The Holy Grail of Book Launching - A Review from the Perspective of a Fiction Writer
First, I just want to excitedly exclaim to the world that, earlier than I anticipated due to some of the issues I had with them initially, my book is finally available on Amazon for purchase! You can find a link to it here:
You can also find a link to purchase it on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/belladeanjoyner/
Or through the link on my website homepage: www.belladeanjoyner.com
Now, I vowed to spend this week researching multiple resources claiming to help self-publishing authors navigate the intimidating world of marketing. The first book on my list was a three volume combined set titled The Holy Grail of Book Launching by Mimi Emmanuel that I had purchased quite a few months ago yet never read. Imagine my surprise when I actually found her in one of the self-publishing groups I recently joined on Facebook! Small world! Disclaimer: I have not spoken to the author or been asked to do this review.
You can purchase this book on Amazon here:
This book is available in paperback, which is what I ordered, and Kindle. I would highly suggest that you purchase this book in the Kindle format because there are a substantial amount of links and website addresses that are more convenient to use as additional research if you are capable of clicking them within the text. Otherwise, you will be like me, forever typing out quite convoluted and lengthy web addresses to find the information that may or may not pertain to your publishing scenario. For me as a fiction writer, I found this part of the book to be tedious. As a general statement, this resource seems more geared towards the non-fiction writer with very minimal content being relevant to fiction genres. The author does mention this in the first few pages, but this is not included in the actual description on Amazon at the time of this review.
With that being said, I did find a few parts of the book to be very helping in guiding me onto the correct path for marketing my first book. A few questions popped into my mind while doing my preliminary research after I first realized with absolute terror that I needed to market my own novel. Where could I even post the information about my novel? Was using Facebook an option when every group I seem to be in has rules against self-promoting? Was I going to need to teach myself a few new social media platforms to be successful at this? What if I get caught up in homeschooling my four children and my own college studies and have a hard time finding the time to devote to marketing while also writing my second book? I find that Emmanuel answered these questions relatively well for me and gave me a wealth of information as a jumping off point.
For instance, in the book she lists over 200 Facebook pages where you can publish a blurb about your book for free. This is a great resource. No, it is not 200 Facebook pages suitable for your manuscript probably because many are genre specific or list price specific. I would not do well to publish my horror genre title in the Christian reader Facebook page, nor in the free ebook pages when my book is set at $2.99. There are still a substantial amount of Facebook pages to get me started along with a referral to a virtual assistant whose services offered are to post to these Facebook pages on your behalf. I did check out a couple of the links that would apply to my specific title and found these sites to have over 14,000 members each with questions to answer before joining to make sure that each author and reader who joins the pages are legitimate. Impressive!
Emmanuel also listed multiple websites that offer both free and paid book promotions along with pricing information. No, some of these pricings are not current and some are specific to your book and genre. There will be legwork on your behalf to contact each of these places and make sure your ads are tailored to their guidelines. The author does offer printable marketing calendars for easy tracking of your marketing efforts to help you stay organized. I personally prefer the calendars from ErinCondren.com because of the personalizations offered, but I can see how the supplied printables would be a good alternative.
Overall, I really disliked how the book was laid out. There was a lot of skipping around, typing in website addresses, going to the author's website for the book and downloading zip files of documents. I feel like it almost would have worked better as a spiral bound study guide with online course included that would have made all of the links and printables much more accessible. For a fiction writer, some of the information is also redundant. There is a lot of information about how to choose your genre, how to find your audience, what group of people to market your material to that does not apply to many of us who already know that we are horror genre writers who are marketing to those interested in reading from the horror genre. Again, this simply comes from this book being more geared towards the non-fiction writer. However, the amount of material you are given concerning free areas to market your book seems like it would have the potential for a rate of investment that would justify the cost of the book. I would definitely recommend at least purchasing the book to have access to the three sections of printables and marketing lists available to download from the site.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be utilizing some of the information I learned within this guide, applying it to my own marketing plan for my novel The Still, and will post my results in a future blog post.
Now, on to the next marketing resource, Market to Millions: The Ultimate Directory to Free ebook Promotion by David Ogren.