Today, I’m quizzing YA author Adam Stiles about how he plans to promote his first book. Adam also talks about his writing influences.
Can you tell me what aspects of promotion your publisher will handle? What do you plan to do?
Zeus submit all new works into a variety of databases and send out marketing information to retailers about their new authors. I will use this as a stepping stone for my own marketing ideas.
Of course, my launch, book signings and interviews such as these are an integral part of my marketing strategy, but I have several other ideas to help me stand out from the crowd.
The biggest of these plans revolves around the internet – in particular, my website, forum and Facebook fan page. Growing up, I was a part of several different forums and websites for various interests and I saw first hand how helpful these tools can be in growing a community. I can now use this knowledge and experience to help me achieve my own personal goals.
Finally, I can say I am working when I’m surfing the internet all day!
Since I am fairly close in age to the target audience for the book, I think I still have a pretty good idea of what will and won’t work in promoting the book to young adults.
Will you do a book launch or book signings?
My official launch is scheduled for May 7th at my old high school, St Edmund’s College in Ipswich. I plan to donate a signed copy to the school library, tell the guests and students a bit about how the series came to be and do a reading of the prologue. Afterwards I will hang around to answer questions and sign copies. The Queensland Times newspaper will cover the event, so hopefully that will generate publicity.
When the launch is out of the way I will organise signings and similar events. I plan to send out information and previews to any libraries and reader groups I can find information on.
Will you promote your book outside of bookstores?
Yes definitely, but at this stage my time has mainly been devoted to getting the launch sorted. Afterwards I will happily look into other means of promoting the book to the public. I did a lot of marketing as a part of my business degree so I’m sure I can come up with many ways of shameless self-promotion. One example is that I plan to print up shirts with the cover and logo on them so that I am advertising everywhere I go.
Describe your online strategy.
The whole point of my online strategy is to make readers feel part of a community. To do this I have to offer them content and insights that they would not get anywhere else. This involves me being active on my own site and Facebook fan page so that readers hear about things when they happen.
As the forum grows I am going to slowly release little titbits of information about the series, teasers for future books, fun facts or other things that I deem interesting. I have also started keeping a little diary about my progress on Act II so readers can gain an insight into my writing process. Things like these will go a long way in forming a loyal readership.
Another advantage of this strategy is that it helps me to identify what is working with the series and what isn’t, so I can make adjustments accordingly. There is nothing better than dynamic feedback directly from the readers themselves.
The main drawback was choosing a host and setting everything up. I crashed the forum so darn often in the initial stages that I’m scared to tinker with any settings!
Are you a full-time writer?
I am not a full time writer, but I do try to write every day, even if it just one sentence that I will end up deleting later. That way I always feel a connection to the process, and I won’t grow distant. Sometimes it just can’t be done due to other work commitments, but I try to stick to that plan as much as possible.
I also don’t believe in a structured ‘writing day’. If I’m feeling particularly inspired I can get in there and write for hours, but other days I might just read over what I’ve got already, or just brainstorm. As a general rule, I tend to write better at night when there are less distractions and I can focus on the story in front of me.
How would you describe your ‘brand’ as an author?
A lot of authors tend to be quite secluded, so to stand out from the crowd I literally plan to be IN the crowd. I’ve never been afraid to get in there and get things done, so my approach to promoting myself and the series will be no different. I plan to spend a lot of time interacting with the public and talking to readers, either in person or over the internet.
When all is said and done I would like to be thought of as the people’s author – the guy who isn’t afraid to mix with the fans, grow a community and make every single person feel like they are an integral part of what I’m trying to create.
How do your interests inform your writing?
I love a good story, regardless of whether it is a book, movie, game, or even anime. By seeing how others have achieved story-telling success in their chosen mediums I am able to put my own work in perspective.
I also love music, and often I find that a great song is the best way to get the creative juices flowing. Coheed & Cambria and Dream Theater in particular are amazing bands that I like to listen to whilst writing.
Who are your favourite authors?
My three favourite authors are Brent Weeks (Night Angel Trilogy), Sergei Lukyanenko (Night Watch Trilogy – though technically it is four books long) and Peter F. Hamilton (Night’s Dawn Trilogy). Though I wouldn’t recommend them to a young adult audience – there is a LOT of violence and adult themes in all three series – their storylines and styles have really influenced the way I think about the writing process. I only really started getting heavily into reading once I began writing, so similarities between those three authors and myself probably won’t be evident in Act I of The Uniques, but without a doubt I will take what I have learnt from those writers and apply it to my future work. The way they weave their tales is just so amazing it is impossible not to be drawn into the worlds that they have created.
Currently I am about half way through book three of Sergei’s series and am loving every moment of it.
If you could travel back in time to the moment before you sent off your first manuscript, what advice would you give yourself?
Full steam ahead. I haven’t regretted a moment of the process and wouldn’t do a single thing differently.
Adam Stiles, thank you.
Adam Stiles was born in Brisbane in 1988, but was raised and educated in Ipswich. He has a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in Physical Activity, and was employed at Big Dad’s Pies while studying. Despite being an avid reader, it wasn’t until his third year at university that Adam realised that he wanted to write for young adults. He used his holiday break to write the first act of his series, The Uniques. He plans to pursue careers in business management and as an author.
Click to visit Adam’s website for the book.
The Uniques on Facebook. (If you’re not a FaceBook member, go to Adam’s website, then scroll down to the heading on the right ‘Facebook Fanpage’. This should work.)
What’s next on Great (book) expectations? Later this week I’ll be posting an interview with the prolific George Ivanoff.
I’ll also be compiling and uploading my notes from a recent seminar at the Victorian Writers’ Centre – three fiction publishers/editors spoke about what they’re looking for in manuscripts.