Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Guest Blogger---Marnie Pehrson

My typing abilities are currently limited because of a horrible hot glue gun mishap which resulted in my pinky fingertip being reduced to a mass of blistered and raw skin. However, my daughter looked adorable in her ice cream cone costume so the sacrifice was probably worth it. It was definitely a Halloween to remember, I'll say that.

My friend and fellow author, Marnie Pehrson, has agreed to guest blog for me today and for that I am grateful. She is an amazing internet marketer and web developer who is continually finding new ways to expand her internet presence. In addition to her many other talents, she is also the author of eight fiction titles and seven non-fiction titles. You can see more of her work at

Turn Your Book into a Viral Marketing Tool

by Marnie Pehrson

I enjoyed Robison's post about "Lovers, Haters and Swingers" so much that I thought I would dove-tail my comments on his. I've never been brave enough to spend any effort on the haters. If someone hates my work, I usually stick my head in the sand and pray they go away. But, I do have the audacity to believe that if a fiction-lover would just read one of my novels, they'd immediately transform into a die-hard fan.

Because I'm filled with this wide-eyed optimism (which you can blame on my two favorite editors for feeding this praise-junkie's ego), I'm trying an experiment. I'm sharing it here, for two reasons:

1) In hopes that it will be useful to those of you who are authors. Perhaps you can adapt the idea for your own use; and

2) In hopes you will actually step through the marketing process I'm going to share, read the Christmas book I'm giving away, and turn into a devoted fan. If you turn into a "hater," I don't want to know about it!

Okay, here's how it works. I'm giving away an ebook version of my little Christmas book "Miss Humbug" at . If you go to that site, you'll see a form that you put your name and email address into and the system will send you information on how to get your free copy of the ebook. The next page that comes up, tells you how to get a free audio version of "Miss Humbug" to listen to on your ipod or computer.

To get the audio version, all you have to do is tell three friends about the site. Once you fill out the tell-a-friend form, you'll get both the ebook version and the audio version.

Do you see the viral nature of this?

For example, Kerry Blair came in last week and got her copy, then she told three friends. All three friends came and got their copies. One of those friends was Jeri Gilchrist. Jeri told three people and at least one of her friends (that I noticed) came in and got her ebook.

Bottom line, I'm quickly building a list of people

a) who I can contact again when the book comes out in paperback next week;

b) who I can contact again when I have something new; and

c) who have actually read something I've written. After all, once they do, they're going to be life-long fans - right?

If nothing else, I feel like I'm spreading a good message which the world needs -- the true meaning of Christmas.

It's yet to be seen how many people will actually purchase the book in paperback, but for me, that's just icing. I assume some people would much rather have something they can hold in their hands and easily give as a gift or stocking-stuffer. Even the paperback version pulls people back into the viral system. The page right after the last chapter encourages them to spread the spirit of Christmas by telling three friends and claiming their free audio version.

Oh, and one more thing I'm doing to spread the word about the site (besides articles and blogs like this) is allowing other authors or newsletter publishers to give the ebook away to their lists. I give them a block of code they can put on their site so people can download it directly from their site. For example, you can see it on Julie Bellon's site at

The list-owner simply directs their subscribers to that page, and it looks like they are the ones giving away the ebook. It's a great way for them to bring visitors to their site. Even if the person isn't interested in the ebook, they'll probably click around on the list-owner's site and see what else is there. It's a win-win-win for the list-owner, for the reader, and for me. If you're interested in giving away Miss Humbug through your site, email me at

So to summarize this viral marketing method so you can use it too…

a) Build your list by giving away a sample of your work. I've seen people give away the first 10 chapters of a book instead of the whole book if that works better for you.

b) Before you give the subscriber the download link, ask them to tell three friends about your offer. Give them an incentive to do so - some added bonus you know they will want. (At the bottom of this page be sure to allow them to opt out of telling friends and just go claim their ebook.)

c) The tell-a-friend script should direct their friends back to your site so that they can get their free ebook and tell their friends.

d) If you decide to put the give-away book into print, be sure it refers readers back to your site to pull them into the viral loop.

e) That's it! I hope you'll try it and have fun with it!


At 11/01/2007 5:49 PM, Blogger A. Riley said...


I downloaded the free book, and have only read the first chapter so far. (It was late when I downloaded it.) But I did send it to three of my friends that also enjoy reading.

So, yeah, I hope this method does do wonders for yourself.

At 11/01/2007 6:19 PM, Blogger Marnie Pehrson said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word. I hope you enjoy the book! :)

At 11/01/2007 6:30 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Marnie, thanks for a great marketing idea. I enjoyed your blog.

Julie, I'm sorry about the glue gun mishap! Ouch!

At 11/02/2007 6:58 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

I'd have shared it with more people given the chance . . . but, no. MY web site isn't good enough for you . . . :-)

At 11/02/2007 9:35 PM, Blogger Marnie Pehrson said...

Oh trust me, Kerry, your site's good enough! Who created that masterpiece anyway? LOL Seriously, thank you for all your help and if your site needs a Miss Humbug page, I'm sure I could twist your webmaster's arm into adding one. *ouch* yes... she's agreed. Just say the word. LOL

At 11/03/2007 10:22 AM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Super tips. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to work on this one.


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