Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, James. Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?
Blood of My Brother is the story of boyhood friends whose bond is broken when one of them, a private investigator named Dan Del Colliano, is killed execution-style while on a job in Miami. The surviving friend, a lawyer named Jay Cassio, single, an only child who lost his parents in a plane crash, spirals into a depression that nearly ruins him, a depression that he comes out of only when he realizes that the authorities seem strangely uninterested in solving Danny’s murder. He begins his own investigation, which leads him to Isabel Perez, the mysterious and beautiful Mexican woman who hired Danny in Miami. Isabel’s history matches Jay’s in pain and hardship. They travel to southern Mexico in search of Danny’s killers, where their story of love, revenge and redemption reaches it’s surprising, and powerful climax.
What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?
This is my second novel published by The Story Plant, a small publisher in Connecticut. After the publication of my first novel, A World I Never Made, in 2009, I began the slow process of developing relationships with the bloggers who reviewed it. When Blood came out, I contacted these people, most of whom, about twenty in all, were gracious enough to agree to reading it and posting a review.
If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
Good reviews from people who love books I believe lay the foundation for all future marketing efforts. They give you and your work the credibility needed to convince others to take a chance on it.
Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
I do both, and I like both. There is satisfaction in hooking up with bloggers online, or sending out my newsletter and getting responses, or getting an unexpected rave review from someone who found me on Amazon or through my web site. And doing readings and signings in bookstores or people’s homes is a lot of fun. I really enjoy both.
Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
I use both. I have made contact with new readers as well as new reviewers through both.
Do you own a blog and how often do you update it? Did you set up your blog solely to promote your book and what is its effectiveness?
I just started a blog. I set it up to talk about the fun, the adventure and the wisdom that can be found in good fiction.
Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?
I don’t have one, so it would be hard for me to say. I will say that nobody will love your work or be able to market it more convincingly than yourself.
If an author prefers to do it alone rather than hire a publicist, where should they start?
The book-loving bloggers online.
James LePore is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.