Monday, February 7, 2011

Marketing Monday - Alex J. Cavanaugh

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron, a talented young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life. Much to his chagrin, Bassa, the toughest instructor in the fleet, takes notice of the young pilot. As war brews on the edge of space, Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive. Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

Sound familiar? Today I have another well-known writer in the blogosphere: Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of the science fiction adventure CassaStar.

How have you made use of your online connections to market CassaStar? Did you find that your blog or twitter played a bigger role?

I was prompted by my publisher to get my butt online! So I started blogging first and then Twitter. Blogging has definitely played a bigger part. Through several blogfests and challenges, I built up my readership. My blogging friends really cheered me on when I posted my cover art and book trailer, which was cool. Before the release date of CassaStar, I put out a call for help and was overwhelmed by the response! Nineteen bloggers hosted my book tour and another eighty-plus featured my book and trailer on release day. Reviews and guest post requests continue to come in, which helps keep momentum going.

What did Dancing Lemur Press do to help market your book?

They made the book available in print and all eBook formats, sent out tons of review copies, and did a huge mailing and emailing campaign. They’ve worked hard to get my books into Barnes and Noble and libraries.

Have you done any marketing and promotion in person (beyond anything the publisher might have arranged)?

Sadly, no. I’m not comfortable in front of people, so I’ve had to rely on the Internet to promote my book.

Do you think social networking is more effective for writers of science fiction? Have you connected with readers through your blog?

I think it’s effective for any genre. What blogging taught me was to look beyond my genre, though. I followed a lot of science fiction blogs in the beginning, but it was the readers who were attracted to my own blog that showed the most interest, and many of them didn’t read science fiction. CassaStar is low-tech and character-driven, so it appeals to a wider audience than pure science fiction. This is something I would’ve never discovered without blogging!

Thanks for sharing your experience, Alex! Lots of good insight, particularly for those of us who are tend to be a bit more introverted.

If you are a published author and you would like to share your experiences with marketing and promoting your book(s), I'd love to share your story! Please contact me at anpstevens [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. Good interview, Alison and Alex. I agree about the power of blogging to reach readers, and about building a community that goes beyond genre. I'm impressed by the number of people who jumped in and helped when CassaStar was released!

  2. This was a great interview, Alison. Thanks for hosting Alex. He has a great blog and is a vibrant member of the blogging community.

    Hi, Alex!

  3. It's comforting to know that you don't have to leave your house much to promote your book. I'm scared to be in public as well - promoting myself.

  4. Toby, Talli Roland had four times that many help her - I just started too late to get more.

    Thanks, Carol!

    Clarissa, it's just not for all of us, is it?

  5. Toby and Alex: It was impressive, and it's an inspiration to those of us who are a bit less outgoing.

    Carol: Thanks! I couldn't agree more.

    Clarissa: Being in public takes a lot of getting used to, and it's definitely not for everyone.

  6. Blogging plays a bigger role than Twitter, especially when you can guest blog at so many sites. Add in book Blog tours and you can reach thousands of people and not be limited to 140 words.

  7. Another interesting interview from Alex. So you're not ready for your speaking tour yet, Alex? Would you do a radio interview if asked?


  8. What a great interview. I'm so relieved that you said you weren't comfortable in front of people. I am absolutely terrified of face to face marketing. Blogging does seem to create a great many connections that I would never have thought of!

  9. Stephen, blogging feels more personable as well.

    Lee, can I just do a guitar solo?

    Kari, it saved me!

    Thanks again, Alison.

  10. Hey He Who Never Sleeps, I liked hearing about how you marketed CassaStar. From where i'm sitting (usually in front of the computer) I think you've done a marvellous job. God, the very thought of doing those author talks at libraries etc terrifies me too.

    Thanks Alison for hosting Alex.


  11. Oh, and welcome crusader. I see I'm already following you.

  12. Stephen: I agree with Alex that blogging is more personable. You can make much more in-depth connections with other bloggers.

    Kari: glad you enjoyed it!

    Denise: Thanks for stopping by! :D

  13. It's great to know that Alex and Lemur Press are working very hard together to get the best for Cassastar!! Thanks Alison and Alex for this post! Take care

  14. What a great interview - I love that your publisher is working so hard for you, Alex.

    Nice to meet you, Alison. :)

  15. Thanks. Nice interview, and it's good to know they sent out all those review copies. They sound good.