Friday, October 28, 2011

Marketing Madness with P.J. Hoover: Keeping Your Sanity While Marketing

It's my pleasure to present P.J. Hoover, author and Texas Sweetheart (and general all around sweetheart) extraordinaire. :)

Thanks for inviting me to guest blog, Danyelle! It’s great to be back because I know not only are you awesome, so are your readers!

So I’m coming down from the past five months of marketing my young adult novel, SOLSTICE. I’ve tried lots of things in the last five months including:

1. Two back-to-back four week blog tours (equaling a total of eight weeks, 64 guest blogs and interviews)
2. Redesigning my website to incorporate new stuff
3. Creating trading cards for my main characters with QR codes linking to secret content
4. Creating secret content to go along with my trading cards
5. Facebook fan page
6. Book release blog giveaways
7. Author appearances including Comic Con, librarian conferences, workshops, symposiums, and signings
8. Author newsletter mailing
9. Group marketing with the Texas Sweethearts and Scoundrels including librarian newsletter mailing
10. Group marketing with YA Indie Carnival, posting weekly about varying subjects regarding indie publishing.
11. School career day participation
12. Massive postcard distribution

Yes, it’s a lot. Especially when I list it out this way. So with all this marketing stuff going on, what’s an author supposed to do in the months following a release to keep her sanity? I’ve thought a bunch on this, and here are some tips I came up with.

1. Commit to no more than doing one guest blog or interview a day. This way, it is not overwhelming, and it can become part of your daily routine.
2. Don’t miss days when you have outstanding guest blogs or interviews J
3. Do not check Goodreads every hour to see if there are any bad reviews.
4. Do not check Goodreads every hour to see if there are any good reviews.
5. Once you hit 50 reviews on Goodreads, stop looking at it altogether.
6. Do not check Amazon sales numbers every hour.
7. Set a schedule for when you check stats and stick to it. With marketing, it is important to correlate sales and website hits with your marketing efforts. Just don’t let yourself obsess over it.
8. Do not expect all your friends to buy your book. Some just won’t. It’s a fact of life, and if you accept it, you’ll be much happier.
9. Do not compare your sales numbers to others you find online. Every book is different. Every author is different. And the path a book takes will vary in every situation.
10. Do not believe everything you read online. There are lies abundant.
11. Commiserate with close friends.
12. Enjoy author events. If possible, attend these with author friends. It’s a sad, lonely place sitting at an author table all alone. If nothing else, bring a family member along to keep you company.

Above all else, have fun. It’s an important part of being an author, so look for ways to keep this enjoyment level high!

Thank you again for letting me be here! I appreciate the support J

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea. You can find her on her website, her blog, and an awesome book trailer for SOLSTICE here.

Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each other's minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he s looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.

At school, Benjamin discovers that he isn t really human but something called a telegen. It turns out that the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of a uneventful (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappears.

At the end of summer school, Benjamin was given one task-find his missing brothers. Should be easy right? But Benjamin can't locate a trace of them anywhere until he interns at his father's office over spring break. There he finds a mysterious file written in ancient Lemurian with his name on it. Could the answers that Benjamin seeks be in the past?

The situation in Lemuria is rapidly deteriorating. In fact teleportation between the hidden continent and the outside world has become so dangerous, all agents and their families have been recalled. Although Benjamin is pleased to be living in Lemuria full time, he knows he needs to find his last sibling soon. However, between classes, a murderous half-brother, and complications with his friend Heidi, Benjamin can barely focus. Besides, there's only one place left they haven't searched—the hidden continent of Atlantis.

Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom. 

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known.


  1. PJ, I admire all that you've done. I can't imagine all the time put into the marketing alone, which some tell is the toughest part.

  2. Great marketing tips PJ. You did an awesome job marketing Solstice.

  3. Thank, Miranda and Natalie! And thank you, Danyelle, for hosting me!

  4. Solstice sounds interesting and that cover is stunning. Thank you for the tips. I'll try to resist checking my Amazon sales for a bit.

  5. Great interview!! I've been hearing
    a lot about these trading cards for authors, something to look into for
    the future. Thanks!!

  6. God, she is such a busy person! Anyway, if you really commit and have a passion in everything that you do, you can do a lot of stuff in a day or in a month. Doing marketing needs a beautiful mind to organize strategies, tactics, and to conduct effective execution. And I'm happy to know that she can do all that stuff. She is such a strong-willed woman! Cheers!

    Kevin Beamer

  7. PJ, you've been very busy! Good points there. I'm taking notes. Your books sound interesting. I enjoy fantasy fiction with teens.


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