Copyright 2013 © Chris McMullen



Beating a Dead Horse

Beating a Dead Horse

Artwork by Melissa Stevens @ http://www.theillustratedauthor.net.

“Beating a Dead Horse” is the follow-up to the original poem of clichés, “Once Upon a Time.”

Out of the gate, the detective was bored out of his mind.

Not a single person was even horsing around.

He couldn’t hold his horses for a case to work on.

It was a one-horse town, but it wasn’t his horse.

Then a damsel in distress strolled into his office.

She was a bombshell; a perfect ten; out of his league.

He was a silly goose to be daydreaming about her.

What chance did a loser like him have with a girl like her?

So he picked his eyeballs off the floor and stuttered like glue.

Turns out her horse had been murdered in the dead of winter.

Even worse, she caught someone beating the dead horse.

It was a knight in shining armor beating the poor beast like a drum.

A knight living in 2013? Sounded like an open and shut case.

It would have been a challenge if the knight had had some horse sense.

What kind of fool would linger at the scene of the crime like that?

He told the damsel that he would take care of the matter.

The next morning he went to see the horse with his own eyes.

It was an absolute nightmare; the horse was literally black and blue.

Now that was a horse of a different color.

Her story fit: The horse had been struck by the broad end of a sword.

The detective went to the station to call in a favor.

They gave him the address to the only castle within a hundred miles.

Sure enough, he found the culprit just where he thought he would be.

The detective asked the knight to confess to his sins.

He had no doubt, but wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.

But it was no use: The knight wouldn’t say a word.

It was like putting the cart before the horse, without first having proof.

So the detective went outside to dig up the buried hatchet.

Of course, it was a sword, not a hatchet, but you get the idea.

The sword had the knight’s fingerprints all over it.

However, the knight still denied it. He pleaded innocent.

Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

There was one thing the detective needed to make his case: Motive.

What he had was only close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades.

The detective pried into the knight’s life like a crowbar.

Turns out that the knight was up to his ears in debt.

He had been sued for food that turned out to be horse meat.

So the knight had bet all of his money on a long shot.

He was hoping it would be a dark horse that would make his day.

But the damsel’s horse edged it out by a nose.

The knight begged the damsel for mercy.

He lost his cool when the damsel got on her high horse.

That’s when the knight plotted his revenge.

The knight showed up at her house with a box of chocolates.

She had been hungry enough to eat a horse.

So she looked the gift horse straight in the mouth.

That candy had a sedative that knocked her out like a light.

The knight slipped into the stable to do his dirty work.

But he was too late: The horse was already stone dead.

The horse’s heart just couldn’t take it anymore.

The knight couldn’t even do a simple thing like kill a horse.

So he took his frustrations out on the poor horse’s corpse.

The case was solved; it was a done deal; finis.

He reported his findings to the damsel. She was impressed.

What the heck? He got up the courage to ask her out.

The worst she could do was crush his heart like a bug.

Yet that didn’t happen: She took him up on his offer.

They got married and lived happily ever after.

He never could figure out what she saw in him.

Not that he minded one little bit.

He would have given an arm and a leg to be with her.

And that’s exactly what she saw in him: chivalry.

In the end, it didn’t take armor to be a knight.

Click here to see the original poem of clichés, “Once Upon a Time.”

Copyright © 2013 Chris McMullen. Educators and parents may use this poem for free for non-commercial, instructional purposes.

Book Reviews, Interviews, Guest Blogs, & Author Support

Cool Books

I see many bloggers doing book reviews, author interviews, guest blogs, and supporting authors in several ways. That’s awesome! 🙂

I’ve been wanting to do such things for some time now, but the main hurdle has been something that I often preach on my blog:

  • Gear your content toward your specific target audience.

If you write a sci-fi book, for example, a blog that attracts sci-fi readers is the best place for a book review or author interview. Much of the content on my blog, in contrast, is of general interest to many different kinds of authors.

As you may have seen in a recent post, I finally thought of a way to help provide a small measure of support for specific authors and books in the context of my usual content. I plan to make more posts of this sort in the future, including:

  • Demonstrating what is marketable about specific books.
  • Illustrating marketing strategies that specific authors are employing.
  • Showing specific book covers that work well.
  • Discussing marketing features that specific author websites are utilizing.
  • Describing specific books, authors, or websites that provide good examples of some marketing, publishing, or formatting concept.

I feel that specific examples can be instructive, and by featuring a specific book or author, I would be supporting fellow authors in a small way.

Note that I will only mention books or authors by name that I feel are doing something well. Although it may be instructive to point out mistakes, I won’t point out any mistakes of specific books. (When I do point out common mistakes, which can be useful, I do it in general terms, not in reference to any specific books or authors. Well, I may point out my own mistakes, but that’s different.)

Another way that I plan to provide a little support to fellow authors is with some new pages. You can see one of the new pages already, called Cool Books (look for it on the index at the top of the page or in the sidebar to the right). It just has a few scary books right now, but I’ll be adding to it as I get the chance (keep in mind that I’m also working on the Read Tuesday stuff).

If you have an author interview or guest blog in mind that coincides with the publishing or marketing content that I often provide on this blog (e.g. you want to discuss your publishing or marketing experience), please feel encouraged to contact me with your proposal. 🙂

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Kindle MatchBook has Launched at Amazon (Updated)

Just Launched

Update: It looks like Amazon has updated Kindle MatchBook to display an advertisement about Kindle MatchBook on the top of the page for print books, where there is a corresponding Kindle edition enrolled in the MatchBook program.

Note: As of October, 2019, the Matchbook program has been canceled.

Today Amazon launched the new Kindle MatchBook program. There is an advertisement for it on Amazon’s homepage, presently, and a very brief email was sent out to authors who had already signed up for it.

The idea behind the MatchBook program is to allow customers who purchase a print edition of the book to receive a significant discount off the Kindle edition of the same book (it may even be free).

MatchBook only applies to books where the same edition is available both in Kindle and in print (i.e. paperback or hardcover).

Not all books are in the MatchBook program. The publisher (or author, if self-published) must manually enroll the book in the program. Some publishers may opt not to do this. The discount is also at the publisher’s discretion, provided that it is a minimum of 50% off the Kindle edition’s list price (and must be free, 99 cents, $1.99, or $2.99).

You can learn more about the new Kindle MatchBook program by clicking the following link, which goes to a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) page:


If the Kindle edition offers MatchBook, you’ll see one of three things near the top of the Kindle edition page:

  • Nothing at all if you already own the Kindle edition. Why frustrate you by showing you that you could have bought it for less by waiting for MatchBook to come out? If you want to see the MatchBook offer, log out of Amazon first.
  • An offer to buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you already own the print edition of the same book.
  • A note that you could buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you also purchase the print edition if you don’t already own the print edition.

There are a few important things to note here:

  • If you try to give the book as a gift, you must pay the full list price. Apparently, the MatchBook price doesn’t apply to gifting. That’s too bad, as it would be a nice incentive for someone to buy the print edition to keep and the Kindle edition to gift. However, you can keep the Kindle edition and give the print edition away as a gift (or try to resell it used, perhaps).
  • It looks like you can only buy one Kindle edition at the MatchBook price. This may help to prevent possible abuse.
  • The print edition page now includes an advertisement about the MatchBook program at the top of the page if the Kindle edition of the same book is enrolled in the MatchBook program.

A cool thing about MatchBook for authors is that if you ordinarily earn the 70% royalty rate on a sale, you still earn 70% if the MatchBook price is below $2.99.

Note that if you make the MatchBook price free, MatchBook sales won’t affect your book’s paid sales rank. Instead, they will affect your book’s free rank. This is what KDP told me after a week of research. If you discover otherwise, please share the news. 🙂 (It will be interesting if your book toggles between free and paid sales ranks with a free MatchBook price, since some customers will still be buying the book at the list price because they don’t own the print edition.)

It doesn’t look like the month-to-date sales report will help you see how many MatchBook sales you have, but you should be able to see it in the six-week report. Unfortunately, it will be a while before any MatchBook sales appear in a six-week report since the program started today.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Book Proposals for Indie Authors . . . WHAT?!


One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you can spend more time writing your book instead of investing much time and effort writing and sending query letters and book proposals.

However, it is still beneficial to indie authors to learn how to write a book proposal and apply it to their own books.

I don’t mean to actually sit down and write a detailed, lengthy proposal.

I do mean to consider the ingredients, think how you would prepare each part of the proposal, and do the research that it would entail.

Why? Because it can help you with your marketability and marketing.

When you write a book proposal, you’re trying to convince a publisher that your book is marketable. Writing a proposal will help you better understand how to improve your book’s marketability and how to market your book.

Here are some examples:

  • A book proposal requires you to identify your specific target audience. You need to pinpoint your audience, justify it, and research numbers. The publisher wants to know that the audience exists and how large it is. Why do this? When you design your cover, write your blurb, and choose categories and keywords, you will know who you are trying to sell your book to.
  • You need to make lists of current competitive and complimentary titles when you write a proposal. The publisher wants to see proof that books similar to yours can succeed, to know if your book fills a need, and to determine if the market is already saturated. Why does it matter to you? First, you should share these same concerns. Second, checking out similar titles will help you see what kinds of covers attract your target audience and show you what kinds of formatting are common in your genre.
  • Your experience and expertise are important when proposing a new book. Not only that, but you must present these in a way that will show that you’re the best person to write your book. Why bother? If your author biography is effective at convincing customers that you’re well-suited to you write your book, this can be significant.
  • A query letter must catch the editor’s or agent’s interest while also briefly describing your book. So what? Well, doesn’t a blurb basically achieve this? Your blurb shouldn’t read like a query letter; they are two different things with different objectives. However, they do both need to catch attention and briefly describe what to expect. A little practice trying to sell your book with a query letter may help you see your blurb from the perspective of marketability.
  • You must research marketing options and prepare a promotional plan as part of a book proposal. Publishers want to know what you will do to help sell your book (not what you’re willing to do, but what you will do—if you ever write a book proposal, this distinction will be important). Why worry about marketing? Because, unfortunately, books generally don’t sell themselves. It’s better to learn about marketing before you publish your book than afterward. You should do pre-marketing, such as building a following and creating buzz before you publish. You’ll want to have a concrete marketing plan in place when you do publish.
  • A proposal also requires you to prepare an outline, sample chapter, and chapter summaries. If the editor becomes interested in your book, this will help the editor see your project in more concrete terms. Why does it matter? The sample chapter of a book proposal should sell the book to an editor. Similarly, the Look Inside sample of a book must sell the book to a buyer. The outline and chapter summaries can help you see the structure of your book, make connections, and keep things in order. It can also be a useful planning tool to authors who like to plan things out before they write. Authors who write by the seat of their pants might still find it helpful afterwards.

If you go through the trouble of trying to get published and get rejected or change your mind, use the experience of writing the query letter and book proposal to help you with marketability and marketing.

Note that Candace Johnson at Change It Up Editing has a 10-step article in progress on how to write a compelling nonfiction book proposal.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Stats Junkies and Why I Am Not One

Many of us check our stats rather frequently. This post makes a great point about people being more important than stats. Stats can be useful, but the most important things may lie beyond the stats.

S.K. Nicholls


A psychiatrist once told me, “Statistically speaking, you should be dead.”  A long time ago, after suffering a multitude of tragedies, I went to see a psychiatrist on the advice of a friend who felt I was too happy, and thus, there must be something wrong with me.

I didn’t quite know how to take what that psychiatrist had to say to me, or what my friend had to say.  I dismissed them, but agreed to go into therapy.  I stayed in that therapy with that same therapist from the age of 19 to the age of 36, when I got divorced and moved to Florida.

He was an old man, this therapist, even when we first met, and reminded me of my grandfather.   He served as a sounding board, a sort of third party perspective.  He studied Tibetan Buddhism, and used to talk to me in parables and stories…

View original post 576 more words

An Example of Successful Nonfiction Marketability and Marketing

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Today, instead of discussing marketing ideas in general terms, I will provide a specific example.

I think this will be quite useful. This post features a specific nonfiction book, which has many instructive marketability features, and its author, who has done some wonderful things in the way of marketing which are accessible to most authors.

The e-book is currently number #1 in Happiness at Amazon, and was in the top 1000 in paid books in the Kindle store when I checked on it last night. This is a result of the book’s marketability combined with the author’s marketing. I will try to reveal many of the instructive features that have made this book successful, with the hope that doing so may help other authors.

I plan to do a future post on a fiction book, too. I also have one in mind that features a specific website with instructive marketing and publicity features. If these work out well, I’ll consider preparing posts like these more often.

The book I selected is Happiness as a Second Language by Valerie Alexander. This book is available as a paperback, e-book, and audiobook. I happened to discover Valerie’s blog several months ago and immediately bought the book because it strongly appealed to me. (I have several books from my fellow bloggers, and you can bet I’ll be a happy shopper on Read Tuesday.)

I recommend checking out the paperback edition on Amazon. Explore the book’s detail page and the Look Inside. There are specific features that help its marketability. I’ll refer to these; if you see them for yourself, it will be more instructive. The Kindle edition has the much better sales rank presently, but the paperback edition has some nice formatting that I’ll mention in a moment.

What makes this book so marketable?

Several things:

  • The concept: Who doesn’t want to be happier? It’s a hot commodity. But it’s not just happiness: It is teaching happiness like it’s a foreign language (which correlates with experience).
  • Cover appeal: (1) Yellow is a happy color, which fits the theme. I like the ‘A,’ because it sends out good vibes. I feel happy just looking at it. (2) Three color rule: Mostly yellow, contrasting with black and red nicely. (3) Easily readable, yet the font is interesting and seems to fit the theme. A large title is common in nonfiction. (4) Grabs the attention of the target audience quickly. (5) Simple yet effective. Didn’t make the mistake of being too busy.
  • Effective blurb: It’s concise and clear. It comes right out with the best stuff. What’s really nice is that it presents ideas that seem foreign, so you feel like there is a lot of material you can learn, but it also makes everything seem like it might be easy to understand (“happy colors” isn’t technical jargon, but sounds easy to learn and apply).
  • Formatted blurb: Note the occasional use of boldface and italics, which can be done through AuthorCentral.
  • Emotion: Check out Valerie’s bio. She experienced life’s challenges and overcame them with the techniques that she explains in her book. It’s a moving success story. Notice that she just briefly mentioned her low point in her bio, instead of going into detail her. Wise decision, I think.
  • Smile: Her author pic shows a nice smile, which it must, because she’s selling happiness. The photo is appealing, which is important.
  • Professional Look Inside: This is very important. Once the cover and blurb entice the reader, the Look Inside has to close the deal. The copyright page shows that it was published by Goalkeeper Media, Inc. Look at the bottom of the copyright page where it lists people who took the author photo, designed the cover, did the cover layout, and designed the interior; you’ll find similar information in many traditionally published books.
  • Design marks: The design marks on the first page of each chapter and the page headers look professional (I’m referring to the paperback edition). Note that the page header marks are light so as not to call too much attention from the reader (and distract from the reading). If you can find any of the tables or textboxes, they are well-formatted, too (maybe try searching for “Pop Quiz” in the Search Inside feature). Professional touches make a big difference.
  • Editorial reviews: A few of these on your book’s detail page can be helpful.

The book looks professional from cover to cover. This is so important. Combine this with content that appeals to a large target audience a book will have amazing potential.

That’s what readers want. They want books that appear professional from cover to cover and on the product page, where both the content and packaging appeal to them. Isn’t that what you want when you’re shopping for a book?

What did the author do to market this book?

Note that these are all observations that I have made on my own. I did contact Valerie to get her consent before preparing this post, but I have based everything on my own observations.

Like just about everyone else reading this post, Valerie has a blog. I checked out her Speak Happiness blog and the archives date back to January, 2013. I checked her Kindle and paperback product pages, and her publication date is April 30, 2013. Therefore, I see that she started building an online following and creating buzz for her book 3-4 months before she actually published it. Premarketing is very important.

You can see from her blog site that she—like many authors—is also active on Twitter and Facebook. Her headers are effective, too. They help to brand an image from her cover.

She doesn’t just have the social media going, she’s also an active and supportive member of the community. I know this firsthand from my occasional interactions with her on both of our blogs.

Creativity can be put to good use in marketing. Check out the Reader Gallery on her blog site. You see pictures of readers holding her book up. This was a clever idea, and Valerie succeeded in getting participation.

One of the best things, in my humble opinion, that Valerie has done in the way of marketing is to get visibility among her target audience in high-traffic areas. This can be huge. She achieved this by publishing articles that relate to her book’s content. This is a very valuable resource that most authors don’t bother with. There are so many places online and offline that need relevant content that it gives you a chance to succeed in getting an article published and mentioning next to your name, Author of My Book Title.

Valerie published multiple articles with the Huffington Post. You can’t do it if you don’t try. Valerie tried and succeeded, and it greatly helps with exposure.

When I first contacted Valerie to mention that I enjoyed her book, months ago, she had asked very politely if I might be interested in doing a blog interview with her. At the time, I said no. As you know if you follow my blog, I don’t presently do book reviews or blog interviews. But it shows that she was contacting bloggers to help gain exposure. From a recent comment she made on one of my blog posts, I learned that she’s had some recent success with bloggers featuring her book. (Yes, today, months later, I have featured her book. I still don’t do interviews or book reviews so-to-speak, but I am testing out the idea of preparing posts with useful marketing ideas that feature a specific book.)

I think it’s very notable that she didn’t price her e-book at the bare minimum. Her original e-book price was $6.99. I’d say that most of the books in the 99 cent to $2.99 price range (but note that I myself have some for $2.99) should actually be in the $3.99 to $5.99 range instead. Exceptions might be the first book in a series or every book in a really long series, for example. I know some authors with marketable books whose sales actually increased when raising the price from $2.99 to $3.99. Many readers who get frustrated with a 99-cent or $2.99 e-book purchase shop in the $3.99 to $5.99 window, hoping to get what you pay for. (On the other hand, they still want value for their money. A short story can be a hard sell, but pricing a short story in the higher price range might not work out.)

You can create the perception of value. First, the price itself helps to establish this. Next, personal interactions with your target audience add value to your book. If you’re providing quality service like this and you have a marketable book, you don’t have to price at the low end of the spectrum.

Also note that a higher price may actually help your sales rank if you can succeed in generating sales at  the higher price. If a 99-cent e-book sells 100 copies per day, a $5.99 e-book that sells 50 copies per day actually makes more profit for Amazon. So Amazon should (for Amazon’s own benefit), and seems to, factor price into sales rank.

Her relatively higher e-book price also helped her achieve some recent success. Valerie placed multiple ads (BookBub, Book Gorilla, and others) for a special, one-time promotional discount of her e-book. Happiness as a Second Language is presently 99 cents, which is a huge savings. The promotion ends on Halloween, so you still have a chance to take advantage of this if the book happens to interest you. (I wasn’t asked to say this. I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.)

Valerie is just doing one huge promotion this October, and after that her e-book will be permanently priced at $4.99 (a discount off the original price, but nothing like 99 cents). I’m fond of this strategy. She went all-out to promote the daylights out of her book’s sale. She makes it very clear that it’s a one-time deal, which provides a sense of urgency. After the sale, nobody will be thinking to wait until the next sale.

I really like that she isn’t giving her book away for free, yet she is making highly effective use of a one-time sale. She’s getting ample exposure while still drawing royalties. Unlike freebies, since people are paying for the book, they’re probably actually reading the blurb to make sure it’s something they want and they are more likely to actually read the book once they buy it.

There are a couple of marketing tools that Valerie has used, which many authors don’t. One is a book trailer and another is an audiobook (there is a significant market for audiobooks, especially among truck drivers; if your target audience is in this market, it may be helpful to do).

An important note about Valerie’s book trailer is that she shot the video on her iPhone. You don’t need access to a professional movie studio to do this. If you need a little help, try contacting the film department at the nearest university. There is a good chance that a film student would be interested in earning a little income to help you out.

When I showed Valerie a draft of this post, she mentioned that she sees her shortcomings more than what she may be doing right and compares herself to other authors who seem to be doing everything right. If you feel this way, as many authors do, there is something you can take from this. Even authors who seem to have achieved various degrees of success struggle with doubts, find faults in themselves, and see greener grass on the other side. In a way, this can be good and help to keep you humble. It may be helpful to other authors to realize that even successful authors experience these same issues.

I hope you got something useful out of this article. In the past, I haven’t done interviews or book reviews. This is as close as I’ve come. I feel like I’m providing useful marketing content while also helping another author at the same time. Please let me know how you feel about this, as feedback will help me decide whether or not to try it again in the future.

Let’s offer a big THANK YOU to Valerie for allowing me to feature her book in my post.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Read Tuesday Progress and Plans

It's going to be HUGE!

It’s going to be HUGE!


What is Read Tuesday?

It’s a Black Friday type of event just for books. This is a great opportunity for readers to shop for books at discounted prices; not just for themselves—books make nice gifts, too. It’s also a great opportunity for authors to participate in a global one-day sales event.

When is Read Tuesday?

In 2013, Read Tuesday will be held on December 10. Mark your calendar.

Is it free?

Authors, self-publishers, and booksellers can participate for free. Everyone is eligible. There are no forms to fill out, no obligations. To participate, a book simply has to have a short-term discount including Read Tuesday, which is lower than the ordinary selling price.

Similarly, there are no special fees, sign-ups, or obligations for readers to participate. Simply buy discounted books on Read Tuesday at your favorite booksellers. Authors may choose to list their books in the Read Tuesday catalog (click here to complete the forms), and many authors will be promoting their books on their blogs and other sites on Read Tuesday.

Many of the participating e-books will be discounted at Kindle. Some e-books will also be available at Smashwords through discount codes (a list of discount codes will be displayed on the Read Tuesday website closer to the day of the event).

Many of the paperbacks will be discounted through CreateSpace discount codes or through authors’ or small publishers’ websites (a list of these discount codes will be displayed as well). If you’re buying multiple paperback books on Read Tuesday, the combined savings will help to offset the shipping charges, especially as the per-book shipping costs less when buying multiple books together.

Read Tuesday is not selling anything. There isn’t anything to subscribe to, either. The only things being sold are books, and that is being handled strictly by publishers, booksellers, and authors, as usual. Read Tuesday is not a middleman.

Where can you learn more?

Check out the official Read Tuesday website: http://readtuesday.com

Follow Read Tuesday on Twitter: @ReadTuesday

Like Read Tuesday on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReadTuesday

Tell your friends. The more interest there is among readers, the more authors will want to sign their books up; and the more authors who show support, the more readers will get interested.

How can you help?

Anyone can help. Just telling other people who enjoy reading books or authors who sell books about the event will go a long way toward making the event a success. Word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations are among the best ways to create buzz for a big event. This will help improve reader interest and author participation, which is a win-win situation for everyone.

Views, clicks, Likes, and Follows of any Read Tuesday posts or pages are very helpful. The more support prospective readers and authors see for the event, the more they are likely to be interested.

If you mention Read Tuesday in a post on Twitter, consider using the hashtag #ReadTuesday.

How is Read Tuesday coming along?

Here is how things have developed:

  • I didn’t get the idea for Read Tuesday until September 21st. So Read Tuesday has only been in the works for about one month.
  • Melissa Stevens designed images that anyone may use for free to support the Read Tuesday event in a positive way. You may have seen various authors and readers display this image on their blogs, websites, social media pages, and elsewhere.
  • The official Read Tuesday website launched on October 5, just three weeks ago. The Twitter and Facebook pages launched at approximately the same time.
  • In the first three weeks, the Read Tuesday website has had over 1,000 views and over 300 followers. More than 250 people have liked Read Tuesday’s Facebook page and there are more than 70 followers on Twitter.
  • Read Tuesday is being advertised on multiple websites (even though it’s not a company and no individual or business is profiting from this investment). Tens of thousands of people have seen an advertisement for Read Tuesday with the targeting directed toward authors and readers.
  • Authors and readers have been talking about Read Tuesday. People have contacted me to inquire about Read Tuesday, telling me that they heard about the event through other people’s (i.e. not mine or Read Tuedsay’s) blog or Facebook pages. I’ve seen Read Tuesday mentioned a number of times on Twitter, too.

What’s next?

Here’s what we’re looking to do presently and in the coming weeks:

  • Continue building buzz for Read Tuesday. Until now, much of the focus has been on spreading the news to authors, encouraging them to sign up or show support. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to this. We’re planning to start spreading the news to more readers, too. If you have ideas for posts and articles that may attract readers, please feel free to share them (or to write and post your own article on your blog, publish it, or submit it for consideration to be posted on the Read Tuesday blog—remember, you’re welcome to use the Read Tuesday images for free to support the event in a positive way). If you’d like a blog interview on your blog or website about Read Tuesday, we will try to accommodate requests (if you’d like to get interviewed on a website to talk about Read Tuesday, that would be great support, too).
  • We’d really like to go outside the blogging and social media world (in addition to this, that is) to try to attract readers and authors. If you can think of affordable advertising suggestions that may target this audience in this way, we’ll consider them. There is also the free alternative, which is publishing an article, getting interviewed, or getting the media to write an article about Read Tuesday. I’ve been working on this. If you have suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them. If you have access or connections, please feel free to help. Remember, you’re welcome to write your own article and may use the images for free to help support the event.
  • I’m contacting marketing and publicity contacts that I have. You’re encouraged to do the same, or to connect them to me if you don’t want to approach them about this. Some people have already volunteered to help spread the word in November or early December (I appreciate all the help we get, and a big thank you to anyone who has helped or supported in any way). I’m trying to get exposure with sites that have a lot of traffic or a large readership among authors or readers (any help or connections with this would be great, too). What would you think about an article in the CNN Community? It may get attention in that community even if CNN doesn’t do anything with the news. Any ideas, suggestions, or contacts in the way of publicity would be quite welcome.
  • This week was insanely busy for me, but the coming weeks should at least be sane. 🙂 I’m working on the author and book catalogs. I plan to improve the layout and design (at least, up to the point where the catalog may become too extensive for me to keep up with it, but it isn’t there yet—if it starts to look extensive in the coming weeks and you’re interested in volunteering, I might take you up on the offer). A visually appealing, well-organized catalog may help to improve interest among readers and authors both. You should see some growth and improvement in these catalogs in the coming days.
  • I received a suggestion to describe Read Tuesday somewhere like Indiegogo, which might get the event a little exposure while also helping to raise some advertising funds. Obviously, if every author contributed a small amount, it would raise a lot. But I want Read Tuesday to be free for authors, and my hope is for authors to benefit from the Read Tuesday promotion. I really don’t want other authors starting out in the hole, so I’m quite hesitant to do this. If you can think of sites where we can get similar exposure, but where we won’t be asking for money, those would be really handy suggestions.
  • As we get closer to Read Tuesday, authors may want to promote the Read Tuesday even while simultaneously promoting their own books. The Read Tuesday flag (remember, you can use the Read Tuesday images for free to support the event) may be able to help you market your own books in this way.

Ideas, suggestions, and comments are not only welcome, they’re even encouraged. 🙂

Chris McMullen, Coordinator of the Read Tuesday event