I knew Maree Anderson was a rising star when I read the very cool and very fun Freaks of Greenfield High, which has since been optioned for TV by Cream Drama, Inc. Since then she’s had other cool things happen. I’m so pleased to have her as a guest again. She’s giving away an ebook to 2 commenters; you can read the details below. I’ll announce the winners on Saturday morning. Enjoy!
Congratulations to Mary Marvella and Susan, the two winners of one of Maree’s ebooks listed below!
The Magic of a Simple “Thank-you” Note by Maree Anderson
When Edie asked me to be her guest on Magical Musings my initial reaction was something like “Uh oh. WTH have I got to talk about that’d be interesting?” followed by a rather piteous and definitely pathetic whimper. I said as much to Edie, in the hope she’d let me off. Um, no such luck. Instead, she suggested I talk about some of the stuff that’s been happening lately… which led to a full-body shudder and a squicky feeling in my belly. Blatant self-promotion, much?
But then I got to thinking. In this current climate where authors are told to promote, promote, promote(!) and spend $$$ to do it or risk oblivion, what happened to me might provide a different perspective. Not to mention showcase the power of a simple “thank-you” note *g*
Here’s my story:
In March of this year I made the first book of a (currently) three-book paranormal romance series, as well as the first book of a published fantasy trilogy, permanently free across as many eBook outlets possible. I didn’t do much marketing. I just got to work on writing the next book. A few weeks later (this was April), I checked my local Apple iBookstore to see if the new books and the freebie books were showing up there yet. As you do. So you can, you know, add more helpful buy links to your website in the hope someone might use them. And lo, I spotted the cover of The Crystal Warrior — one of my freebies — and the words “Breakout Author” on one of the banners featured in the revolving carousel at the top of the Romance Books section.
I was like, Holy Sh*t! You could hear my loud squeeing for miles. And you’d better believe I screen-captured the banner. You know, just in case I was seeing things. But I wasn’t delusional. Turned out this banner was featured on the AUS/NZL(Australia/New Zealand) iBookstore for the whole of April! I emailed off a heartfelt thank-you note to the customer service section of Apple’s general website, telling them how thrilled I was to have The Crystal Warrior chosen for their carousel banner, and how much that sort of exposure meant to a little-known author like myself. (Though I didn’t hold out much hope my thank-you would reach the right person. I mean, have you ever tried to directly email a department related to eBook issues on Apple’s main website? Not. Easy. At. All.)
Fast forward a couple of months, and Mark Coker of Smashwords (whom I use to distribute my eBooks to Apple iBookstore) emailed to ask if I’d like to participate in an iBookstore AUS/NZL Home Grown Romance author promo. I told him I was more than happy to heavily discount the book they wanted for the promo because iBookstore had been very good to me in the past. Mark forwarded my comment and suddenly I’m having an email conversation with a guy named Chris, Apple’s merchandising manager… who actually knew who I was? Yikes! I mentioned the thank-you note and the very sweet response I got from an Apple rep somewhere in the world, and next thing Chris asks if I have a new release scheduled… and offers me an exclusive pre-release promotion on my upcoming young adult book Liminal.
This was a few weeks before Smashwords revealed their nifty new pre-release option for all their authors, BTW. At this stage the option was in beta, so I balked and started to freak out. Because I don’t have the kind of marketing clout that big-name authors have when it comes to getting the word out about their pre-releases and making book launches a success. But Chris just laughed at my fears and told me to email him and Mark when the book was ready and they’d go from there.
Long story short — hah! Yeah. Riiight. A bit late for that *eye roll* — at the beginning of July I plucked up the courage to email Mark and Chris, half-expecting them to have changed their minds about the pre-order. But they hadn’t. And Chris’s marketing team designed a gorgeous marketing banner using the cover of Liminal. Even after the pre-release ended and the book went live, iBookstore AUS/NZL have continued to promote it via new release banners, an editor’s message on the book page and suchlike. And now that it’s August and I’m no longer sworn to secrecy, I can also reveal that the iBookstore AUS/NZL editors have selected Liminal as one of their Best Books of August.
If you’re guessing this Kiwi gal is stoked, well, that would be the understatement of the century. This promo is golden but I could never have afforded to pay for this kind of exposure for one of my books. So, do I think I’m incredibly lucky? Yep! But I also believe that I had a little bit to do with making that luck happen. I believe that if it hadn’t been for a simple thank-you email, my “luck” might have ended with that breakout author banner.
So the moral of this story is:
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. Sometimes the best promo is simply being polite and taking time to express your gratitude. Sometimes, when all the planets are aligned, a simple “thank-you” note can work magic J
To thank any of you who waded through the entirety of this loooong post, I’d like to mention that I have a couple of freebie eBooks available:
And Edie has kindly offered to host two giveaways – thank you so much, Edie!
If you’d like to be entered in the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me which eBook and format you’d prefer. (Available formats are PDF, epub and mobi. And because this post is already way too wordy, to find out more about each book, please click the links above or go to the Books page of my website.)
Thanks so much for hosting me on Magical Musings, Edie! And thank you for reading.