Alligators Overhead Trailer

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Worked? What Didn't?

Arlee Bird - http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/
Yolanda Renee - http://yolandarenee.blogspot.com/
Jeremy Hawkins - http://www.beingretro.com/
Alex J. Cavanaugh - http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/


In all honesty I think one strategy that's worked (even though on a small scale, 14 to 20 books sales in fifteen minutes) for me has been creating and presenting writing workshops. I'm able to meet readers in person and since many students return for two or three years, I build a small but steady reader base. They keep in touch, asking when my next book is coming. My biggest problem is having a new book ready for sale.


My Class of 2013!


Leslie Rose read Alligators Overhead to her fifth grade class and whether or not that sold books, I couldn't say, but I sure got a lot of feedback from her kids--wonderful notes and great pictures.
I think if I get my act into gear and finish that sequel, this classroom exposure might prove to be a great way to attract attention. Now I need more fifth grade teachers who want to read stories to their classes.


One Picture of the Haunted Mansion + Alligator


I contributed to two anthologies The First Time and Two and Twenty Dark Tales. That led to several bookstore appearances where I met other authors, but also booksellers. Knowing the people is a big part of getting books noticed. Plus I was well reviewed in both anthologies for Premeditated Cat and Into The Sea of Dew. Good reviews always help if only for the ego, but after the book signing, sales on Amazon went up for two of my books.



Me, Suzanne Lazear and Nina Berry at Mysterious Gallaxy Books

46 comments:

  1. I bet having your book read to the class sold books. I know several classes have read my book as part of their reading program and I've done interviews with the kids, and there were sales as both kids and the school libraries ordered my books.
    Thanks for participating in the symposium!

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  2. That's why I love teaching my seminars - I get paid to speak and I sell a bunch of books, all in one shot.

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  3. So wonderful AO was read in a classroom. I'm sure that's not the only classroom, either. It's great to know about your signing appearances with the anthologies. I was unaware that groups of authors involved in projects such as those are invited to book signings.

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  4. I love the hands-on approaches you suggested.

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  5. that is awesome... thank you for your great share... i have always been more of visual person, my books reflect that. my audience is out there... i just need to find them.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!
    [Being-Retro]

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  6. I've heard so many writers, like yourself, build their business around personal tours. Just trying to build up the courage to do it myself!

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  7. Anthologies, eh? That's one avenue I've debated, but I think I'm too much of a novelist. My short story tool box is kind of lacking.

    I love the classroom approach!

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  8. It is interesting getting a chance to see what has worked and what hasn't. School visits is something I hope to do once I get some traction behind the MG story I keep two-stepping around with lol!!

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  9. It would be neat to read my stories in front of a class... And I LOVE the picture!

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  10. How cool to have kids coloring pics of your story. I have too much mild swearing and killing people to be read to fifth graders.

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  11. I would love to do more workshops and panel discussion appearances. I agree they lead to sales more than simple signings.

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  12. Well, I learned some stuff today with this What Works blogfest. I can't wait for the opportunity to read my books in front of classrooms. The picture is fantastic.

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  13. Knowing people and other authors definitely does help.

    I've never taught a workshop or been in an anthology, but maybe one day. :)

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  14. Just like Chrys, I haven't done both yet. But I'm working on a schedule on school tours soon. :-)

    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

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  15. I'm doing my first "workshop" in the Spring at a local middle school. But I think I need to get out there more.

    Being part of an anthology is a great way to meet others. I have yet to be invited to do something like that, though.

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  16. I bet doing workshops for kids is fun and interesting.

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  17. So good to red of the positive experiences you had. Something I need to consider once I move into the printed book market.

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  18. Thanks for sharing with us. It's awesome you've had such a great experience with workshops.

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  19. Great information!

    I wish my genre would work in a classroom, but murder mysteries just don't cut it for children. I think what you do to help influence those early readers is wonderful. Congratulations!

    Thanks for participating!

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  20. still trying to get into a conference/book fair... two coming up, fingers crossed!

    love the drawing!! what a dream, to have kids draw what they see from the books!

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  21. Thanks for sharing this great information.

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  22. Participating in writing workshops sounds like such a fun way to promote your books. It seems to add a personal touch to book promotion, much like book signings do.

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  23. Seminars are a great way to get in front of a lot of people and spread the word about your book!

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  24. Hosting a workshop must be a fun way to promote a book. And you get to establish much more solid relationships.

    You just reminded me of when my niece was younger and an author (Camille Lagarrigue)and we ended up buying the book she was promoting and two others that she released the following two years. We also bought doll clothes associated with the book's character. That one reading scored Camille a very loyal reader.

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  25. Can't imagine a bigger thrill than getting that feedback directly from the kids!

    I need to do more networking in "real life" and not just online, but I'm always unsure of where to start.

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  26. Good ideas. I did a workshop at the library, but few kids participated. Schools would be much better. Thanks.

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  27. Hey Lee,

    I think that your approach using writing workshops, giving the personal angle, is fantastic!

    Indeed, the shared interaction has brought most encouraging results.

    Your ongoing starstruckest fan,

    Gary

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  28. always amazing when you can involve kids :)

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  29. It's great that your books have been read in classrooms. The writing workshops are also an excellent way to connect with readers. I'm impressed with all that you do, Lee.
    Thanks for sharing the photos too.

    Julie

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  30. Writing workshops are so great, glad it worked for you! Win win for everyone!

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  31. Lee, it seems like you have found a marketing niche that works for you...
    Writing workshops? Mmm, that's an idea I could pursue...

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  32. I'm counting on using the classroom element to help with marketing my middle grade, too! Thank you for the helpful advice! I'm looking forward to reading Alligators Overhead!

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  33. Writing workshops sound like a great idea. Thanks for sharing that overlooked tip.

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  34. That's a great idea, plus you're giving back.

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  35. Those sounds like awesome ways to get your book into the hands of your audience - and it sounds like fun for everyone. Great tip, C. Lee!

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  36. I love that picture. Is it just me, or does the alligator have canine qualities? :)

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  37. Those are great ideas! I'm not in the classroom this year but I've pimped your book to my kids who have ereaders! :)

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  38. I agree that getting into the schools is big. If kids are raving about the book they read or the author they met, I would think that many parents would buy the book! It's a book, not a toy, not a video game! :) I have a few school visits planned this year. I'm looking forward to them!

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  39. Nice to hear that your book is getting around. That is how many people start. Self promotion is the best.

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  40. I don't know about the class visits. Since I'm a teacher, every day feels like a class visit. ;) I would like to break into anthologies, though.

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    1. Understand that. I was in those classrooms for many years.

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  41. I love Leslie! She's awesome and her class has great taste based on those pics. :D I've found it's tougher than I thought finding my audience to connect to. So great stuff!

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    1. Leslie is exactly that. I love her attitude.

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  42. Hi Lee - seems what you're saying makes a lot of sense .. and it's having the 'asset base' ready for continuing on .. I'm sure you'll build up a few sequels and then you'll be set ..

    Getting out is definitely key - meeting other authors, teachers, librarians .. and being interactive ..

    Good luck - Alligators Overhead is such a great name! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Now I have to find another title I like as well. Not an easy task I must say.

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