The Ocean in My Ears sold out of its first print run in less than three months since its publication date in November 2017. It’s become one of Ooligan Press’ bestselling books. While those within the publishing industry attribute their purchase to the Kirkus Star Review that The Ocean in My Ears obtained, it’s likely that most of our readers found the novel in a different way: from must-read lists.
Goodreads, the Amazon-owned social media site for bibliophiles, introduced a major overhaul to its giveaway system in early January. Previously, giveaways were free to host, making them a popular and cost-effective marketing tool for indie authors and publishers. Readers eager to win free books would browse the giveaways page and enter any contests that caught their eye, resulting in lots of exposure for books that might not otherwise get seen. The only cost to the host of the giveaway was that of the book (or books) and shipping.
As a publicist, I am always curious about how much of an impact publicity actually has on a book’s success. So I decided to conduct a small experiment. For an entire week, I asked everyone I saw reading a book two questions: Where did you first hear about that book? And, why did you choose to read that one in particular?
The author questionnaire is the book marketer or publicist’s first opportunity to glean information about the author, their work, their connections, and anything and everything that can help connect the book to more future readers.
We were very honest when posting these pictures. It wasn’t like we were saying in mid-December, “This is what the forest looks like right now! Go try it and tell us how it goes!” But the pictures did allow us to create social media content highlighting the beauty of these forests and reminding those of us who were still hibernating that Oregon (and the Pacific Northwest in general) can be a very beautiful place in the spring and summer. It allowed us to get people excited for new adventures after they finally thawed out.
The tip sheet is the DNA of any traditionally published book. It is a breakdown of every element of a book from its length to its market appeal, and, like DNA, it’s entirely invisible from the outside.