Amber, I was intrigued by your "A-mob-azon" promotion, an interesting variation on the Amazon Bestseller Campaign. Did you coin the term A-mob-azon? What can you tell us about this promotion and how it worked out for you?
I learned all about the Amazon Bestseller Campaign via websites and a couple of workshops that I went to. It seemed like a great idea except the part about asking people to donate things and then asking people to buy my book to receive those things. I wanted people to buy my book because they like it and help me because they believe in what I am doing.
I created the A-mob-azon event to encourage my friends, family and followers to buy my book on the same day and do it . . . Just Because. I made up the name A-mob-azon because I wanted it to be like an online Flash Mob. I feel that people like to feel connected by an event or a common cause and the excitement behind it.
My goal with the event was to reach the Best Seller list on Amazon, raise it in rankings, get it noticed and create a buzz. We chose a special date for the event to make it easy to remember. We called it a Flip Side Date, 2-12-12. I created a Twitter hashtag #amobazon and attached it to all of my tweets. I created an A-mob-azon page on my website with all of the information needed for the event.
One week before the event, I started marketing it by tweeting it daily, posting it on my personal Facebook and my Flip Side Stories™ page. I sent out a Facebook invitation to the event with the link to my A-mob-azon webpage.
The Friday before the Sunday event, I sent out one more mass email reminding everyone. I wanted to be sure to remind people who may only check email at work. On Saturday, one more excited announcement of the event to everyone. Then I held my breath.
On the day of the event, I tweeted and posted on Facebook the progress of the event throughout the day. I made it to #4 Best Seller in Values in Children's books. I made it to #325 in all books. Prior to the event, you had to use my name to find my book title. Now it is in the first spot for books titled Just Because.
A friend of mine, John Serpa, released his book, Link, and decided to launch his book the same way. He was just as successful reaching Best Seller in four categories for his business book. John’s book also jumped up to the top of the list for his title. Two success stories.
It's always good to think outside the box when planning events, and to make it fun for kids I noticed that you held a book launch party at a swimming school, complete with face painting, refreshments, book reading and book signings. Can you share any tips for doing book promotion events?
We actually had two different launches. The first one was a red carpet launch for our friends and family. We charged for the event. We had around 100 people attend. We announced the A-mob-azon at this launch.
Two days later, we had a free family friendly launch with activities for kids. We asked the Goldfish Swim School if they would sponsor the event because we like the company and it is a festive location. We presented it to them as a benefit to their company because they could invite their clients and the people we invite are potential business for them.
I promoted the free event in social media as well as local online and hardcopy newspapers. We hired a face painter and a magician. I had tattoos made and I did a book reading and signing. It was a great event and location.
Your interactive ebook is intriguing. How have you used that as a promotional tool, and how did you create it?
A friend of mine was taking a course in graphic design and needed a book to animate. I was happy to allow her to use mine. She did such a nice job that we decided that it would be a fun addition to the Red Carpet Launch party. She set up a touch screen computer for people to interact with at the event.
I also put it on my website. I give away the password to the interactive version for various things like the A-mob-azon, becoming a Flipsider and “liking” me on Facebook. My designer is available to do other children’s books – authors can contact me through my website if they are interested.
Any other book promotion advice for authors?
It is very important to create and continue an ongoing buzz about your book using social media well before the book is released and after. I have a Facebook page for Flip Side Stories™, a Twitter account (imaflipsider), a blog, I have been invited to be interviewed on many blogs and I’ve created a solid online presence.
About the Author
Amber J. Housey lives in Michigan with her husband and three children (and two dogs Mango and Hershey). She holds a Masters degree in the Art of Teaching. She taught preschool for many years and later became a first and second grade teacher in her hometown. She created Flip Side Stories™ and has published her first in the Flip Side series called Just Because. She hopes to inspire empathy and compassion for others through her books.