The Book Boost welcomes author Karina Fabian to discuss how she plans her promotions.
Here's what the "Marketing Mentor" had to say...
I strongly believe in virtual book tours. They are an inexpensive and, if you get toured on blogs that reach your target audience, they can be very effective. I got lucky with my latest book, Why God Matters: How to Reach Him in Daily Life, because my publisher Tribute Books hired Pump Up Your Book Promotions to arrange the tour for me, but usually I do these tours on my own. They really aren't hard, but do take a lot of time and preparation and some research. Here's my checklist for arranging a tour. (Note: some of this I do in my head, but have listed them for the record.)
Karina's Anal-Retentive, Totally Detailed Virtual Book Tour Checklist
I use this checklist when I plan a virtual book tour. I "program" it into Miscrosoft Excel, but you can adapt it to whatever works for you. Not all the topics will apply to every person on your tour stop. One blogger may only want the cover art and a blurb, while another will plan a whole week and do an interview, review, etc.
NAME: The name of the blogger; some may give you their real one; others their nom de plume
WEBSITE: where they'll host you on the tour
E-MAIL: for contacting them
POSTING DATE: when they will post.
POSTED ON MY SITE: Be sure you post on your website the dates and places of the tour.
COVER SENT: a jpg or gif of your book cover
BLURB SENT: a summary or back-cover blurb
ORDERING INFO SENT: You may include this in the blurb, but be sure it gets sent!
AUTHOR PHOTO SENT: a nice pic of yourself, jog or gif
BIO SENT: make it short, interesting and topical
INTERVIEW SENT: If they send you interview questions; this is the most popular way to host on a tour.
GUEST POST SENT: Some may ask you to write something for them instead
PRIZE OFFERED? If you are having a contest--are they participating? If so, send them the rules so it's easy for them to post.
PRIZE SENT: either to them to send out or to the winner--you decide how you want to do it
REVIEW: Did they offer to review?
REVIEW COPY SENT: you might want to indicate if electronic or hard copy KEEP TRACK OF THIS FOR TAXES!
POSTED: Did they post? If not, follow-up. Some folks get confused. I've had people forget their dates and some who posted a month early, thinking the post date was a deadline.
COMMENT ON POST: make a comment on the post.
COPIED: If a review or the person makes comments, copy them into a separate file for later use in promotions.
GROUPS TOLD: I don't like to announce every time someone mentions my book--too much work and I put it on my website--but some do.
THANK-YOU: send a thank-you e-mail or e-card
MEDIA RELEASE SENT:
TOUR SCHED ON WEBSITE:
TOUR SCHED POSTED TO GROUPS:
TOUR SCHED ON MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, ETC:
POST TOUR: HIGHLIGHTS POSTED ON WEBSITE, ETC?
A Note from the Book Boost: Karina, this is an awesome checklist for planning out your promotional tour. I plan on using this myself for my upcoming August tour! Thanks so much for sharing. Now, please tell us more about your new book (that I need a copy of desperately as I struggle with shaping the lives of 3 small children)?
Love in a Pot of Rice
You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them –St. Therese of Lisieux
One meal that always connects me to my heritage is arroz con pollo—chicken and rice. For me, this meal doesn’t so much represent an ethnic identity, it symbolizes the love and generosity of my family.
My mother is the seventh child of ten, born to a very poor family in Puerto Rico. They bought shoes only for the winter, shared two toys at Christmas (a game and a ball), and meat for dinner was a rare treat. Yet my grandfather, a schoolteacher, regularly brought home the students who lived too far away to walk home from school during the week, and they shared the family meal. My grandmother would say, “If I can feed ten, I can feed twelve.” When I cook arroz con pollo, I imagine her adding a cup of rice to stretch their meal, giving of their need rather than their wealth.
Many of my grandparents’ children escaped poverty, becoming doctors and social workers, businesspeople and spouses. However, they never lost their legacy of charity. When one is in need, the others are there. I remember when a hurricane took the roof off my grandparent’s house, where several grown children still lived. In Colorado, my mother combed the garage sales for linens and clothes to replace those ruined by the storm, and all contributed what funds they could to repair the roof. Years later, my grandmother died in that home, cared for by her children and grandchildren.
My own parents carried on that legacy, which, like my grandparents’, spread beyond family. Our friends were welcome in our homes, sometimes more than in their own homes. My parents called them their “love daughters” and supported them in their extra-curriculars, and on occasion, took them into our home. Several still call them “Mom and Dad.” When we did not have treasure, my parents gave of their time and talent. My dad made costumes for the school play; my mother was always crafting for someone. Mostly, though, they gave of their love.
When I’d given birth to my daughter, my mom came to visit for several weeks, and she met a pregnant friend who said she had only one craving: arroz con pollo. The next time we saw her, Mom had it ready.
As a mother myself, I must now carry on this legacy by setting an example for my children. Far wealthier than my parents or grandparents ever were, we do our best to give to the Church and to charities—and we involve our children in that. We also do our best to be available to their friends as well as to them. This year, I pack an extra lunch each day for Amber’s best friend. It’s a little thing, yet it connects me to my grandmother somehow.
Last night, I made arroz con pollo. It’s a different recipe, because I’m not the cook my mother is, yet it brought me back to my past, and my mother’s past, and to roots deeply embedded in charitable love.
God calls us to be the first teachers to our children in living a life of faith, hope, and charity.
How did your parents teach you this? How are you teaching your own children? Spend some time in reflection and prayer today, then find something that ties you to that heritage—or inspires you to build a new heritage for your children.
Karina (Lumbert) Fabian was born into the Catholic faith, but truly grew to love it as an adult. As a busy mother of four, she finds some of her strongest encounters with God’s love happen in the ordinary events of the day-to-day. Karina started her writing career with diocesan newspapers but ahs settled into writing fun-filled fantasy and science fiction that nonetheless incorporates the principles of faith-filled living.
Want more Karina?