Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Marketing Advice from Author Donna Martin

Today I welcome author Donna Martin, whose picture book
The Story Catcher debuted January 2015 from Anaiah Press. Donna and her publicist have been on the ball with marketing her book. I decided to interview Donna and glean from her experience.  

     Tina:  What kinds of marketing have you done for your book?

Donna: I’ve done a variety of things which I’m hoping appeals to a wide audience. This includes car magnets, media blitz, book trailer, cook cover reveal, bookmarkers, business cards, Story Catcher Fan Club, blog tour, author visits, book reviews, twitter blasts, giveaways, blog posts, etc...

Tina: How has your publisher helped with marketing your book?

Donna: My publisher, Anaiah Press, has helped get the word out about my book. They posted on their own blog and through Twitter with my book cover reveal. My publicist, Melinda Dozier, created a cute book trailer for THE STORY CATCHER that you can see by going to this link. Their marketing department also sent out press kits to the media and coordinated a blog tour.

     Tina: Have you contacted people or approached people to do book reviews? If so, how?

Donna: Before my book’s release in January of this year, I started mentioning through my Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In connections that I was looking for book reviews. I have spent the past five years helping to support other writers in any way I could and took the time to build relationships in this industry. Doing all the groundwork before made it much easier to ask for help with book reviews. Anyone interested was sent to Melinda so she could provide them with a copy of THE STORY CATCHER in exchange for an honest review. I’m also getting ready to start a second round of book review requests and will expand my offer to other bloggers and readers outside of my immediate connections.

Tina: What kind of swag do you give? Do you have to pay and make your own, or did your publisher provide it?

Donna: While Anaiah Press initially offered some financial assistance for a book launch party, I haven’t utilized those funds yet. At the moment I offer things like butterfly stickers (my brand logo), bookmarks, coloring pages with my information on it, mini business cards with my social links and info on my STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB.

Tina: Have you done school visits? If so, how do you go about contacting a school? 

Donna: Again, most of my groundwork has already been laid by making those connections for the past five years before my book even came out. I’ve volunteered in school libraries as the ‘book doctor’ and repaired torn pages, spines, etc. I’m an approved READ TO ME volunteer and tutor which allowed me to visit schools to read to kids and help tutor struggling readers (an experience which prompted my writing THE STORY CATCHER), and providing goodies to the office staff and libraries to show my appreciation for all their hard work. The schools know me and are quite open to my author visits.

Tina: I saw you had a book store promotion. How did you set that up? Any tips?

Donna: Well, my Barnes & Noble visit was actually the second book store visit I had lined up. The first was a cold call visit to a Books-A-Million in a neighboring town. The manager was pretty excited about my book and offered to do a book launch party if I could get the approval of their corporate headquarters. Unfortunately the behind the scenes logistics between Anaiah Press and the B & N corporate office didn’t work out in time for me to participate in that promotion. One of the librarians at a school I’ve visited for the past five years actually does an annual book fair in our local B & N store and I’ve provided a crafts table for that school every year. As a way of thanking me for my volunteer work, the promotions coordinator of that B & N ordered a number of my books and we did my author visit the same day as the librarian’s book fair. It turned out to be a very successful day for the school and I got the chance to almost sell out of all the books that were brought in for that event so I was happy!

Tina: How much marketing in advance did you do before your book came out?

Donna: The experts say you usually start doing things as far away as six months before your release. I guess it would depend on what a particular author is planning to do. Anaiah started around December with a book cover reveal with a blurb followed by the book trailer. The blog tour started about two weeks before the release and carried through for about two weeks after my book came out. I also created an entire month of special posts on my blog in January in celebration as well as running a contest to give away prizes.

Thanks so much, Donna, for answering all my questions. This really helps me to know what all needs to be done. 

Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins Christian Publishing as part of their Book Look Blogger division and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Donna lives in the world of children's books and wonders sometimes how did she get so lucky to be able to call herself an author? She has great fun creating stories for her young fans and looks forward to catching stories for many more years to come!

Donna would love to hear from you! Check out her Facebook fan page, drop her an email, join her STORY CATCHER fan club or find out what interests Donna on Twitter or Pinterest:

Author Email:
Story Catcher Fan Club Email:

Amazon Paperback:

THE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB: Fan club membership includes:
Membership Certificate
Bi-monthly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news and other goodies
Reading log for earning Story Catcher Award
Short story starring YOU!


  1. Thanks, Tina, for inviting me to do this interview for the Grog Blog. This site is such a wonderful resource for anything writerly...;~)

    Take care,

    Donna L Martin

  2. Thanks, Donna, for all your tips!

  3. Thanks for this very helpful advice, Donna. I hope to get connected in similar ways before I recieve a contract. Always good to be prepared!

  4. Great advice Ms. Martin! I really enjoyed your book! :)

  5. The Story Catcher sounds like a book I must purchase and read. Thank you, Donna, for sharing your tips and ideas along the journey of becoming published. I look forward to checking out the many links shared in this post. Please consider me for the second round of book review requests.

    Thank you, Tina for the insightful questions you shared with Donna.

  6. Hello Donna! These are gre8t resource eyedeers.