Welcome Back to WG2E-Land, Nancy Brandon!
Here’s Nancy’s scoop on how her local newspaper gave her a nice boost in sales.
Take it away, Nancy…
Facebook. Twitter. Linked In. Blogs. Today the Internet makes communication so widespread and easy that millions have abandoned traditional newspapers and magazines. I’m the child of a journalist and a freelance writer myself, so while I appreciate the immediacy of information disseminated online, my chest aches at the thought of the demise of paper publications. Recently, though, an experience with Dunaway’s Crossing demonstrated to me how the traditional newspaper still holds some power in communication–and fosters a beneficial connection to electronic communications.
Even though Dunaway’s Crossing sells more electronic than paper copies, it does still sell a number of paperbacks. Because of the story’s foundation in Georgia history, it has a strong local following. So when a Savannah business, Two Women and a Warehouse, recently invited me to conduct a book signing, I enthusiastically agreed. The event took place just two weeks prior to my Dunaway’s Crossing launch party, so I sent a press release to Savannah Morning News publicizing both events. I was delighted when a reporter picked up the story and interviewed me for a piece in the paper’s features section.
The article ran the day before the signing. The editor had included a head shot of me and a cover shot of the book. Almost everything I’d said in the interview was included in the story. What’s more, the article appeared on the front page of the features section–top of the fold, left column. What a sweet spot! I’d expected just a short blurb in the inside pages.
While the article’s presentation delighted me, I still wondered about its impact. How many people still read the paper?
I soon found out. When I arrived to set up at Two Women and a Warehouse, a customer was already there waiting for me. She’d read the article and learned we came from the same rural Georgia town. She just had to buy my book. Over the course of the afternoon, as customers entered the store, I greeted them with “Did you come for the book signing?”
Every other one replied, “Yes. I read about it in the newspaper.”
I sold every book I brought with me that day. But the benefits have lasted beyond that one afternoon.
When that article ran, sales spiked, for both my Kindle and paperback versions of Dunaway’s Crossing. I can’t draw a definite cause-effect relationship, but neither can I help noticing the timing of that spike to the article’s publication. Not only did Savannah Morning News run the article in its print edition, but it also ran the piece through its companion website, Savannahnow.com. Readers (whether they saw the print or electronic version of the article) who couldn’t attend the book signing possibly logged on to Amazon and ordered the book or e-book instead.
True, electronic media serves a vast audience. I’m sure over time that audience will grow. But make no mistake about it; many people still love a good paperback, so if you have one as a companion piece to your e-book, keep in mind that newspapers are still an effective avenue of spreading word about your latest publication. The power of the paper led to the spike in my sales. It might lead to yours too.
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: How many of you also have paperback versions of your Ebooks? Has the benefit of having the paper copies available outweighed the costs (time and money) of producing them? Have you harnessed the power of your local newspaper to create buzz about your books?
The Best of The Power of Paper Wishes — Nancy Brandon
Nancy Brandon is the author of journalistic articles, academic articles, short fiction and writing textbooks. She teaches college English in Savannah, Georgia, where she lives with her husband and two children. Dunaway’s Crossing is her first novel. It is available on Amazon.com or through her website, http://www.NancyBrandon.com.