Note: Reprinted with permission from the author. Article first appeared as “A Guest Post: How a Book Publicist Launches Her Own Debut” on Chip’s blog, on August 5, 2013.

How a Book Publicist Launches Her Own Debut

How does one best introduce a book that is best described as Downton Abbey meets Wuthering Heights or as Bronte meets Austen?

I’ve worked many years as book publicist, but when it came time for the online promotion of Born of Persuasion online, I felt as overwhelmed as any new author might. There are many options!

But the first step of PR plan is always to identify your target audience and then set about reaching them, so I started there. That part was easy. My audience, I knew. They are historical fiction, romance, and women fiction readers.

When promoting authors, I worked under the assumption that the author’s personal interests will help me enlarge their target audience. After all, our personalities are woven into our books and who better to reach than kindred spirits? I always gain great insight on where to pitch his or her book just by asking what magazines they subscribe or by finding out what blogs they follow.

For me, I’m a crafter, decorator, I love Victoria Magazine, I drink tea, and collect teapots. So I added that to the mix of ideas. Authors can pull out themes and ideas from the genre of their novel. Since the Price of Privilege trilogy is set in England I added that, too, into consideration.

When you factor that together, it’s not hard to see why I chose an online tea party. I mean, what’s more British and tailored for women than tea?

So a tea party it was. But now the question was how to make it fun.

I started with giveaways. Who doesn’t love free stuff! They’re a huge promotional tool and 60-70% more effective than any other type of promotion. The standard giveaway for a book launch usually is an iPad, Kindle, Nook or free copies of the novel. I wanted something unique, something to stand out.

First, I thought a countdown would fun. Since my book releases September, I decided to have 31 Days of Giveaway–a month long promotion leading to the release date.

Second, I wanted prizes that would really generate excitement. Everyone (I know) loves Downton Abbey and it fits my book perfectly, so I made that the theme and gathered  amazing giveaways from artists, Etsy store owners, and companies.

To see the full list, click here.

I also began talking to blogs about featuring the giveaway that I would be promoting through social media.

Here’s where I have to thank Gina Holmes of Novel Rocket for her fabulous idea. She suggested making it an official Facebook Party and asking people to dress for tea, change their profile picture, and link it to my author page.

TeaParty

As you can see, we’re having a ball!  Each night I feature those who’ve joined the party. Some of my favorite blogs are also joining by sending me their picture. Check out those links, there are some very cool blogs out there!

Come join the tea! You’ll have a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of Born of Persuasion. And there are still more giveaways to come.

JessicaBookshalfsize_1Jessica Dotta has always been fascinated by the intricacies of society that existed in England from the Regency through the Edwardian era. She writes in a manner that blends past and modern fiction techniques. She lives in the Nashville area and works as a freelance media consultant and publicist. Her first novel, Born of Persuasion, releases September 2013. www.jessicadotta.com