Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Patricia Preston Talks Marketing

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Patricia Preston. Patricia will be talking about marketing. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Award-winning author Patricia Preston writes mainstream humorous romance, historical romance and comedy. She is represented by the Seymour Agency. Her newest titles are part of a standalone series, Love Heals All, for Kensington Books/Lyrical Press imprint. She has several other e-book titles available including a historical romance, TO SAVE A LADY, set in the French Quarter during the Battle of New Orleans. She also has a comic short story anthology, DIXIE DARLINGS, available in print. Besides writing she loves music, photography, graphic design, and visiting her favorite historical locales including the French Quarter and the Natchez Trace.

Beverley: How important is marketing for an author?
Patricia:  Unfortunately, I think it is important for an author to do some marketing.  More and more that is becoming the norm even if you have a publisher. Unless you’ve got a 6 figure advance and a publisher is trying to earn their money back, most of the promo is left up to the author or so it seems to me.  
And if you’re an indie author, it is all up to you. Of course, the best promo of all is a good book that readers love so write the best book you can.
Beverley:  What free marketing is available for authors?
Patricia:  There’s free social media sites like Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook. I don’t know how effective any of it is. And you can send out free newsletters as well until you reach a certain number of subscribers and find bloggers to host you on their blogs for free.
Beverley:  What marketing is available for a fee for authors?  
Patricia:  There’s a lot available if you willing to spend the money.  Especially paid ads in newsletters going out to readers, ads on reader websites, Twitter services and so on. Plus you can boost posts for Facebook page and that’s about the only way your page gets seen by anyone.
I don’t if anyone else has this problem with Facebook page ads or not, but when I have boosted posts, they are only shown to a small fraction of the number that is promised. For example, FB will have “reach 3500-9300” for $20. So I do the $20 ad and my post reaches an average of 600 people.  I have changed all kinds of factors about the target audience and number of days. Still the same thing. Like FB shows that are 53 million people with “contemporary romance” as an interest in my target audience, but only about 500-700 reached. With $10, I have average around 300-400. Plus they’ll send me notices to increase the money to increase the reach to 9000. I’ve done that and it might increase a 100. Maybe there is something I’m doing wrong, but it has been my experience that they are misleading their customers.
Overall, I don’t know how effective any promo is because there is so much of it now. It’s like the social media sites are just bombarded with ads.
Beverley:  How much should an author spend on advertising and how does an author make that decision?
Patricia:  I know writers who spend a fortune on promotion and swag and from what they say, it hasn’t helped their sales. I’m thinking overload as far as readers are concerned.
Also authors are bombarded with all this propaganda from “companies” trying to sell their services, promising all this success on social media. Like they have big secrets to selling more books, blah, blah, blah. I don’t figure there is any silver bullet.  
I would say set a small budget and try one thing at a time to see if it generates any sales before you invest a lot of money into it. Plus you have to consider whether you want to be spending more on promo than you make on the book.
Beverley:  Have you used someone to do your marketing for you? Why or why not? 
Patricia: No because I didn’t feel the expense was justified. Of course, it would free up time to write but in the end, you’d need to judge the results and if the marketing worked in producing sales.
Beverley: How have you marketed your books?
Patricia:  I’ve done a little of everything.
Beverley:  What did you find worked best?
Patricia:  Probably a paid ad in a newsletter.
Beverley:  How long have you been writing? 
Patricia:  Too long…
Beverley:  What genre do you write in and why?
Patricia: Mostly romance and sometime comedy when I’m depressed.
Beverley:  Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Patricia: My seventh grade English teacher.
Beverley:  What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Patricia:  I had to get rid of a husband.
Beverley:  What gets your creative juices flowing?
Patricia:  Music.
Beverley:  What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Patricia:  Having to go to the day job.
Beverley:  What do you have for breakfast?
Patricia:  Eggs and biscuits.
Beverley:  What do you wear when you are writing?
Patricia:  A big smile!
Beverley:  Where do you do most of your writing?
Patricia: In my writing cave.
Beverley:  Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Patricia:  Betty Boop. She’s racy.
Beverley:  Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Patricia: Melissa McCarty. She’s funny.
Beverley:  If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Patricia:  Go for a drive on the Natchez Trace.
Beverley:  What are you working on now?
Patricia:  Book four of the Love Heals All series. It’s Kayla’s story.

Blurb for Not Through Loving You

In the Southern town of Lafayette Falls, a new life brings together a woman with everything to lose and a doctor with everything to prove.
When a sickly infant is surrendered at the Lafayette Falls Medical Center, and orphaned soon after, pediatrician Aaron Kendall arranges to adopt him. After a painful divorce, the busy baby doc is about to realize his own dream of becoming a father when the baby’s beautiful estranged aunt turns up. She doesn't exactly approve of the Kendall bachelor pad complete with Aaron's cranky dad and wacky brother, forcing Aaron to form a risky alliance with her.
Country singer-songwriter Lia Montgomery barely knew her half-sister, but she's determined her tiny nephew goes to a good home. If only she fit the bill herself, but her stressful life on the road is no place for a baby. Yet despite her misgivings, as she gets to know Aaron, she realizes the smart and sexy doctor is everything a child could want in a dad and more unsettling, everything she's ever hoped for in a man. After all she's put him through, is it too late to form a family and maybe put a song in the good doctor's heart?
Sneak Peek: Read Chapter 1

Buy Links:
Barnes and Noble
You can find Patricia at:
Amazon  and BookBub
Facebook   Twitter    Goodreads Newsletter

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and more discussion of book covers. 


  1. Thanks for having me as your guest today!

  2. Thank you for the advice. I feel the same way and have found that the newsletters are the best resource for marketing right now. Facebook parties are all about the people wanting free.

  3. Melissa: You're right about the Facebook parties. I have done a few and it is all about the giveaways and the same people show up over and over. I only giveaway ebooks now. No gift cards. Also on Goodreads Giveaway, Goodreads doesn't screen the winners for being fake accounts. Learned that the hard way.

  4. Patricia, I enjoyed your post. It was good to see your take on advertising. I also love the Quarter and Natchez Trace. I'm in south La. Maybe you are, too?

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