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Memoir Author Shares Her Marketing Experiences

by Matilda Butler on March 16, 2012

Book Business PaperclipPost #90 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Women’s Memoirs Welcomes Author Karen Fisher-Alaniz Who Returns to Discuss Book Marketing

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyWomen’s Memoirs: Hi Karen. Welcome back to Women’s Memoirs. We so enjoyed our interview last week.

Before asking you about your book marketing efforts, I want to share your comment about your new memoir. Then I’ll remind everyone about your special MEMOIR GIVEAWAY that you and your publisher are offering our readers:

“My memoir is the true story of the secrets my father swore to keep during WWII and what happened when he finally began to talk about them. He kept his secrets locked away for more than 50-years. But secrets have a way of taking a toll on their keeper. That’s what happened to my father. Shortly after 9/11/2001, he began having terrible nightmares and vivid flashbacks. He was in his 80’s and I simply wanted to help him. So we set out on an unintended journey.” — Karen Fisher-Alaniz

memoir-karen-fisher-alaniz, memoir, memoir writing, memoir, storytelling, memoir author interviewKaren’s GIVEAWAY. In case your missed our interview with Karen last week, you don’t know about Karen’s incredibly special OFFER — a free copy of her memoir — autographed both by her and by her wonderful father. There are very few of these doubly autographed copies so this is quite a treat.

Want a chance to win a free autographed copy? Leave Karen a note in the Comments section below. Tell her about your father — or about a tie to World War II — or what her article has meant to you. Then we’ll let Karen choose the best comment and that person will receive a copy of  Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything. We’ll contact you to get your address once the comment period ends.

If you missed our interview with Karen last week, just click here.

Now, on to this week’s interview with Karen Fisher-Alaniz where she describes her experiences marketing her new memoir.

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiographyWomen’s Memoirs: Karen, marketing is a big challenge for writers. I wonder if you would share your experiences? What seems to work for you? What hasn’t worked? What activities do you see continuing on a regular basis?

Karen Fisher-Alaniz: Because I am a debut author, I have a rather short experience from which to draw.

Marketing and publicity are really difficult for most authors. We’d rather sit behind a screen with our fingers on a keyboard than tell a group of people about our book. But it is necessary. Know your audience. That’s so important. My audience is baby boomers through seniors and people of my parent’s generation. So much of the advice we read is generic. And a lot of that focuses on using the internet and social media to market your book. Well, for my audience, that isn’t necessarily where they are. Know where they are and go there.

I’m a work in progress and certainly still learning. I have a really wonderful publishing company behind me, Sourcebooks. Still, I think it’s important to ask questions. If a bookstore signing is set up for you, find out what exactly the publicity plan is. What will the bookstore do to ensure that people attend? Simply having your poster in the window and a blurb on the bookstore website isn’t enough for most authors. Think about your own experiences. What draws you in? If what the store will do is sparse, come up with your own plan.

memoir-Karen-Fisher-Alaniz, memoir, memoir writing, memoir author interview, book marketing, father-daughter memoirFor example, with my book, contacting retirement homes ahead of time so that activity directors can offer it as an outing. Contact local writing communities and book clubs. Find blogs and websites in the area and contact them or leave comments. And when you go out of town, make it worth your while. After the signing, go to other bookstores and sign their stock. Signed books sell faster. Stop by the local library and introduce yourself. Give them some bookmarks to hand out. Every single place I’ve been has said that people love bookmarks. When was the last time you threw one out? Never? That tells you how long that advertising will stick around.

And finally, give people something to talk about. Word of mouth sells books. Do something that is worthy of someone telling their friends. One author I heard about bakes cookies for her signings because her novel is remotely related to baking. You can bet the smell of those cookies lingers. It also gives people something to tell their friends about. I learned about this because I was at a bookstore presentation for another author and after she spoke, the book events coordinator told the audience to come back next week to hear this author. She said everybody loves her signings because she always brings freshly baked cookies. See how this gave even the bookstore personnel something unique to talk about?

This can be done within your book as well. For example, the title of my book is Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything. There are a lot of things to talk about just within that title. The most obvious is, “What’s the question that changed everything?” But also the title, Breaking the Code, has a double meaning. You have to read the book to figure out what it is. And once you read it and someone asks about it, you have something to tell them that only you know.

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog. I’ll be happy to come back to answer any questions your readers might have

storytelling, memoir, memoir writing

[If you prefer the Kindle version of Karen's memoir, just click on the book cover on the left.]

storytelling, memoir, memoir writing

Karen has posted some of her interviews with her father on YouTube. These are stories not covered in the book. Last week I posted Part 1 of this story. Here’s Part 2:

storytelling, memoir, memoir writing

[If you are interested in the Kindle version, just click on the image to the left.]

storytelling, memoir, memoir writing
Be sure to leave Karen your comment below in order to entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything.











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