Friday, April 17, 2009

Marketing with Music

I have to say that the whole promotion and marketing aspect of writing is a challenge. I actually do PR for a local college here in NY. Promotion and community relations is what I do. It's really cool to do it for my own stuff though....especially for my books. Now, as an ebook author, it's a tad more challenging to promote your work to the masses. Traditional book signings aren't exactly the right fit. Also, the general public hasn't fully embraced ebooks yet. Some people, I know, look skeptically at me and wonder if I'm publishing "a real book". Sad but true. does an ebook author do a signing or a book launch event without a traditional book? Borders isn't going to host one until it's in print.

Here's my solution. I'm burning my book onto CD's, packaging it in a DVD case (looks more like a book than a CD case does) and printing the book cover in color, which is then inserted into the DVD Case. Okay...that problem solved. Second issue....where do you have it and what else can you do to get people in the door.

I found an amazing musician, Amy Petty, thanks to a DJ buddy of mine. She's on a record label and has new album out. One of her songs, Honey on the Skin, is the perfect theme song for my second book. Gratefully she and her label are allowing me to use it in the upcoming book trailer. Now...take that a step further. She's an up and coming musician who want exposure too. Why not work together?

I approached a popular pub here in NY, Fogarty's, and asked if I could host a book launch in the bar. I also have a talented singer/songwriter who's willing to play the event. They jumped at it.

So...we've got a nicely packaged ebook that people can hold in their hands and I can sign. We've got an incredible singer who's performing to boost the texture and feel of the entire event. It's all good!

You can check out her songs at her website

But it gets better. John Campbell, my DJ friend, then spoke with another band he works with, The Strike Nineteens. He told them about the vampire series that I'm working on. They wrote me my own bloody song. No kidding. In like 3 days this total stranger sat down and wrote my WIP it's very own song. How cool is that? It's titled Forever in Darkness and you can hear it on my website it's pretty cool.

Check them out on Myspace

I'm finding that by combining music with the stories is a great way to really draw people in and enhance the entire experience. Marketing with Music ROCKS!!


Lindsay Townsend said...

This is brilliant, Sara! Such a clever, modern idea. I wish you all the best with it - I'm sure it will be a huge hit!

Linda Banche said...

Great idea, Sara. Also goes to show there are still a lot of nice people out there who are willing to help you.

Francesca Prescott said...

Wow, Sara, that is amazing. I'm so impressed! It's such a good idea. When Mucho Caliente first came out as an ebook, a musician friend of mine in Kansas City had an album released on the same day (Drew6, "We Kiss"). My voice features on one of the songs on his album - it's a cover of Blondie's classic track "Call Me". When Drew performed his CD launch live concert, he had my name in his flyer as making a "guest appearance" on that song. It was a fun project to work on with him, and it was great promo for both of us.

I love how your book has it's own song!!! Imagine if it was a hit single?!

xx Francesca

Anonymous said...

Great job, Sara--you have a very lucky publisher. ;-)

Sara Taney Humphreys said...

Thanks ladies. I feel very fortunate to have such creative and generous people involved. Now...we just have to make sure it pays off!

Savanna Kougar said...

Sara, you go. What fantastic ideas and way to promote.

Question: How does that work as far as your publisher is concerned? I know most don't allow an actual selling of a CD of the book, since it wouldn't be their sale.

Sara Taney Humphreys said...

Thanks for the props :)
My publisher and I are working out the hairy details...we shall see.
Stay tuned.

carl brookins said...

ok, I can dig the music collab. Works. Are you giving hints with the CD of the cover and a chapter? Surely not the whole book!

I'm putting excerpts of several on a CD and giving the CDs out. About the same cost as an upscale bookmark.

Sara Taney Humphreys said...

Hi Carl..the book will be for sale at the signing...just like if it were in print at a bookstore.
My goal is to sell between 50-75 copies at that event. I have a couple of other live sales/signings set up, also with live music. Then once I get to print, the Borders events begin. Of course all the while it'll be selling like gangbusters as the downloadable book off Amazon & Devine Destinies & FIctionwise......gotta put it out there before you can make it happen :)