Tag Archives: marketing your book

Author of the Month

Authors of the month Karen Cumming and Pat Milne share book marketing advice that helped sell thousands of copies

Our authors of the month share insights on which marketing efforts led to the best results of their guide on navigating Ontario’s long-term care system

Karen Cumming and Patricia Milne are sisters who guided their 98-year-old mother, Verna, through Ontario’s long-term care system. They found themselves lost in a confusing maze of paperwork, equipment rentals, health care workers and medication. It was scary and unfamiliar territory where they felt alone. After navigating Ontario’s long-term care system, they wrote and published The Indispensable Survival Guide to Ontario’s Long-Term Care System.

Cumming and Milne have been featured on the CBC, Global News Radio and in the Hamilton Spectator. They have been interviewed on multiple podcasts as well as by influencers and bloggers on various social media platforms. In addition to online retailers, their book is available to purchase at various brick and mortar bookstores and over 100 copies of the book are available in libraries across Ontario. The sisters’ marketing efforts are paying off. Their book has sold thousands of copies this year alone and they are just getting started. Read the rest of the article to hear which marketing efforts yielded the best results as well as their advice to authors.

1. Tell us about yourselves.

Karen: I’m a freelance journalist, health promoter and teacher with a long career in radio and TV news.

Pat: I am a retired teacher living in southern Ontario with my husband.

2. What inspired you to write your book?

Karen:  The lack of guidance available to families whose elderly loved ones are heading into long-term care. It’s crazy!  Someone had to do something.

Pat: The frustration of navigating the long-term care (LTC) system with inadequate help.

3. Describe your book in a sentence.

Karen:  It’s the survival guide we never had, providing practical tips to help you and your family be proactive and prepared for the decisions that may lie ahead.

Pat: Our book is a tool to simplify the process of investigating long-term care in Ontario.

4. What are you most proud of about your book?

Karen:  The lessons we’ve been able to pass on to other families so that they might never feel the stress and frustration that we did.

Pat: Our intent was to help people. The testimonials we continue to receive are proof of our success.

5. Your book has been selling really well. You’ve been featured in major media outlets across Canada and have your book stocked in numerous bookstores and libraries. Tell us about how well your book has been doing.

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Book Marketing

How Tellwell authors are marketing their books during the coronavirus pandemic

Jennifer Chapin

The Poet & The Angel 

1. Describe your book in one sentence.

It is an elegy of love and redemption and tells the story of a little girl who sees the wounded spirit of a slain poet huddled near a fountain in Granada, Spain. She befriends him to give him his voice back.

2. How were you planning to promote and market your book before the COVID-19 crisis?

I had been approved by Indigo for a signing on April 18th in Victoria and had Tellwell create my promotional materials for that event.  I also had a reading set up at the Vancouver Public Library on April 19th and an event set up with the Victoria Public Library in May, as part of the emerging local author program.  All of these events have been cancelled.  Fortunately, I had an interview with Citizen’s Forum on YouTube before we were all told to self-isolate so I gained some traction there.  After many months of building online interest, the book was finally starting to take off; however, all of the events mentioned above are still available to me, when life resumes once more.

3. What are you doing now?

I’m still in the thinking stages of what to do next, but plan to set up my own YouTube channel to do readings and talks to post online, through my website and Facebook author page.  I am also planning to set up a series of podcasts.  Finally, I am building a community of authors around me whereby we read and review each other’s books and post them on Amazon by way of support.

4. Do you have any advice for authors?

My advice is to never give up.  If there is an obstacle in the river, float around it as there are always creative solutions available.  Also, form communities with like-minded artists to exchange ideas.  View this time as an opportunity for growth.  We are all in this together, globally.  If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need each other.

Read how Charlene Doak-Gebauer, Markus Matthews and Monique Gliozzi are adapting their book marketing strategies in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Tips & Tricks

Tips for writing an effective back cover blurb

You’ve written a book, so how hard can it be to write a couple more paragraphs for the back cover? It may seem easy in theory, but, writing a condensed yet enticing summary can be quite the feat. As an author, you know the contents of your book inside and out, but what does your audience need to know to convince them to read the book?

Here are some tips to write an effective and engaging back cover blurb:

Think of your back cover blurb as a roadmap for readers.

It’s your job to highlight the key things they will get from the book.

  • Start with a hook, something interesting to grab the reader’s attention right from the start. A poignant quote, pressing question, or pithy summary may be a great place to start. This is essentially the “pick-up line” of your book, so grab your audience’s attention with something powerful.
  • Your blurb should include context or background information to set the stage. For non-fiction, this could establish the premise of the book, and for fiction, this might be the setting of the book.
  • Next, you’ll need to introduce the main character(s) of the book along with some detail about their role in the plot development. Use adjectives that would help to characterize while keeping the description succinct.
  • Now that you’ve established a premise, you’ll want to tease the reader with the main conflict or problem in the book. For non-fiction, this could identify controversy, challenges or struggle in the book, and for fiction, this could hint at the climax of the story – although avoid spoilers.
  • It can be quite effective to end the roadmap with a twist or cliff-hanger to intrigue your audience. The twist could be phrased as a question or a dramatic statement, which tells your audience that reading the book will answer it.
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