Tuesday, February 1, 2011

19 Myra McEntire: The Careful Balance of Creating Buzz

Are you ready? Here's the final post in our threesome of guest blogs on book marketing. This one is by the lovely Myra McEntire, whose book HOURGLASS is coming out May 24th(available now for preorder). You can find Myra on her blog or on Twitter. For a chance to win a copy of HOURGLASS or the other great books, participate in our viral marketing experiment. We're trying to see how quickly word can spread across the internet. The experiment ends on February 8, so please help us out!

The Careful Balance of Creating Buzz

by Myra McEntire

Lisa and Shannon have done such a fabulous job with their posts I feel like I should open with an apology!

I'm a newbie to the whole "marketing" thing myself - so much so that instead of doing it in any kind of savvy way - I'm more "OMG I WROTE THIS BOOK I THINK IT'S COOL WANNA READ IT?"

Luckily, the HOURGLASS cover made it way easier to apply some polish to my enthusiasm.

I first saw the cover image this past September, and I was completely blown away. It's so representative of the way Emerson's world is throughout the story - something is NOT right - and the image is creepy in a truly delicious way.

I can say this because I had nothing to do with it. All the genius belongs to Egmont USA.

There was sort of an unspoken agreement between myself and Egmont USA about HOURGLASS. I wouldn't talk about it, they wouldn't talk about it. It was SO incredibly difficult to keep details about the story under wraps. Basically the only thing we let out was that it was a "timeslip" novel. No description on my site, nothing on Goodreads or Amazon, nothing anywhere. I'd been living in the HOURGLASS world for over two years, and the desire to share it was ... INSANE. But I kept my mouth closed, miraculously.

In an attempt to harness my ... um ... overzealousness for my story, I used my energy to brainstorm a unique way to reveal my cover. The internet was the obvious vehicle, and I knew I needed to reach a wide audience. Choosing which sites to use seemed daunting at first, but considering whoever participated would have to keep a lid on the cover, I decided on four whose owners I knew well: Mundie Moms, Eve's Fan Garden, Young Adult Books Central, and Twilight Lexicon.

The first three sites had snippets of HOURGLASS that they each posted on days one, two, and three, along with a giveaway that tied in to the story. (At first I had planned to take screenshots of different parts of the cover, but changed tactics along the way.) The final site, Twilight Lexicon, did a review of HOURGLASS and then posted a reveal trailer I made (not an actual book trailer, just a tease).

At the end was a shot of the cover.

The result was more than I ever could have expected.

The reveal trailer was viewed over 1,200 times in 48 hours, and the Twilight Lexicon received 200 + quite a few entries to win the signed Advanced Readers Copy they gave away. My blog and Twitter followers increased (and now I'm super worried about actually saying something entertaining to keep them around), and so did HOURGLASS'S Goodreads numbers. I like to think it's because I actually got to post a synopsis, which might have been more exciting to me than revealing the cover.

It's my fictional world. I want to SHARE it with you.

Sometimes marketing feels like a dirty word. But the basic truth is that publishing houses, and these days authors themselves, have to actively drum up (another word that feels dirty) "buzz."

I really appreciated the fact that Egmont chose to keep my marketing window smaller than most, so that hopefully interest in the story won't spin out before the sale date.

I certainly hope so, because in my little writer's heart, I'm still stuck on "OMG I WROTE THIS BOOK I THINK IT'S COOL WANNA READ IT?"

19 comments:

  1. I can't imagine trying to keep what you're working on completely under wraps until the reveal. Well done. Sounds like it worked well for you. @umbralwalker

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  2. Great advice. Thanks for sharing your unique marketing plan. Can't wait to read your book.

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  3. Myra - you had me at "OMG I WROTE THIS BOOK I THINK IT'S COOL WANNA READ IT?"

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  4. WOW. I must have this book! Look at that cover! Your feelings about it have me hooked.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  5. I am DYING to read this book, Myra, and the cover is A-MAZ-ING!!!

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  6. Myra, terrific post. Can't wait to read it. And thanks for reminding us the "buzz" is not a dirty word.

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  7. I absolutely adore the cover of this book! It makes the book itself seem all that more intriguing. Congrats! This is great. :)

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  9. Um ... I had to delete that last comment because apparently I forgot how to work punctuation. I've heard it's important in books and stuff.

    :P

    What I said was, THANK YOU, and I hope the inside lives up to the promise of the outside!

    *terror*

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  10. That intriguing cover is calling me. I know the Internet can be intimidating, but aren't we glad we can all use it as a tool. Congrats, Myra.

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  11. If I were you I'd be screaming OMG, READ MY BOOK! It's so exciting, and the cover is beautiful.

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  12. This is such an awesome post. I actually have a marketing background myself. And I'd say the way Myra handled everything was perfect. You're right, though... a lot of writers look at *sales and marketing* like they're four letter words... that "craft is king" and it IS... totally is. But there's nothing wrong with finding creative ways to get the word out. Back to the old tree falls in a forest scenario.

    Thanks for posting.

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  13. YEs! I so do wanna read it, Myra!
    The cover is amazing and that you kept it under wraps for so long without bursting is also amazing!

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  14. Heh, I'd be squeeing READMYBOOK, too if I were you! I can't imagine what willpower it took not to talk about the book, but I think with so many recent books getting so much hype over the premise, and not always delivering, it seems much smarter to keep the mystery alive, and let the reader form their opinion as they read the book, and not before. Also, the cover is beautiful. Lucky! ;)

    Good luck with everything, Myra! Can't wait to read Hourglass.

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  15. This cover is amazing! They did a fantastic job. I'm excited to read the book!

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  16. That's an awesome story, and wonderful advice. All the secrecy makes me want to read the book almost as much as that cover does!

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  17. I absolutely loovvee this book cover. I saw it the other day on some blog (can't ever remember, there's too many I follow) and it totally made me pause, look at for a minute, and write down the title.

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  18. Very cool that you could actually see visible results from your cover reveal marketing. Thanks for sharing this, Myra!

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Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)