Regardless of whether an author has signed on with a big press, a small press, or has decided to go it alone, there is a new onus on him/her to promote as well as write. Traditional publishers are now embedding marketing requirements into their contracts and watching closely to ensure that their authors are adhering to their agreements.
One needs to have a purpose for marketing. In the case of the Mesdames of Mayhem, it is exposure. And so by forming a collective, we hoped to pool our resources, skills and audiences to increase our reach. So what do we do?
Social media is the first and most obvious place to start. A Facebook page, Mesdames of Mayhem, Twitter account @MesdamesMayhem, and a website and blog are de rigeuer, along with tweet teams and blog tours to help spread the word.
While at the theatre one evening, Madame Madeleine Harris-Callway and I noticed a bookstore at the corner. We walked in, introduced ourselves, and handed the owner a bookmark and a book. He immediately told us he would take some on consignment and invited us to do a signing at the store. The local newspaper was on hand to photograph and interview us at the signing.
We contacted several Ontario wineries and invited them to contribute wine to our launch. Most didn’t express an interest, but one sent us a lovely letter wishing us well and enclosing a gift certificate for 10 people to tour the vineyard and enjoy a tasting.
The Mesdames have bookings with several libraries in Ontario, to read and discuss the process behind creating and selling Thirteen. We have been invited to participate in some book clubs as well.
There are other irons for the Mesdames in the proverbial fire, but these will keep for another day. In the meantime, we continue to look for opportunities to showcase our wonderful book and our very talented collective of writers.