Marketing Q&A with Crystal Lake Publishing

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When do you start planning an upcoming release’s marketing?

Two months and ten days before the release. Ten days to brainstorm ideas with the author and run them through Crystal Lake Publishing’s usual release procedure. During that time, we also discuss the best options for our marketing fund – where to place ads. The rest of the time is used to set up podcast interviews, guest blogs, send out ARC reviews, and get blurbs from industry professionals. It’s also the time our proofreaders take one last look at the book. Then another two weeks for the final layout and uploading onto Amazon. If there’s time to spare, we do pre-orders.

With giveaways a popular form of marketing for publishers, do you find them successful? 

Unfortunately not. We give away two paperbacks of each title on Goodreads, which attracts a lot of attention to the cover and gets us onto a lot of ‘to read’ lists, but there’s no proof that these actually lead to sales. With giveaways via social media or blog sites, it’s more about building a positive relationship with the fans than attracting attention. In the long run, we want fans to have positive thoughts whenever they hear of Crystal Lake Publishing.

Have you ever held a book signing or launch event? How important are these in your overall marketing plan?

Yes. If it’s an author who already has a following, his/her fans want to hang out every now and then. It’s more about keeping the author and fans happy than making money, but it’s also a great way to build relationships with bookstores, and getting more of our books on their shelves.

Do you plan your social media posts far in advance or do you post as you see fit?

With every new release we create a marketing kit for the build-up to the launch (and launch day itself). It has quotes from ARC reviews and blurb reviewers with links. Basically it’s all our social media posts ready to go. Once the launch is over and we move on to the next title, these and new quotes are moved to the website and then to a marketing document for future ads or social media posts. A few times a day I’ll just copy and paste from this document all over social media. It saves a lot of time. And this document gets updated with every new release.

How valuable are book reviews for your authors? How do you leverage them to encourage sales?

Book reviews don’t sell a lot of books, but they do make books more visible, which is the key to success these days. Even a great book won’t sell if it’s not visible. By sharing these reviews all over the internet, we’re not just telling folks about a new book, but showing them that this book is hot. They’re not just missing out on a great story, but a book people are talking about. It’s also great motivation for the authors.

About Crystal Lake Publishing

With unmatched success since 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading indie publishers of mystery, thriller, and suspense books with a dark fiction edge.

Crystal Lake Publishing puts integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our operations. This is what we believe in. What we stand for. This will be our legacy.

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