"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Virtual book tours -- what are they and how do you have one?

Want to know more about virtual book tours, how to organize one and how they benefit authors, hosts and avid readers? If so, then drop by a Canadian suspense author's site and find out how much work went into Cheryl Kaye Tardif's 1-month 'Touring the World' VBT.

There is a new wave of online marketing on the rise―virtual book tours (also known as virtual author tours or blog tours). About five years ago, various authors decided to promote their works online at host sites and announce those dates just as they would a bona fide book signing tour. It started off small―one or two appearances on someone else’s website. In fact, virtual book tours (VBTs) have really only taken off in the past year or two.

The concept is simple: the author “tours” various blogs and sites, often ones pertaining to a theme in the book or the host’s theme, or to writing in general. This way, an author can potentially reach thousands of avid readers each tour day from the privacy of his or her office or home...

Hire me as your personal Book Marketing Coach and learn how to properly use a VBT to promote you and your books. Please contact me via GumboWriters at gumbomarketing@gmail.com.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Short or long book titles? Which do you prefer?

1 word, 2 words, 3 words, 4...with book titles is less more?

In an article on Foreword Magazine there was a discussion about book titles and whether it mattered how long they were or how short. It made me contemplate how I named my novels, how sometimes I chose the titles before or during the writing or how the titles sometimes chose me.

The following are my comments about the article titled Would You Pay Attention, Please? Or, How to Keep Up with Trends in Book Titles, Arguably the Most Important Element of Your Marketing! (which personally I think is just a bit too long...hehe)

I have always believed that titles are key to a novel's success. I have searched out books in my genre and studied their titles, text placement, front cover, back cover etc and asked myself, 'Why does this book's title work?' For my own novels, my titles are always tied to the story, often in a symbolic way and sometimes in more than one way. Children of the Fog is literally children taken by a kidnapper nicknamed The Fog, and it represents the children in the story who are cloaked by an actual fog.

I might be an unusual author; I almost always have the title of the book before I've even started it, or at least before it's finished. I sometimes look within the manuscript for the title, as I did with The River--short, mysterious, adventurous, just like the novel. Some titles are just "there", in front of me before I even start writing, like Whale Song and Children of the Fog. Divine Intervention had no title a few chapters in, and then one night I saw a promo for a new TV show--Joan of Arcadia. As the preview ran, the words DIVINE INTERVENTION ironically appeared. I knew at that very moment, and the title affected some of the actual story and gave me my 'Divine' series. (I'm currently working on Divine Justice, book 2.)

I am also working on a suspense thriller called SUBMERGED. It's the story of a man who is submerged in grief and self-blame; and it's about a woman and her 2 children who are trapped in a submerged car--a fear that most of us have. I had the title the second I knew that the story would be about someone in a submerged vehicle. I also knew that it would represent the main character's guilt.

I have another novel plotted: The 6th Plague, a thriller about a small quarantined town gripped by a deadly plague during a film festival. I actually played with a few titles, until I realized what the invasion was going to be--and when I looked up the Deadly Plagues, I found that the 6th one--boils--was perfect. The idea for the story and the title came to me within 5 days.

As for subtitles, I have an aversion to long ones, unless they're absolutely necessary and ONLY for nonfiction. If the main title gives you enough information, then I wouldn't want a subtitle. But if you can't understand what the book is about from the main, then a subtitle is vital. Take for instance this nonfiction title: Kissed by an Angel. Does it tell you what the book is about? No. I am working on a nonfiction book titled: Kissed by an Angel: 12 Steps to Surviving the Death of a Child. This is not just a 12-step program, but a look into the paranormal/spiritual and healing side of grief.

As a reader, I tend to be drawn mostly to suspense fiction with titles that are most often two words.

If you're a bookworm, please comment on your preference for titles. If you're an author, which do you prefer--short, long or somewhere in between? I look forward to reading your replies.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song