I wrote a book! (Also, Invaders from the Deep is like a fever dream)

Hi folks! Long-time MSTie here. What sort of hobbies do you all have? As for myself, I got a novel published last year and I’m looking for advice for how to get the word out. The book is a weather-themed mystery for middle-school-age kids. It also has neat historical stories like the race to the South Pole and the development of RADAR in WWII. Do any of you have experience with advertising? Any tips or good places to spread the word? If you’re interested, the book is “The Weather Detectives” by Michael Erb (me) and is available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Also, I started watching Invaders from the Deep last night, and it’s really a trip! The bots look strange, Joel has a lot of hair, the intro and graphics are different, and the movie itself is bizarre. I felt like I fell into a parallel dimension with extra-low-budget MST3K. Anyway, I’m looking forward to watching more episodes from the backer collections! Happy New Year everyone!


buckle up

This is usually a task for the publisher. Are you self-publishing?

I published with a small publisher (Tumblehome Books). They do some advertising, but it’s pretty limited, so I’m looking for additional avenues to spread the word.

Also, along with the book, I made a website with weather activities, photos, and history: weatherdetectives.org. If anyone’s interested, check it out!

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Gotcha. And congrats!

Have you considered doing book readings? There might be programs local to you that can get you into libraries (which often do literacy and STEAM stuff for kids). Bookshops that cater to children readers are also an option and you might be able to work something out with the store owner yourself. Of course, the pandemic kinda throws a spanner into the works at the moment. Maybe something to keep in the back pocket for later…?

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Congratulations on your new book! :partying_face:

Oh, and just FYI:

I have a few ebooks out that never got any traction, so take what I say with due skepticism. First, congratulations on finding a publisher, no matter how small. The unfortunate thing is even large publishers will generally have just one title per year that they invest in marketing-wise, and the others are up to the authors. Book readings and signings are good, and try to get on local radio; there’s also that podcast thing all the cool kids are doing. Since it’s for kids, schools might let you come in for educational talks. Good reviews help: Following is a website with a list of reviewers, and what kinds of books they will review. Good luck! https://bookrevieweryellowpages.com

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Cool, thanks for the advice. Yeah, I tried setting up a number of signings at local bookstores and the local library, but they all decided not to host in-person events. I’ve gotten a few small reviews and even a mildly-positive review on Kirkus (THE WEATHER DETECTIVES | Kirkus Reviews) but it’s still tough to turn that into interest/sales. Thanks for the ideas about podcasts and local radio. Let me know if you all have any other ideas or connections!

By the way, what are your ebooks, ZeitgeistMeister?

I have three Scripture-based novels: Feallengod, Wars of the Aoten and The Job; and a couple of short story collections: A Time for Poncey and Red Hair Rising. And a few straight-on Scripture studies. They’re all free at Smashwords.com: Smashwords – About Craig Davis, author of 'Job: Caught Between Heaven and Hell', 'Red Hair Rising', 'A Time for Poncey — And other Stories out of Skullbone', etc. . They’re also on Amazon, but they charge 99¢. Thanks for asking.

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Oh cool! Did you have success with any particular advertising method, @ZeitgeistMeister? Or did you manage to get friends help spread the word for you? Good luck with you books!

There is, or at least was, a program at Amazon that if you made your ebook exclusive for Kindle, five days out of every quarter you could make it free for promotional purposes. I did that with The Job and gave away a lot of copies, but it didn’t have much of a residual effect on sales after each free period. What there was lasted a couple months, then sales drizzled to nothing. All my books are flat-out free now cause they’re not doing anyone any good by being ignored because of a pricetag, and they still get downloaded in a minor way. The only other thing I tried was ads on FB, and that resulted in nothing.