If most authors are like me, they find the marketing aspect to be tedious and somewhat painful. That’s where book promoters come in to help take some of the burden off. I loved my experience with the ladies at Goddess Fish Promotions, Marianne and Judy, so much that I had to have them on my blog so I could find out the nitty gritty, behind the scenes information about the fantastic work they do.
What exactly do you do for your clients?
Marianne: We help them focus on writing more and promoting less. :-D
Currently, we offer various virtual book tour packages and graphic design services. We’re also in the midst of creating a package for authors who self-publish that will include cover design, banner design, social media cover graphics, tours, and other promotional opportunities. We’re still hammering out all the details, but hope to present it soon.
Judy: It's going to be very exciting!
How did you get into book promoting?
Marianne: About five years ago, I published my first full length novel. At the time, I could only find one virtual book tour company, and they charged far more than I could afford. So, I set up my own tour. By the time I was done (having had to find the blogs, contact them, complete the interviews, promote the stops, etc), I was exhausted, frazzled and frustrated … and realized there were more authors like me on a very limited budget who needed help … so I turned to my friend and business partner, Judy, and said words that have been known to make her shake in fear: “I was thinking…”
Judy: Fortunately, somehow we manage to take her "thinkings" and make them work! I don't like the words "no" or "we can't"…. I'm an Aries and those words are rarely in my vocabulary when it comes to a challenge.
Are either of you authors?
Marianne: Yes. I have several short stories and novellas published, as well as one novel, and I have some novellas I plan on publishing over the next year or so.
Judy: I've had one book published (was NOT a good experience…remember those "do not publish with this publisher" warnings? Yeah, I should have read those) and have had several short stories published. I have a lot of things in progress… now just to find the time to work on them!!
Is this your full time job?
Marianne: It is, and more than full time, really. I haven’t honestly taken time off in more than five years. Even when I go away “on vacation”, I have my computer and I work. My husband was very ill last summer, and I had the computer in the ICU. Our business is booming and it’s both a blessing and a curse. We love being busy and we love what we do, but some days I do miss the little things like outside hobbies and reading just for pleasure.
Judy: Yep, what she said. In fact, I was working outside the home (I was the children's librarian in my local public library) and as much as I loved the work and my co-workers, right before Christmas I took early retirement so I could dedicate more time to our business. And, like Marianne said, even when my husband and I go off, the computer goes with me and I work early in the mornings and then at night.
What is the hardest part about promoting authors?
Marianne: Honestly? Many times it’s the authors themselves. Don’t get me wrong … 99.9% of the authors we work with we LOVE. Frequently authors are their own worst enemy. Sometimes they don’t get their completed interviews back timely, or they don’t cross promote the tour stops, or they don’t genuinely and effectively interact with commenters on their stops.
Judy: One of the biggest things, too, is when they don't read the comprehensive instructions we send them at the outset of their tour … then they write and ask, "Do I do this-or-that?" Ummmm… it's in the instructions. It's frustrating and time-consuming. And time is our most precious commodity.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
Marianne: Seeing a book or author succeed. Seriously, we get as big a thrill as the author when we see their books in the top 100 at Amazon or when they get rave reviews during their tours. I swear, every author’s tour feels like my baby.
Judy: I love developing relationships with the authors (and hosts) we work with—and doing these tours has really added to my TBR pile!
Who’s been your favorite author to work with? The only answer I will accept is Nana Prah.
Marianne: Nana Prah of course! *G* … Honestly, I did enjoy working with you. You did everything exactly right (all that stuff up there I mentioned … you didn’t do those things). I really do tend to get attached to “my” authors, though, especially the ones I do a lot of interacting with and stalk …er … continue following them even if they move on.
Judy: I didn't handle your tour, but I DO like working with you as a host! You are awesome! And, Love Through Time is high on my TBR list.
Where do you see Goddess Fish in two years time?
Marianne: In a big green RV with a huge fish with pink lips painted on it, traveling the country and visiting with all the authors we’re dying to meet. Okay, maybe not two years … but watch out world, the green Goddess Fish RV is coming someday.
Judy: What she said :-) Truly, we would LOVE to get to meet IRL the authors and hosts we have gotten to know and love over the years. We are hoping to plan a meet'n'greet in the relatively near future … keep your eyes and ears open!
Marianne: In all seriousness, we just want to keep finding new and exciting ways to help authors attain the success they desire. Expect us to change with the times, but to always be around!
Please give us an analogy of what book promotion is like for you.
Marianne: ::: think, think, think::: … grabs head in pain from too much thinking.
Judy: ::: agrees with Marianne::: Clearly analogies weren’t our strong suit when we took the SATs way back when (I think we used a hammer and chisel to answer the questions on the stone tablet).
As a customer of Goddess Fish Promotions I would recommend them to all authors for their promotional needs. They’re affordable and so easy to work with. My experience has been enjoyable and I’m looking forward to having them promote me again.
Being a host for them is wonderful too. I enjoy getting the jump on new releases and it drives people to my blog which is always a good thing.
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