Sunday interview: Yvonne Eve Walus

New Zealand author Yvonne Eve Walus‘s novel, Murder @ Work, is published by Echelon Press.

1. What kinds of marketing have you done as an author?
I don’t think there is anything I haven’t tried. Public speaking, booksigning, personalised pens advertising my book, business cards with the book’s jacket at the back, bookmarks, conference bag goodies, website, bookexpo events.

2. What essential things about marketing did you learn that you wish you’d known from the start?
i. Be confident. Don’t walk into a bookstore with the mindset that you’re asking a favour when you approach them with your book. Imagine you’re doing them a favour letting them stock your fantastic work.
ii. Take a box of chocolates when you’re going to approach a bookstore manager or owner.
iii. Go for “value” – minimum cost for maximum impact. A cleverly designed black and white flyer can have as much impact as a colour one, at half thecost.
iv. Allow people multiple options of payment, including PayPal and creditcard.

3. Your novel Murder @ Work is published as ebook format. How has this impacted your marketing approach?
It hasn’t really. Murder @ Work is available in paperback as well as e-format, but I never give it much thought when I market the book. I believe most sales so far have been in paperback.

4. What have you learned from your experiences of trying to market your novel?
It’s harder that you could possibly imagine. It’s harder than doing a doctorate, harder than raising kids. Marketing a book is even harder than writing one.

5. What’s the most successful piece of marketing you’ve done?
Told all my friends I would never speak to them again if they didn’t buy my book for themselves and all their friends. 🙂 Seriously though, I believe my most successful bit of marketing is still to come: I’m in the process of organising a murder mystery evening (a public event with tickets and solving a fictional case etc), where I will pitch my book.

6. What advice would you give for authors starting out with marketing their books?
If you can afford it, get a public relations officer. If you can’t afford one at all, still get one (even if it’s your mother or spouse).

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