Finding Your Fans — They Do Exist!

I’ve had questions about book marketing, but when I look at the sales of most of our authors, honestly, we should be bombarded with questions. A few are actively marketing their books, but most are overwhelmed and don’t know what to ask or where to turn. So, over the next couple of months, Lawrence and I will put out a series of blogs to direct, educate, and hopefully inspire you in all areas of book marketing. As most of you know, I live in the fiction world, so much of what I will offer as examples will undoubtedly be colored by that perspective. However, most of the ideas outlined will bridge the expanse into nonfiction as well.
Let’s begin with the big picture. You have written a book, or perhaps multiple books and you are just now coming to grips with how vast your competition is. The truth is there are well over a million books published every year. How is anyone going to learn about your book? You’ve made a product – you’ve worked hard, you’ve suffered through edit after edit, and now you have your name on the front of a book. The problem is, there are so many books out there, it is like creating a masterpiece painting and hanging it in your living room. Only a few people will ever see it and appreciate it, and most of them are related to you. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the cost of finding others to see your work has dropped so dramatically, most of it is free or very reasonably priced. You just need to know where to begin.
Let’s start with the real goal: 1000 Fans. Some out there will argue that 1000 subscribers will not get you to bestseller status. And on that, we would agree. Subscribers are only distantly related to fans. I would also point out that bestseller status is not the goal. WHAT? I know you are all aghast. But, nope. Not even bestseller in your genre or bestseller in your subcategory are good goals. This is important. FORGET about becoming a bestselling author. Forget about the masses. Forget about the world. Trying to sell your book to the masses is like dropping a bucket of food coloring into the ocean – it will have NO effect.
Forget the ocean. Find yourself a nice small pool, one close by, one where you might know people that go there, one that the temperature is just like how you like it. Now, you have something in common with these pool patrons. If you drop a bucket of purple food coloring into this pool, suddenly, all your new friends are purple pool goers. Okay, maybe I took the analogy too far? You get the idea.
Find a small group of people close to you, people who like the same things you like and wrote about in your latest book. If you wrote a vampire thriller, find the vamp-lovers group near you – they exist, I assure you. If you wrote a murder mystery, find the mystery dinner theaters, or the murder mystery home-parties that are happening in your hometown. I’m not making it up, they are happening and would love to meet you. Maybe you wrote an espionage thriller, find the conspiracy believers who may only meet online as they want to remain anonymous. Historical fiction? Easy, there are thousands of historical societies, join one. I am telling you, if you forget about the masses, and you begin to think of small, local groups that align with your book, its characters, and topics; you’ll begin to find your fans. And more importantly, you’ll begin to sell books.
I mentioned before that subscribers are not fans. But what are subscribers? They are people that agree to be on your email list via any means available: website, social media, in-person appearances, blogs, advertising, the back of your book, etc. You’ll need a lot of subscribers, so get signed up for a free email list through Mailchimp, Mailjet, or any number of other Email Marketing Service Providers. (The first thousand subscribers are usually free.) I don’t know exactly how many subscribers it will take for you to reach 1000 fans. I suppose it is different for each individual author. What I do know is it takes a lot. Subscribers are casual. They may find you interesting or want your free give-away, but they won’t all stick around. By the way, this is fine. Don’t get pushed out of shape when you lose subscribers. You should always be working on your 1000 fan-base, if a subscriber leaves, they were never going to be a fan. Also, it should be noted, not everyone who buys and reads your book is a fan. Some will simply not like it. That’s okay too. Keep looking for fans.
What is a Fan? Fans love you. They love your work, your books, really, everything you do. Why? Because it fits in with how they see themselves. We all want to fit in somewhere. Without wading in too deep into the psychology of marketing, I’ll quote Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” You create murder mysteries because you love them. You love the formula, you love the suspense, you love the challenge, you love the humor or the nail-biting or even the kitschiness. Whatever it is, that’s the same reason your fans will love your work. If you love to write global espionage because it is intriguing and smart and unpredictable, so will your fans. If you wrote a novel about the Civil War because it inspires, or puzzles or amazes you, your fans will feel the same. Fans will come to see you, want to talk to you and not-so-patiently wait for your next book to come out. You build a relationship with fans. It takes time, just like all good relationships.
Hopefully, you have your author website. Now get an email list going. Create a signup form on your site and ask everywhere you go, online and in-person, if visitors will signup to your list. Why? Exactly for the reasons we have already explored – your WHY.
The next blog article will focus on Email Marketing, what to do and what not to do. I’ll focus more on tactics and examples. For now, focus on the small pool nearby. There are fans there just waiting for you.
P.S. There is bound to be someone out there who wants to know what to do after you have 1000 fans. Almost none of our authors have reached this level yet, but. . . the answer is to find another 1000, of course. 😉
JC Gatlin’s “H_NGM_N” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for April

JC Gatlin’s “H_NGM_N” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for April

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for April 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 NEW H_NGM_N JC Gatlin Murder Mystery
2 NEW When the Numbers Don’t Add Up Patty Bialak Detective Thriller
3 NEW Till We Have Built Jerusalem Alan Craven Historical
4 NEW The Osiris Contingency Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
5 7 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
6 11 Dead of Summer Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
7 3 Dead of Winter Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
8 NEW Traces of the Past Steve Laracy Detective Thriller
9 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmelee Historical
10 1 The Vatican’s Vault Barry Libin Detective Thriller
11 8 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
12 The Peace Keeper Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
13 12 Dead of Spring Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
14 Miss Feezenschneezin Is Ill David Parmelee YA Humor
15 The Broken Lance Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
16 5 The Wolf of Britannia part 1 Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
17 4 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
18 15 Atonement Kyle Alexander Romines Western
19 Death Knell of the Caliphate Scot McCauley Spy Thriller
20 2 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical

Bookstore Events

A bookstore will host a launch event for me, how do they get my books?

Bookstores or other venues can order books one of three ways:

  1. The author consigns the books and takes back any returns.  This is preferred if the bookstore does not plan to carry any remaining copies.
  2.  The bookstore can buy from us. Please allow two weeks minimum lead time. They receive a 40% discount and free shipping over $100. They can return unsold copies to us for credit. They place their orders by phoning 1-855-338-8359 x1 or by emailing orders@sunburypress.com. We will process the order and give them 30 days to pay if we approve their credit. Alternately, they can order directly off the website and use coupon code VC40. They will need to prepay for the order with a credit card.
  3. The bookstore can order from Ingram. The author and publisher make the least profit from this method, but it is more convenient to the bookstore in most cases.

Also, be sure to check in with us to be sure your local bookstore is on our list.

Fiction Book Releases (Soft and Grand Openings)

Q: When will my novel be released?

A: Historically, publishers have a long lead-time from contract signing until the book is released. This is a throw-back from the days of paper manuscripts and snail-mail. Today, things move along much faster.

Sunbury Press does not deal with paper manuscripts. The entire process, from submission, contract signing, to book release is done electronically. We communicate most often through email and public posts on our website. We do this for efficiency and to free our staff to concentrate on editing and getting your books out the door. For fiction, we are also moving to a single point of contact, so you have access to the primary person in charge of your book’s publication. Internally, at Sunbury Press, we work together, but there are no review boards or long review processes to contend with. We’re a small company of professional, hardworking people committed to publishing good books.

We have over 800 fiction manuscript submissions in our queue right now, with more coming in every day. We are working as fast as we can to evaluate and get back to the authors that submit to us. The only way we can hope to better serve all those authors, is to streamline our process. And that is just what we are doing.

Once we take on your novel and the contract has been signed, your book will be released within three months, sometimes even faster depending on the quality of your manuscript and the workload in our queue.

This quick pace might not allow you the time to do all the set up necessary to properly release your book to the world. If you are a new author, you’ll want to setup a new website, Facebook page, get a list of family and friends to help you, etc. So, we recommend that no matter the date that your book is available for purchase, you choose your own Book Announcement date far enough into the future that you have time to prepare. You can think of this as a ‘Soft Opening,’ and ‘Grand Opening’ model. For the Soft Opening, your book is out there selling and available for more reviews. For the Grand Opening, you announce your book with parties, emails, and whatever else you are planning. This lead time also allows you to purchase books (at discount) and have them on hand for your Book Announcement party(s) to sign and/or giveaway.

As an example, your book might be released on April 1st. But you schedule your Book Announcement or Grand Opening on June first. You will have time to work with local bookstores and establishments to plan your party(s), order and get books, make sure you have your website and other pages up and running and your author pages on Amazon and Goodreads ready. In this way, you can maximize the effectiveness of your Book Announcement.

Authors spend a good amount of time slaving over the words, trying to create the best story. But after it’s complete, they are anxious to get it out to the world. We understand! Many of us at Sunbury are also authors. We believe this model will serve authors wants and needs but still give time to give your book the splash you hope for.

One final note, Sunbury Press loves a big splash, just like any publisher. But we prefer the long, slow burn to the quick flash and then burn out. So, plan your big Grand Opening, but also make your plans staggered throughout the year to keep interest flowing and growing your readership. And then write another book! 😉

-Chris Fenwick

#bookrelease #bookannouncement #grandopening #longslowburn #welovebooks

Diane McCormick’s “Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History” reigns as the Sunbury Press bestseller for November

Diane McCormick’s “Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History” reigns as the Sunbury Press bestseller for November

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for November 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 3 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
2 13 A Super Steelers Journey Merrill Shaffer Football
3 NEW Beagle Tales Christmas Bob Ford Hunting
4 12 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks History
5 6 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
6 5 The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422 Mark Carlson Aviation History
7 1 Illegal Among Us Marktine Kalaw Immigration Memoir
8 NEW The 1932 Yankees Ronald Mayer Baseball
9 14 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
10 NEW Hear the Whistle Blowing John Lindermuth Railroads
11 20 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
12 18 The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment Mark Pendergrast Legal History
13 2 Captain Hooter’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops Captain Hooter Travel
14 15 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
15 NEW Mosquitoes and Tortoises Donald Dewey Memoir
16 Tories, Terror, and Tea John L Moore History
17 9 Beagle Tales 8 Bob Ford Hunting
18 19 A Short Season Jake Gronsky & David Bohner Sports Memoir
19 The Boys from Brookdale John L Moore Biography
20 25 Bows, Bullets, & Bears John L Moore History
21 Prohibition’s Prince Guy Graybill Biography
22 24 Jonathan’s Rainbow E J Benner Medical Memoir
23 Warriors, Wampum, and Wolves John L Moore History
24 Digging Dusky Diamonds John Lindermuth History
25 German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California Jeffrey Geiger History
26 27 Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks John L Moore History
27 29 Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps John L Moore History
28 Prince and the Paupers Guy Graybill Biography
29 Dreams of My Comrades Scott Zuckerman Biography
30 28 Cannons, Cattle, and Campfires John L Moore History

“The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life”

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dennis

Dennis M. Clausen Ph.D. recently expanded in the psychology world with his new book, The Sins of Rachel Sims. Intrigued with the psychological themes of the novel, Psychology Today published his short essay, "The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life" to their website.

Psychology Today is a well-known magazine that publishes information about psychology, self-care, and academic findings. The magazine's website also helps readers find therapists, treatment facilitates, and other support near them.

The magazine recently reached out to Clausen to begin a discussion about his two fiction novels, The Sins of Rachel Sims and The Search for Judd McCarthy. Both books capture themes of women, psychology, identity, and mystery.

In the essay Clausen wrote for Psychology Today, he discusses finding identity through academic literature and how the characters in his book reflect psychological identities within themselves.

To read Clausen's essay:

The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life

 

For more information on the author:

Author Page

 

To purchase his books:

The Search for Judd McCarthy

The Sins of Rachel Sims

Regenbogen interviews WW2 from same nursing home

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Discover 16 Brookdale residents, who survived through World War II, and learn of the Holocaust, prisoners, aviation, and other battles. 

The author seeks media interviews on this important topic or reviews or mentions of his book in the media.

Book overview

Sixteen Amazing Stories from the Second World War Discovered in One Senior-Living Facility.

Of the 16 million people who served in the Second World War, perhaps less than half a million are still alive (as of this writing). Regrettably, these veterans are currently dying at a rate of approximately 500 per day. Brookdale Creve Coeur is a local senior living facility in the suburbs of St. Louis that houses a number of these veterans. It also happens to be where the author's 85-year-old father recently moved. Places like Brookdale contain a treasure trove of remarkable and inspiring stories from World War Two.

For this book, the author interviewed 16 Brookdale residents with memories from the Second World War and have written their stories into the chapters of this book. Among their accounts are a B-24 pilot shot down over the Pacific, two veterans from the Battle of the Bulge, a WAVE, a prisoner-of-war, and a Holocaust survivor.

 

About the Author

Joe Regenbogen is currently a retired high school history teacher. For the last four years, however, he has continued teaching American History part-time in a program for exceptionally gifted 7th and 8th-grade students. At the end of their two years with Joe, these students take the AP exam in U.S. History and so far, they have all done well enough to earn college credit. Since Joe no longer teaches all day, he has taken up writing as a rewarding way to spend his extra time. Vernon Press published his first book entitled Questioning History.

Book review

The Boys of Brookdale

Outstanding book! You won't be able to put it down! Wonderful stories of 16 WW II Veterans (living at Brookdale along with the authors father) who share their experiences and life lessons…”

~ Review from Sunburypress.com

To purchase

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

by Joe Regenbogen

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x 2

9781620061800

218 Pages

HISTORY / Military / World War II

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

 

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com

Summer Pick for a Little Inspiration

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At age 2, Josiah Viera was diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria, a terminal childhood illness. His family was given the impossible task to fill a lifetime of memories into a few short years, but then, Josiah fell in love with the game of baseball, the State College Spike of the St. Louis Cardinals adopted him, and together started on a journey - and a season - that would change all of their lives forever.

Book overview:

No parent is ever ready for a terminal diagnosis of their child. No mother should see the day where turning off your son's ventilator is the only option to end his pain. And no grandfather should see the day when your grandchild is scheduled to die in his mother's arms. But on September 10, 2005, this was the harsh reality facing our family, and this was the day we’d never forget.

I am no pastor; nor a preacher. I am no miracle worker, nor a missionary. I am a struggling husband, a decent father, a survivor of brutal child abuse, and from the miraculous survival and extraordinary life of a Progeria child, I am a believer saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.

In A Short Season: Faith, Family, and a Boy's Love for Baseball, Dave Bohner, the story’s narrator and grandfather to Josiah, and Jake Gronsky, former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, tell the powerful story of Josiah Viera’s fight for life that not only sparked a family's journey towards healing but inspired a generation of baseball players from one of the most historic organizations in Major League Baseball.

A Short Season is a story of hope; a story of acceptance; and a story of faith based on the idea that sometimes a person’s only journey to peace is first trekked through pain. A Short Season is a family’s journey through sorrow and joy, it is a baseball team’s inspiration, and it is the story of one exceptional child’s ray of hope that changed all of their lives forever.

Book review:

"Josiah is an inspiration!

I had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with Josiah Viera and his lovely mother, Jennifer, a few years ago. Josiah is a powerhouse in a frail, little body. He has more energy and exudes more positive vibes than almost anyone else I've ever been around. Makes one wonder what could possibly be so wrong in life if this young man - who could be wallowing in self-pity but has chosen not to play victim - can show us all just how wonderful and precious life can be. I've been looking forward to reading this book for months and was not disappointed. Recommend to all and especially to those who need a dose of inspiration."

~      Linda H, five-star review on Amazon

About the people:

DAVE BOHNER is a husband, father, grandfather, and retired welder who has served in the PA Air National Guard, United States Air Force. He is currently president of the Hegins Area Ambulance Association and has been a medical technician for the past twenty-seven years. He loves the game of baseball, meeting new people, and above all, Jesus.

 

JOSIAH VIERA is fourteen years old and just finished first year of junior high school. He loves God, baseball, dancing, and hanging out with friends. Josiah is an honorary bench coach for the State College Spikes, the newly ‘hired’ bench coach for the TriValley Junior High baseball team, and an honorary member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Every day, Josiah’s goal is to enjoy life and to simply have fun!

 

JAKE GRONSKY is a former professional baseball player in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Jake now works with former and current professional athletes, writing stories of faith, courage, and perseverance. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and can be found on Twitter @Jake_Gronsky or contacted by email at Gronsky.Jake@gmail.com.

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

by G. David Bohner & Jake Gronsky

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x 1

9781620060223

240 Pages with b&w photos

SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Children with Special Needs

MEDICAL / Diseases / Genetic

 

 

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com

A Past-Life Gothic Mystery and Thriller

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In the Fall of 1926, Judd McCarthy disappears while travelling between two small towns in the Midwest. Thirty-three years later, Joel Hampton is victimized by nightmares and blackouts until he assumes a different personality that is prone to violent outbursts. When psychiatrist Ned Finley is brought into the case, he traces Joel’s memories back to Judd McCarthy and suspects Joel may be reliving another life altogether.

Book overview:

In the Fall of 1926, itinerant laborer Judd McCarthy disappears with a company payroll while traveling between two small towns in the Midwest. Thirty-three years later another man, lawyer Joel Hampton, thinks he is going insane. Victimized by nightmares and blackouts, Joel is prone to sudden, unpredictable violent outbursts. Psychiatrist Ned Finley, who becomes involved in the case, believes that Joel’s problems defy traditional psychological explanations. Under hypnosis, Joel expresses memories that appear to belong to another person. Finley consults with his good friend Aurther Schlepler, a reluctant psychic who once worked with police departments to solve difficult homicide cases. Schlepler has taken up permanent residence in the Farmington State Mental Hospital to avoid “the truly insane who live on the other side of Farmington’s massive walls.” With Schlepler’s assistance, Finley starts to peel away Joel’s suppressed memories. Under hypnosis, Joel remembers a time when he apparently lived in Carver County in 1926 and knew a woman by the name of “Katharine.” However, Joel’s wife Susan informs Finley that her husband was not born until 1927. As Joel’s violent outbursts steadily worsen, Finley becomes convinced that his patient is slowly being possessed by the spirit of a man who was prone to violence and once lived in Carver County. Finley eventually journeys to the small town of Danvers, where he learns of a man who disappeared in 1926 while transporting a company payroll between two small towns. As Finley struggles to learn what happened to Judd McCarthy, and why his spirit seemingly lives on in Joel Hampton, his own life is threatened by some menacing presence in the small town. Meanwhile, Joel, who has fully assumed the persona of Judd McCarthy, remains under sedation at the mental hospital, where he plots an escape and dreams of the mysterious Katharine who lives on in his memories.

Book review:

"This expertly written thriller, a kind of Stephen King-Ross MacDonald hybrid (and in a class with either) beautifully evokes the feeling of a small town dying—its buildings, its streets and, most of all, its lost souls."

~ Publisher's Weekly

About the author:

Dennis M. Clausen was born and raised in a Minnesota small town near the South Dakota border. His early years on the prairie provided the inspiration for his novels and other literary works that chronicle the struggles of these small towns to survive in modern America. In addition to writing and publishing since the early 1980s, he has been a professor of American literature and screenwriting at the University of San Diego for forty-six years. Currently, he is working with Sunbury Press on several literary projects. The Search for Judd McCarthy and The Sins of Rachel Sims, novels that feature the fictional character Ned Finley’s research into early-life and other human memories, are scheduled for publication in early summer of 2018. The Accountant’s Apprentice, a novel set in San Diego at a time when the homeless population was increasing dramatically, is scheduled for publication in October of 2018. My Christmas Attic, the story of a young boy struggling with dyslexia and the loss of his father in the Korean War, will be published in late November of 2018.

Check out the author's website for more exclusive information:

Dennis Clausen

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

by Dennis Clausen

BROWN POSEY PRESS

Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .7

9781620067574

224 Pages

FICTION / Literary

FICTION / Psychological

FICTION / Small Town & Rural

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com

The Joes visit famous graves in the big city

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When Joe Farrell and Joe Farley researched Pennsylvania graves, an old movie inspired them to shed light on the graves of famous people in New York.

Book overview:

The Joes ventured to the Big Apple and its boroughs to visit the graves of the rich, famous, and infamous.

This first volume of the Gotham Graves series focuses on those persons famous in and around New York City who were fascinating figures in their times, such as:

  • Louis Armstrong
  • Anne Bancroft
  • Nellie Bly
  • Jim Farley
  • ...& more!

This second volume of the Gotham Graves series focuses on those persons interred in and around New York City who were interesting figures in their times, such as:

  • "Gentleman Jim" Corbett
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Irving Berlin
  • Lou Gehrig
  • ...& more!

Farrell and Farley have combed New York City to bring you the most entertaining biographies about interesting people buried in New York.

Book review:

"I might sound a bit strange, but have always found a sort of peace walking through graveyards and reading the headstones of all who have gone before me. I try to read as many books as I can find on graveyards and cemeteries, and people’s final resting places, so this book was of special interest. Not to play favorites, but the one who got my attention in this book was Dorothy Kilgallen. I’ve always been interested in her life, and also supposedly controversial death. Thank you to Netgalley and Sunbury Press, Inc for an ARC of this book."

~ Julie, Amazon costumer

About the author:

In 1975, Joe Farrell hired Mr. Farley to work in the Governor’s Action Center. Nine years later Farrell would repeat his mistake by hiring Mr. Farley to work for him at the Public Utility Commission. On May 21, 2010, after 35 years of state service he retired. Mr. Farley has not returned to work because he has been unable to find a cushy high paying position like Joe Farrell’s. In addition, Mr. Farrell has apparently learned from his past mistakes as he has not attempted to hire Mr. Farley a third time. As a result, Mr. Farley has concentrated his efforts at co-authoring his books Keystone Tombstones.

 

To learn more about the authors:

Authors

To purchase:

Volume 1:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Volume 2:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com