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The Grave Blogger


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#1 iamlost

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:14 AM

Ok folks, this is a blatent non-commercial unrequested plug on behalf of my favourite Lady in Purple.

Donna D-for-Dazzlin Fontenot is the latest in a recent line of Southern (US) women publishing successful popular weirdly creepy novels. It makes me wonder just what is in the air or water and dark of night down there...

The Grave Blogger
"Memories that quietly tiptoe into your darkest nightmares..."

coming this summer...
available now: the book trailer



Do you know which of her online 'friends' influenced the killer's personality?
Is it you? muhahahaha!

So much for the plug.
Now for the Cre8 autopsy of the site, the marketing, and all things Cre8tive. Open your toolbox, dust off your opinions, and analyse what she's doing right or wrong, naughty or nice and pile on the about to be published newly hatched author. Why? Because it's what we do best, muhahahaha!

#2 jonbey

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

So that explains all the website selling and not caring about Google any more! Donna has decided that Google is no longer a worthy opponent, now she is taking on Agatha Christie!

#3 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:38 PM

Now for the Cre8 autopsy of the site, the marketing, and all things Cre8tive. Open your toolbox, dust off your opinions, and analyse what she's doing right or wrong, naughty or nice and pile on the about to be published newly hatched author. Why? Because it's what we do best, muhahahaha!


I'd actually love to have y'all analyze (with a z, iamlost!) the site and any marketing efforts. I'll tell you some of what I have planned but not yet implemented.

On site:
  • A more comprehensive About The Author page
  • A page to list more reviews, testimonials, reader thoughts, etc.
  • A blog where I'll just give some personal insight into the writing process, the characters and their development, some background from my own life that had an influence on the book, including its setting, etc.
  • Eventually a contest to give away some books
  • Perhaps some downloadable schwag like wallpaper; perhaps a way to get real schwag like bookmarks or whatever

Marketing to come:
  • Strongarm Sweetalk everyone I know to buy the thing
  • Strongarm Sweetalk everyone I know to review the thing
  • Strongarm Sweetalk everyone I know to share the thing on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest
  • Join as many indie author groups as I can feasibly interact with and get/give support with them
  • Press release
  • Blog tours (contacting a bunch of bloggers to have them either review the book, interview me, or both - plus some sites are dedicated to interview authors)
  • Listing my book at all the places that like to have books listed
  • Book Giveaway Contest as mentioned earlier
  • General pimpage :)
Would love feedback.

This is one of those extremely important things that I'll only get the chance to do right once. I don't want to f* it up. So your help is most appreciated.

#4 iamlost

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

I'd actually love to have y'all analyze (with a z, iamlost!) the site and any marketing efforts.

I can tolerate, even enjoy, various American patois but draw the metaphoric line at zed in place of ess. :)

Your list looks quite good. I do have some additional thoughts, suggestions and will get back to this thread as soon as time permits.

#5 cre8pc

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:28 PM

This is SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!

#6 Dr.Marie

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:08 PM

Donna...where did you get the music for your cool trailer?

#7 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:00 AM

From here: http://freepd.com/Cinematic/ The one I used is called Stratosphere.

#8 earlpearl

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:45 AM

well there are fans out there. I saw it somewhere and tweeted it and Ben auto retweeted it...(and we usually only tweet insults)

the fan base is ready and willing....let alone interested in reading the book

#9 iamlost

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

* Submit to Publishers Weekly - the premier trade magazine.
Read and select submission route carefully:
1. Publishers Weekly Submission Guidelines: bound galleys.

2. Welcome to PW Select: self-published et al.

* research and build a list of book reviewers in your genre. Next send a personal email letter of inquiry to each: include mention of a free copy and a tantalising taste plus story synopsis.

Then go beyond actual book reviewers to subject matter writers, genre bloggers, etc.

Be ready to immediately appropriately respond.
Note: investigate Media Mail (in the US) for least expensive shipping of print copies.

* research and list then short list genre message boards, genre fan sites, etc. and participate.

* parse your story for conditions that might be of interest to organisations, i.e. does your hero(ine) drink or wear a specific brand, suffer from a certain ailment, and consider best direct, indirect methods for feedback, links, et al.

* line up 'friends' to have reviews ready for posting at Amazon and similar. Be real, no sugar coating. Get other 'friends' to rate the reviews. Yah, it's spammy. It also bloody well works when done with style and finesse.

* perhaps the most important recommendation is to build yourself an author website. What you have now is a specific novel brochure site. BUT... you need to think promoting you the author - and not only this but all subsequent works - where readers can connect with you and each other. And you can tell about yourself and upcoming events.

Include a sample chapter - preferably the first one, to draw the reader into wanting to buy to read more. Free sample can work well. Include a form for pre-sales at the end; remember to update to a sales link when available.

A work's brochure site is tactical marketing/sales. An author's website is a strategic marketing asset. Perhaps the best thing about digital books is that they never go out of print :)

* get a friend to add a Wikipedia page: for work first, later for author and subsequent works with crosslinking. Gentle and careful, don't frighten the editors.

* include links (to author's site) and short descriptions to similar books - this can be a great way to accrue future testimonials and backlinks.

And you thought webdev was time consuming... :D

#10 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:22 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions, iamlost! I do realize the marketing chops that will need to go into this process; luckily I'm a little more prepared for it than most first-time authors. I can't even imagine how I would tackle it all if I wasn't already well-versed and had years of experience in online marketing.

Re: the author site - I've been pondering how to handle this, since my current donnafontenot.com site covers all that non-authory-type of of stuff.

Have copy/pasted all your suggestions into my todo list so I don't forget any!

#11 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:48 PM

Ok, so...let's talk about crowdsourcing, or in this case, a subset of that called crowdfunding. Kickstarter is probably the most well known crowdfunding site, but IndieGoGo is next in line, and IndieGoGo is who I chose to help me launch my novel. You, my fellow SEOs and online marketeers, can help me get my book's campaign noticed, and help it to rank better in the IndieGoGo algo. Here's the details.

I've set up a campaign at IndieGoGo to help me fund the book, to try and give it its best shot at success. You can help! Just like Google has its PageRank, IndieGoGo has GoGoFactor - a ranking algo that is influenced by various things including sharing. The higher my GoGoFactor is, the more likely it is that IndieGoGo will feature my funding campaign on their home page! This is a way for all of us to learn more about the whole crowdsourcing - in this case crowdfunding - process, and participate in an algo that we haven't yet tried to game! LOL!

So, if you want to help raise my GoGoFactor, go to http://www.indiegogo...logger?a=597351 and click on the share buttons. The more it gets shared, the better my chances are of making it to the front page of IndieGoGo. Thanks!

ADDED INCENTIVE: You get to go watch me talk in a video and you can laugh at my accent

Additional note: I recently realized that I sometimes sound like Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie character in that video. *embarrassing. :)

#12 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 04:51 PM

Still hoping my friends will help me out with this gogofactor thing. You know you wanna push those little social share buttons up on that indiegogo page! Also, I've started blogging about the experience on thegraveblogger site if anyone wants to keep up with that.

UPDATE: I've come to the conclusion the my social influence has dropped to zero. After several pleadings on G+, Twitter, here, etc., I managed to get a total of 6 people to click the G+ button. Six. Of all the people I know, and all the people I've helped over the years, six people took the time to click one button for me. Interesting. Probably time for this old cow to be put out to pasture.

#13 earlpearl

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

Oh no. RT'd it and saw another fan of yours RT that tweet. didn't give it a +...so I will.

#14 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

If you really want to promote the book into professional book circles I recommend hiring a publicist who has all the right contacts. I used Breakthrough Promotions when I was promoting my books and they got me national air time on radio and regional TV exposure as well as book signings. At the time Breakthrough Promotions had a tiered fee structure that was very helpful to independent authors. Other publicists may have adopted similar fee structures since then. It would be worth your while to look into finding a publicist to work with. I had an established Internet audience that bought my books but working with a publicist helped me in other ways. I was eventually interviewed by TV GUIDE and WIRED for stories about the "Lord of the Rings" music because I had become well-known enough to be sought out for my expertise.



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