"Can we use our characters to promote our books and create more content at the same time?"
To recap: The figure in the dock is Vernon Lewis a character from my recent book 'Jack's High'.
His remit was to write a blog that purported to provide expert lawn bowls tips. Vernon's somewhat unusual and unique approach to bowls was documented in his ebook "7 Tips for Top Skips" . Tip Number 7, for example, was entitled: "Avoid Elderly Female Bowlers and Transvestites."
I use GetResponse (Click the link and try it free for yourself for thirty days).
Its purpose is twofold:
i) to attract subscribers
ii) to get examples of my work in front of potential readers.
To date I have 21 subscribers. Not a massive total but the blog does not currently have a large circulation so that is a reasonable initial response. As yet I have not used my main Twitter account, which has over 4,000 Followers, to promote the blog so hopefully when I do there should be a corresponding increase in circulation and subscriptions.
Having established the blog - Vern's Lawn Bowls Tips - I needed to promote it.
TIP: Try an identify an aspect of your book that might appeal to a niche market or readership.
I simply used Google to search for as many lawn bowls clubs as possible. Many had the contact details of secretaries and I politely emailed them and asked if they would circulate their members. Most were happy to do so. I also attached a flyer that gave information about the book for them to use at their discretion.
This resulted in sales!
Blogs are an effective way of promoting your book.
Bloggers like me are always looking for content. What do you have to offer?
One blog I came across was the biggest lawn bowls blog in Australia. It was the perfect home for Vern's blog. The only drawback is I can't post my GetResponse opt in forms. As a matter of interest GetResponse have a free comprehensive 90 Day Video List Building Plan for members that explains in detail how to promote your work through guest blogging and a whole host of other useful information.
To date my posts on BowlsWorld.com.au have garnered over 20,000 page views and because I have an incentive to write I am continually creating new content.
One of the great things about this kind of promotion is that you meet real people such as Bev Yeates of Bairnsdale Golf and Bowls Club. Bev posted positive comments and encouragement from the off and has since included extracts from Vern's blog in the Hot Shots newsletter she circulates to members via Bowls link on the website menu bar. She also kindly includes links to my book on Amazon.
Here are the blog posts Vernon's written so far:
Vern comes to terms with blogging - eventually and discusses fitness and chapped legs.
When Raymond tells Vern he must 'ride the wave' Vernon gets on the wrong one.
Plus the tragic story of young Simon.
How to get cheap bowls clobber and comfort grieving widows.
Horizontal Herbie's shameful exploits.
Bowler's and amateur operatics don't mix - a salutary tale.When Sitting Bull met Mog - carnage on the green!
Vernon decides Twitter and seances are definitely not for him.
VERDICT: This kind of promotion is long term but worthwhile and it will provide you with material for another book. What are you waiting for?
In the next post I'll show you how to create your own cartoons.