Friday, August 19, 2016

Piper Morgan On Tour {+ Giveaway}


I’m thrilled to be taking part in author Stephanie Faris’ virtual book tour for her Piper Morgan releases.

Stephanie is joining us to talk about the ‘5 Things You’ll Need Before Your First Book Comes Out.’ In addition, Stephanie is hosting a tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and autographed copies of both of her books. Please see the end of the post for more details about the giveaway.

Stephanie’s books are a delight. Here’s a brief description about them.

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.
In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!
In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

Please join me in giving Stephanie a warm welcome as she talks about those five things you’ll need before your first book comes out. Welcome, Stephanie.

Piper Morgan Joins the Circus is my third book and by now I have a routine. There are certain things I do in the weeks leading up to launch day. Okay, so the list seems to get longer the more I learn, but at least I have a list now.

When my first book came out, I had no such list. I knew I needed a Twitter presence, since that’s where all the writers, editors, and agents are. I also knew I needed a blog, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. After three launches, I’ve found the below five things should be the focus of any first-time author with a book coming out.

A Facebook Account
Facebook is where you’ll find your friends and relatives. You’ll also find your fourth-grade teacher, your kindergarten best friend, and pretty much everyone who has ever mattered in your life. These are the people who are most likely to buy your book and tell everyone they meet about it. All you have to do is post a picture of your book and your real supporters will ask where they can get a copy.

A Twitter Account
As I mentioned above, Twitter is where you’ll find your editor, agent, book cover designer, and every other writer who writes for your publisher. Plus, there are a ton of bookstores and libraries with a presence on the site. They’ll re-tweet your posts to all of their followers once they meet you.

A Blog
Many authors say a blog is useless, but even if you don’t post to it regularly, it can be great for getting search engines to rank your site. It’s also very helpful when you’re ready to do a blog tour. I tried one of those blog tour companies and found most of the blogs they place you on have exactly zero readers. For best results, make your own bloggy friends and form a network of people who support you and (this is important) make sure support them in return!

Bookmarks
For kids authors, bookmarks are a key promotional tool. Yes, kids still read paper-based books. A lot of adult readers do, too. Everyone who reads on paper needs a bookmark. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a bookmark, either. If you’re crafty, you can even design your own.

Local Connections
Yes, the real-life stuff matters, too. You can’t market to every bookstore and library in the country. Instead, you need to focus on your own community. Bookstores and libraries love local authors. Introduce yourself and support your library by sending bookmarks and hosting workshops if you’re comfortable with public speaking. 

Any book launch is terrifying, but it’s also exciting. If you have the right tools in place beforehand, you’ll find you have nothing to be afraid of.

Stephanie, thanks for stopping by on your tour. These are great tips.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Stephanie, here’s some background on her.
Author Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 

For more on Stephanie and her writing, visit her website and blog as well as connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Amazon.

This is a tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and Autographed Books.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks so much for stopping by during Stephanie’s visit. Isn’t there just something heartwarming about looking at a child’s book cover? If you’re an author, do you have any suggestions for things you’ll need before your first book comes out?

41 comments:

  1. I have seen Stephanie everywhere recently, and hope her tour translates into a wonderful success story.

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    1. Thank you! I am getting around these days.

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  2. Well, I failed completely with the Facebook account. I managed to get by though.

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    1. Depends. Maybe it's a children's writer thing but some of my best supporters have been former high school classmates, relatives (distant and close), and even people who used to read my blog back in the MySpace days. I should add that h.s. friends who were my best friends aren't the ones supporting--it's that random person who was in history class in the 9th grade and barely spoke to me but was extremely popular because she was such a good person. I don't know if that would translate for sci-fi authors...could be a parent/teacher/librarian thing.

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  3. Stephanie, thanks for joining us today. I love that your books encourage youngsters to read. Wishing you much success.

    Hi, all!! Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you, Mason. And thank you SO much for hosting me today!

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  4. Good point about Facebook. I'm always so reluctant to mention my books on my personal account, but when I do...wow. Lots of sales.

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    1. I never say "Buy my book" on my personal account. But I do snap photos of my books on shelves and that sort of thing...more to share my good news. I write about social media for my marketing clients and it's all about storytelling. Tell the story of what you're doing through pictures and people will naturally want to know more. Market to them and they'll run!

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  5. I deleted my Facebook, but I'd like to reach out more to local bookstores and libraries.

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    1. It's all about what you enjoy--I think you posted somewhere about that recently! If you hate Facebook, don't. I actually had better luck sending bookmarks to local librarians than when I walked in and introduced myself. I've done the bookstore walk-in many times and actually learned that an email probably would have been fine for the initial introduction--then go in once you have a reason to!

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  6. Real world contacts are still very important.

    I do know one person who runs a great tour company. *wink* But many I've seen are exactly as you described - zero readers. Or zero commenters, which is just as bad.

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    1. Yeah--you can only do so much. I probably picked a bad tour company my first time, although it was highly recommended. The second time and forward, I just formed my own community. The IWSG introduced me to so many great bloggers!

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  7. All pieces of good advice - thanks! And I wish you much success. Thanks for sharing this, Mason.

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  8. I have Facebook, Twitter, a blog and bookmarks. As far as local connections go, the most I have are those who I've let read what I have written so far. I haven't tried telling my librarians about what I have been doing. My boss knows, since I do the creative writing class at our mental health center, and I have told the women in my book club. Not sure who else to tell just yet.

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    1. I would wait until right before your book comes out to do the meet and greets. When you approach/email your librarian, you can say you're a local author and you have an upcoming book release. I sent my two nearest libraries signed copies and said I'm available for events. One is my hometown library and has hosted me for an event before. They're always very supportive but it started when I sent them some bookmarks when my first book came out and they invited me for family night.

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  9. Good advice for all writers! I have Facebook and a blog, but I'm still working on the Twitter thing. I bought a booklet on Amazon, "Twitter for Dummies." Wish me luck. (Your Piper Morgan books are great!)

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    1. LOL, I need that book. Twitter can be super confusing, I think. I don't engage on there as much as I should.

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  10. Mason, lovely of you to host Stephanie. Love the sound and look of this book!

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  11. You have a solid marketing presence. I was a marketing major and truly stink at it - I admit to laziness. Good advice to take though!

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    1. Joanne--I think it's easier to market someone else than ourselves! I worked in PR for most of my 20s and now write for a bunch of marketers, so luckily i've learned a few things from that! My life is spent writing "10 Ways to Market Your Business on Social Media," but I remember the days of putting paper press releases in the mail!

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  12. I find out quite a bit about authors via Facebook and Twitter, so it's been helpful when it comes to that. I don't have the courage in most instances to post business related things on Facebook, but we'll see. (lol) Good luck with your amazing books! Hugs...

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    1. I try to not make them too businessy. Pictures from events and stuff like that. More "look how I'm spending my day" then "buy my book," if that makes sense!

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  13. Definitely good suggestions. I am making a list of improvements for my next book's launch--these will be on it!

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    1. I swear I learn a new thing or two from each one!

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  14. Great list, Stephanie. I do quite a bit of marketing online for my releases, but I vowed to make a concentrated effort locally next time. We'll see!

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    1. You do have an advantage locally--some bookstores and libraries love promoting a book as being written by a local author. Depends how big your town is, though.

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  15. I never realized all the work that went into publishing your books. Lots and lots of work.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Absolutely! I keep thinking it's about to get easier. Not sure it is, though!

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  16. So much to do, I hope I have time to write a book first. lol

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  17. This is great advice, Stephanie. For my next book, I really want to push the local contact thing. We have so many libraries and bookstores in this area, it's ridiculous not to do so. I'm going to be closing down my blog soon, but I plan to up my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. use. Thanks for all the great tips!

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  18. Mason, you have a fabulous page!
    Stephanie, you have amazing stamina ;-) Which is how I know your sales will rocket off the charts - because you simply rock!
    All great points for marketing, except you know that twitter for me is like playing hopscotch in stilts ;-) I do enjoy the local events and hadn't even thought about how far-reaching Facebook could be. I'm impressed with the idea of having a routine and lord knows I do have lists.
    Thanks so much, ladies, this was indeed enjoyable!

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  19. I need to go out into my local community, but I'm so chicken to confront store owners to stock my books...

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  20. What a great post, Stephanie! Lots of important advice. :) Wishing you all the best!
    ~Jess

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  21. You forgot to add you need to be a badass and overall awesome person like you! :) So proud of this tour and happy for you Stephanie!!

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  22. Thanks, Stephanie, for all the great advice! Twitter is the only thing on your list I haven't been able to get into. I use it to publicize my blog posts, but that's it so far. Maybe eventually...

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  23. Hi Mason and Stephanie - I think your Piper Morgan series is great ... while the art work really brings Piper and that story to life.

    Thanks for this post - useful to read and to see the comments - I'll hold as reference .. cheers Hilary

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.