Marketing Q&A with Author Cathy Gildiner
Looking to improve your marketing and publicity efforts? Check out our Book Publicity Tips series where we ask real authors to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice to assist both new and established authors.
When do you recommend commencing a new title’s marketing efforts?
As soon as you begin writing a new book, start talking about it on social media and in your blogs and interviews. For example, if I see an article on resilience, I will write that it interested me because of the book I am writing on my patients who have made it through horrendous circumstances—even giving it a tentative title of Still Standing. You can always change the title later.
How do you use social media in your book’s marketing efforts?
My social media of choice is Facebook and blogging. I am a writer so I like words. Twitter is too short, Instagram and Pinterest are too visual. I build up friends on Facebook and interact with them and their interests. This develops loyalty, and then when it is time to push a new book, I have an audience and a loyal following. If you talk about yourself in more than 1 in 10 postings, it sounds too much like publicity hounding.
From past experiences, what is the best way to react to a negative review?
Totally ignore it. Never fan the fire. It will be yesterday’s news if you leave it—even if it is unfair.
How do you recommend using book reviews to market your titles?
I always use book reviews. There is nothing more convincing than a blurb from a reputable newspaper. I always put them on Facebook and Twitter and in my blogs. I make jokes about them and tell the reader my favourite parts. Almost all reviews have some gem lines. Find them and use them every time you post your cover.
From past experiences, do you have any tips for holding a book signing or book launch event?
Always have liquor, even if sold as tickets. Have it in a funky large bar and jam it with friends, and tell them to bring their friends. Whenever you do a book club make sure you get all of their names and emails and invite them to your new book launch. That should bring in a lot. Send out the invite at least 3 times. I always go to a nearby restaurant and get a 20% off coupon so people can come downtown, get a cheap dinner, then come to the launch across the street. It is a night out. It has to work for THEM.
About Cathy Gildiner
Catherine Gildiner has written the bestselling childhood memoir titled Too Close to the Falls. It was on the Toronto Globe and Mail’s bestsellers’ list for an amazing 157 weeks, and the New York Times list as well. A decade later, she published a sequel, a teenage memoir of life in the 60’s called After the Falls. Now she has written her third and final memoir called Coming Ashore, which covers her life as a student at Oxford in England, teaching in the burning ghetto in Cleveland, and finally her graduate school years in Toronto. She has also written Seduction, a novel about Darwin and Freud, which has been an international bestseller and was listed by Der Spiegel in Germany as one of the year’s ten best mysteries.
Have you ever held a book signing or launch event?