Today my guest is the indie published historical novelist Celia Hayes. Celia is going to share with us how she promotes her titles regionally.
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Regional Marketing of Historical Fiction
by Celia Hayes
As an author of historical fiction written with at least half-an-eye towards educating the general reader, I market my titles through historical societies and museum bookstores.
My first historical novel was To Truckee’s Trail, a re-creation of the journey of a pioneer wagon train. I pitched it to a number of different museums along the Oregon-California Trail, making the case that my retelling was extensively researched and as accurate as I could make it.
My follow-up novel grew into an epic trilogy, a family saga about German settlements in the Texas Hill Country. Again I marketed it to the local historical societies and museums, this time in Fredericksburg, New Braunfels and Austin, where a large part of the story took place. The basic research was done at Gillespie County Historical Society in Fredericksburg, where I sought out a locally eminent member to review the manuscript. This liaison brought me immediate credibility, historical accuracy, and an influential fan.
Through my website and personal contacts I made it known that I was willing – and qualified through my immersion in the research materials – to make book club appearances and talk about the historical background for the Adelsverein Trilogy. This paid off in invitations to speak to groups such as the German-Texan Heritage Society in Austin, the Gillespie County Historical Society, the Daughters of the Republic Lindheimer Chapter in New Braunfels, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Camp in San Antonio (as well as just about every library in the Hill Country with the title in their stacks).
Every event meant a renewed burst of sales, either directly, or through local bookstores and online. This type of effort is a gradual process, but I believe that it has paid off for me. I have an established fan base of knowledgeable readers who enjoy my material and are passionately interested in educating people about local history. These readers are also eager to recommend my books to friends, family and neighbors who want to painlessly learn about history.
The next nut to crack on the marketing front for me is to get the reenactor community interested. I’m still working on that one.
Visit Celia Hayes at http://www.celiahayes.com.