2019 Utopia Award Voting is open and I'm nominated! If you'd like to vote for your favorite authors and books, keep reading...
I'm so honored to have been nominated for several 2019 Utopia Con Awards. The nominees are determined by surveying peers, so thanks to anyone who thought my work was award-worthy! If you'd like to vote for your favorites, I'll post the link below.
Here are my nominations if you want to look for those:
Sci-Fi/Dystopian Book of the Year - High Stakes
Best Supernatural Book Cover (designed by Melissa Stevens) - Unlocked
Best Book Trailer of the Year (made by Melissa Stevens) - High Stakes
Best Edited Book of the Year (edited by Stacy Sanford) - High Stakes
Best Interior Book Design of the Year (designed by Melissa Stevens) - Brutal Curse
Best Supernatural Lead - Eve/ High Stakes
Best Supernatural Villain - Victor Dantone/ High Stakes
Hottest Couple of the Year - Eve & Enoch/ High Stakes
Best Book Quote - "He was a beautiful symphony of perfect destruction, a dark melody I knew by heart." ~ HIGH STAKES by Casey L. Bond
Best Audiobook of the year: SAVAGE BEAUTY by Casey L. Bond; Tantor Audio
Best Supernatural Series of the Year - High Stakes Saga
And lastly, Author of the Year. <3
Casey L. Bond and the Huntington Fiction Factory presents…
Marketing for Authors
May 9, 2019
As writers, we love to bring our imaginations to life with ink, paper and tiny pieces of our hearts, minds, experiences and souls. We are creators. We move from being writers to being authors once our work is published. But building a career as an author, isn’t as simple as writing every day. We have to market, and we have to do it well.
The following information is from my personal experience. You may have found success using other marketing methods and that is awesome! I hope some of these suggestions help you or spark new ideas to elevate your work and career.
So, who am I and why am I talking to you about marketing? What do I know about the topic?
*Co-host of On the Same Page (bookish talk show on Southern Ohio PBS filmed at the University of Rio Grande with fellow YA author Bryna Butler)
*2019 RONE Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy novel Glamour of Midnight.
*Author of award-winning novel series (The Frenzy Series, The Harvest Saga).
*Curator of award-winning book trailer (Keeper of Crows) created by Rebecca Ethington.
*Have made the Amazon top 100 YA Authors list several times.
*My books have made Amazon’s Hot New Release List and been #1 bestsellers on the site several times.
*Sold over 250,000 ebooks.
*Tens of Millions of pages read from body of work via the Kindle Unlimited program.
* In 2017, Frenzy was among five books featured in the Grammy Awards nominee and winner swag bags.
*In 2018, Glamour of Midnight was the featured e-book of the month for the kickoff subscription box @FaeCrate.
Note: The advice I’m about to give is based on the assumption that you’ve done the basics, which apply whether you’re traditionally or self-published, or whether you’ve written one book or several and need to refresh your marketing plan.
Marketing Tip #1: You are your brand. Protect it.
One of the first pieces of advice with regard to marketing as an author, and perhaps the most important that I can give you, is to market yourselves first! Everything you do reflects on your work. Everything. From what you write, to how you present yourself at signings, to what you post online, to your author brand.
Marketing Tip #2: Develop a logo (or two).
If I say Nike, I bet the swoosh comes to mind. If I say the word Twitter, I bet you think of a blue button with a little white bird in the middle. Disney? The castle pops into your head. Maybe even the font associated with Disney’s brand. An author logo is just as important.
You can use the logo on social media, on banners for events, place them in books if you’d like. Companies use them. I know some authors who have made and developed their own logos. I am not a graphic designer, so I hired one to make mine.
If you write in multiple genres, and this is what I’ve personally learned, it is helpful to distinguish one from another if the genres are very different. For example, an author who writes Young Adult might also want to write steamier Contemporary Romance. I’d highly recommend separating brands, and using separate publishing names so that fans can discern which they’d like to read. Of course, some will read all of it. But you might not want a young teen reading something that toes the line with erotica, for example.
Jennifer L. Armentrout, a very successful and prolific author from West Virginia, writes her YA under Jennifer L. Armentrout and her contemporary work under J. Lynn. Her brand is clear at all times and does not confuse readers who might prefer one body of work with another.
Bonus Tip: Some authors brand themselves through apparel. At signings, romance author Meghan March only wears red dresses. She’s well-known for only wearing them at author functions. She recently married, and even her wedding dress was red!
Another example is Jo Michaels. She wears a black cowboy hat to all events. You can find her in a crowd very easily, and hey, it looks great.
Marketing Tip #3: Headshots (Update them every few years).
You will need a professional photograph for social media, your website, inside or on the back of your book. Blogs may want to post your pic and bio when posting about your book! If you send a media kit or press release (we’ll get to that in a moment), you’ll need a photo to accompany it.
And you want to keep them updated. If you’ve been published for five years, chances are you look different than you did in the head shots you first had taken. People will expect to meet the person in the pictures you put out there.
Marketing Tip #4: Develop a website (and keep it updated).
There are plenty of free hosting sites for websites, and plenty of paid ones, so there is literally no excuse not to have a website and websites are crucial for authors. It’s a dedicated site for your books that people can search and find you and your work. A website is your marketing hub. Design it or have it designed well. Again, build the website around you as an author, not just a single book title or series. You are your brand…
Marketing Tip #5: Social Media is a must.
I recently read an article that indicated that 62% of adults have a Facebook account, 37% have Instagram, 22% have Twitter. If your audience is teenaged, you’ll want to focus more on Instagram and consider Snapchat.
Marketing Tip #6: E-mail Marketing/ Newsletter.
E-mail marketing is extremely valuable and possibly one of the most effective platform-building tools in existence for authors. You literally have a direct line to the inbox of readers who sign up to hear news from you. Please do not take that lightly. Don’t send thirty e-mails a month. Don’t send them if you don’t have news.
Marketing Tip #7: Amazon and beyond.
Your author page on Amazon is where readers can search your bio, your rank on the site, what books you’ve published and any that are available for pre-order. You can manage it through Author Central. You can even list appearances, signings and events and post book trailers via your author page.
Marketing Tip #8: Your Book’s Interior as a Marketing Tool.
If someone buys your book, reads it and loves your writing, they will likely want to know where they can find your other work. Make it easy for them. In the back of your book have an “Also by” section that lists your book, a “Connect with” section that lists your website, newsletter sign-up link with incentive, and consider adding a small amount of bonus content. (Some like to add the first chapter of the next book in a series, etc.) Book sellers have rules regarding how much content you can add in addition to the main text, so be careful. For Amazon, the bonus material must be less than ten percent of the main text.
Remember: A book’s interior can entice readers, or drive them away. Formatting is important.
Marketing Tip #9: Media Outreach.
If you have a publisher, they will likely develop a press release and media kit for you. If you do not have one or they do not offer to make these, you can do it and send it to local newspapers and radio stations. Some of them might announce new releases, etc. Even if they only do so digitally, it’s a win.
Marketing Tip #10: Paid Advertisements.
So, I mentioned Amazon ads above, but there are other types of ads authors can use. I would advise you to start with a low budget and see what works and what doesn’t before jumping in with a large sum. What works for one author or genre, might not for another. Here are some ads you can try to use to promote your work online.
There are other avenues to consider aside from online advertising. Some examples include:
Marketing Tip #11: Signings and Events.
Readers love getting books signed by their favorite authors. There are many ways to host a book signing. Here are a few ideas:
Some things you might consider purchasing in advance of events and to further market yourself while at them are:
Marketing Tip #11: Cross-promotion.
Online, you will likely meet several authors in your genre. Sometimes, you can meet them at events and signings. This opens the doors for friendship, and cross-promotion for both parties.
Every other author has their own readership. Some of those readers will not have seen your work and will be introduced to you through other authors. This is such amazing and important marketing and has certainly helped my career blossom.
Marketing Tip #12: Online Tours.
Book bloggers are crucial to an author’s career. If you look at most blogs, they have thousands of readers who follow their posts. If they are gracious enough to post about your book, or to even review it, make sure you thank them. You are your brand. And you want them to want to post for you again.
I work with a PR company who hosts tours for me. They have a large list of bloggers that they market my work to and several sign up to help me by sharing cover reveals, new release blitzes, or participate in blog tours or sales blitzes.
I can’t say enough how important it is to form relationships and rapport with bloggers. They have a direct following of readers in specific genres, depending on the blog itself and what they post most often about.
Marketing Tip #13: Reader Group.
If you are on FB, I recommend you make a group and invite readers to it. In mine, sometimes we have read-a-longs, chat about our current reads, post memes that relate to book genre or topic (i.e. vampires), and I can update folks about what I’m working on and what they can expect from me. It’s a place from which I can draw inspiration and hopefully drive excitement toward my upcoming work. You can host giveaways or special incentives.
I like to offer signed bookmarks to anyone in my group who leaves a review on one of my books on Amazon, Goodreads, or Bookbub.
But you can literally use the group to rally your troops. If it’s release day, I offer a small giveaway to entice shares. This gets my post on several timelines and they’re shared many times over. Word-of-mouth marketing is still crucial.
Marketing Tip #14: Bookbub Profile and Ads.
Get on Bookbub. It’s a paid advertising site, yes. And if you get the holy grail of an ad with them, it is more than worth the cost, which can seem pricey. Their newsletters are huge. They’re filled with readers who love to buy books at a bargain and do so by the thousands.
Beyond their ads though, you can claim a profile there and garner followers. Readers can recommend and review your work. They will even send a free new release alert to your followers on your behalf, as long as your release qualified. Specific rules are on their site.
Again, you’ll need a bio, headshot, etc.
Marketing Tip #15: Advanced Review Copies.
ARCs are important. I offer them to bloggers in exchange for a review on their blogs. I offer them to a select group of readers to bolster release reviews. Sometimes, I give paperback ARCs to instagrammers in exchange for them posting a stylized image of the book in their style.
Marketing Do’s and Don’ts…
Miscellaneous Marketing Ideas:
I know I blazed through this last section, but I could literally talk for days about this topic and we only have an hour. And there are approximately a zillion things you could do to market a book if you had the time and money to throw behind it. These are just a few that have worked for me. I hope you enjoyed hearing about some marketing tactics, some perhaps you hadn’t thought of before, and that you can put some of them to work for you.
Oh, did I mention that you are your brand? ;)
Thanks so much for having me. Feel free to contact me on social media or at email@example.com with any follow-up questions you might have.
-Casey L. Bond
Social Media Management site (Schedule posts with…) www.buffer.com
Stock sites for teaser images:
***Please note that you will need to consider the terms of licensure depending on your use of the image, and pay the appropriate additional fee if applicable.
Stylized photos for book promotion: www.theimageapothecary
Reader group example: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorcaseybondreadergroup/
FB like page example: www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond
Photo editing sites for teaser or sale promotion images:
Amazon author profile dashboard:
Paid Ad sites:
Facebook (through your like page you can run ads and boost posts. I suggest the former.)
Amazon (through your KDP/ AMS dashboard)
There are literally hundreds of sites and most vary by price and genre. Please do your homework on them before sending your money. Ask friends if they’ve used them and had successful campaigns. The above-listed sites are those I have used and with which I have had profitable campaigns. Every book and experience is different, so I cannot, of course, promise you the same result.
Article about the importance of an Author Photo!
Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page. And she hopes you love the worlds she creates and all the characters floating around in her head.
Casey is the award-winning author Frenzy series and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse.
Learn more about her work at www.authorcaseybond.com.
You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links:
Twitter & Instagram: @authorcaseybond
Bookbub Author Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/casey-l-bond
I'll be talking book marketing at the May Huntington Fiction Factory! We'll be at The Red Caboose at Heritage Station from 7-8pm and I'd love to see you there!
Next Friday, March 2nd, I'm revealing the cover of my upcoming fae fantasy novel, Glamour of Midnight. I hope you'll check back! It's amazing!
Melissa Stevens of The Illustrated Author Design Services is the illustrator/designer and I can't wait to show you what she made!
I'm honored to be a sponsor for the 2020 Bookish Things Bookfest in Capetown, South Africa!
Here is more information on the event as taken from their site:
A portion of our ticket sales go toward raising funds for the Lumin foundation.
We hope to establish such a huge festival / convention that will invite and attract the likes of international book-world celebrities. We are thinking Comic Con big. With panels, workshops, talks and more. To celebrate the book world with everyone, to collaborate, inspire and instill a message that literacy is the foundation of all societies. With such a huge event in the name of books and publishing, it will put our cause on the map, turn some heads and hopefully spark interest with important people who could join in, and invest in our book loving communities and start giving writing and reading a chance. Perhaps we could spark the comeback of school and public libraries in communities all over Africa! -
Together we can.
Why Cape Town?
Our entire event is built around the magnificent venue (Cape Town International Convention Center) Once we secure this prime, well sought after venue it becomes the center of the theme and attention we are after. If you want to attract the BIG names (Royals of literacy) in the business we need a venue that will entice - and what better City than the gorgeous Mother City of Cape Town.
BTBF will feature author Lauren Kate. Her Fallen trilogy is amazing and has been translated into film.
You can find more information at https://www.bookishthingsfestival.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Bookishthingsbookfest/
You can pre-order Savage Beauty for only 99 cents until release (Friday, February 2nd, 2018)! Price will raise to $3.99.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079CLWQ9V
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079CLWQ9V
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B079CLWQ9V
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B079CLWQ9V
Once upon a time, a beautiful queen was cursed by a dark faery. That curse, inherited by twin princesses, Aura and Luna, binds their lives in the strangest of ways. At an early age, the girls were more than sisters. They were the strongest of allies until a combination of jealousy, anger and dark magic tore their relationship to shreds.
Aura took everything from Luna: her home, her family, and her love by murdering the prince who’d chosen her instead of Aura.
Luna wants revenge, but she’s running out of time. She must sever the magical bond tying her life to Aura’s before their eighteenth birthday or be bound to her forever. In desperation, she seeks help from a dark fae prince, but the price is steep – a piece of her soul.
Fate is a real witch. Luna was willing to give up anything to stop her sister, until Prince Phillip of Grithim, the brother of the only man she’s ever loved, falls into her life. Neither of them can fight their attraction, despite their guilt.
With Aura hell-bent on destroying everything she holds dear, Luna must decide whether she wants revenge or Phillip. She can’t have both, and in the end, this may be a battle both sisters lose.
Savage Beauty is set on the Southern Isle, but in the world of The Seven Kingdoms where Riches to Rags took place. <3
If you've read Riches to Rags, you might love Savage Beauty. Set in the world of The Seven Kingdoms, on the Southern Isle (see map on New & Coming Soon page), Savage Beauty is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty like none you've read before. With magic, intrigue, two warring twin witches and a prince caught in between....
The cover was made by Melissa Stevens of The Illustrated Author Design Services. She is also making amazing art for the paperback and e-book, which release February 2, 2018.
The book has been edited by Stacy Sanford and Lady Amber's PR will be handling the reveal, blitz blog tour and promotions.
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Riches to Rags is live one day early and in true Cinderella fashion, the e-book is available for a magical release day price of only ninety-nine cents, but only until Friday, November 3rd at 11:59pm. At the stroke of midnight, the price will raise to $3.99 and the magic will not return for a very long time. The fairy godmother is busy writing other fairy tales. ;)
Title: Keeper of Souls
Author: Casey Bond
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Horror
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design & Photography
Interior Design: Marisa Shor and Allyson Gottlieb of Cover Me Darling
Editor: Stacy Sanford, The Girl with the Red Pen
Content Editor: Angela Smith
Expected Release Date: May 19th, 2017
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Carmen Kennedy finally feels normal. Enrolled in college, she’s making a few friends and taking life one day at a time. Her days are filled with classes, studying, and attempting to be more social, while her nights are filled with terrifying dreams. All of her nightmares have one thing in common: him. She can’t see his face, but a flash of dark feathers is all it takes to remind her of The Keeper of Crows. He isn’t supposed to be real.
There is a world that exists beneath the fabric of our own, a torturous place filled with despair. The Keeper is there; Carmen just has to find out why and if there is a way to help him leave that place. Her sanity and life will be threatened, but she can’t ignore his screams any longer.
When love exists, it doesn’t matter the distance. It finds a way to remind you.
Will love be enough to save Michael and Carmen when The Keeper of Souls stands in their way?
Want to read Keeper of Crows? Start here...
Keeper of Crows
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRFWGCQ
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XRFWGCQ
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XRFWGCQ
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XRFWGCQ
P.S. I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these books so much. Keeper of Crows and Keeper of Souls are a duology. It was so hard to leave these characters and this world. They challenged me at every turn and I couldn't be more grateful.
Blog of Casey L. Bond, Author of Young Adult and New Adult fiction.