challenge myself, and I self-published and have been promoting as an experiment -- it has been particularly gratifying.

I wanted to share my story now because I'm hoping you will take something away from it: if I can do it, so can you! With the right book, and the right book promotion campaign, your dream of having a successful book can come true.

I've made it happen for myself. It's been (and continues to be) a delight and a wonderful learning experience.

Now let's make it happen for you.