Tag Archives: Terri Giuliano Long

Guest Blog: Mapping In Leah’s Wake

Week-with-Placing-Literature-bIt’s Placing Literature Week on best-selling author Terri Giuliano Long’s blog. Teri will be sharing her thoughts about how place shapes literature, will be asking her readers to share their favorite literary places and will be giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon. Today, I authored a guest blog that talks about how Terri became involved with Placing Literature. Visit the site and check back throughout the week.

 

 

 

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Bestselling Author Uses Location to Reach New Readers

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The Challenge: Bestselling author Terri Giuliano Long sought to combine the freedom of self-publishing while leveraging the necessary marketing resources to get her work in front of new readers.

The Solution: Long created a virtual literary road trip with Placing Literature, a crowd-sourced website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. She tweeted new locations to her fans and followers several times a day throughout December 2013.

The Results: The author’s blog saw a 25 percent increase in traffic, and her last 50 #LittripUSA tweets had 100,000 impressions—all while achieving a month-long engagement with readers around the world.

Terri Giuliano Long’s self-published debut novel, In Leah’s Wake, won several awards and has sold more than 125,000 copies worldwide, reaching # 50 (overall) on Amazon and #6 on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list—an amazing and well-deserved achievement for an independently-published author. Despite this commercial success Long has decided to remain independent, relishing the freedom that self-publishing provides her.

For her next novel, Until I Come Home, Long needed to build upon the success of In Leah’s Wake. While Long has a built-in advantage due to her large existing fan base, the success of her new novel relies on both the ability of her work to connect with readers and all the promotional sweat she can muster to get her novel in front of new readers. However, as an indie author, Long doesn’t have the luxury of large advance orders from retail booksellers or the marketing muscle of Madison Avenue. In Long’s case, this includes paying a publicity agency out of her own pocket and doing a lot of the work herself—in addition to a busy writing schedule.

“I needed to find a way where I could maintain the independence that self-publishing provides me while leveraging the necessary marketing resources to get my work in front of new readers,” Long said.

Virtual Literary RoadTrip

photo2Strapped for time and resources, Long and her agency used Placing Literature, a crowd-sourced website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations, to build a literary road trip across the U.S. First, Long mapped the scenes that took place in her novels on Placing Literature and, over the course of December 2013, showcased a literary place that meant something to her as a reader and as an author. In addition to talking about the places on her blog, Long tweeted each post to her followers and invited them to submit their own favorite literary places—effectively engaging each potential new fan in 140-character increments.

Month-Long Engagement with Readers

By leveraging place through Placing Literature, Long was able to approach readers who live near a particular location and may be inspired to explore literature that takes place in their neighborhood. She was also able to reach fans of other established authors who may already have a connection to a particular book or place. And everything was being communicated over social media, allowing her to connect with readers on a local level.

By the end of the month, Long’s blog traffic was up 25 percent and her last 50 #LittripUSA tweets reached 100,000 impressions. Most importantly, however, Long was able to use Placing Literature to achieve a month-long engagement with her fans while giving them a reason to spread her messages to their friends and followers. The Twitter campaign was such a success that Long extended the trip indefinitely, expanding across the U.S. and the world.

photo3“This sort of interaction and reader engagement is, in my view, the best sort of promotional opportunity,” Long said. “Personally, my involvement with Placing Literature—thinking about and plotting books on the map—gave me an even greater appreciation of the importance of place in literature, not only for atmosphere but in terms of character and plot. Interacting with Placing Literature drove the point home in a much more personal, intuitive way, influencing the way I think about story.”

Follow Terri Giuliano Long’s literary road trip on her blog.

Literary Road Trip with Placing Literature

When we launched Placing Literature, the co-founders got together and brainstormed all the ways readers, researchers, academics, authors and publishers could use the data that we were collecting. We quickly realized it was a fruitless exercise. No matter how long or hard we thought, or how many thinking caps we put on, we realized that we’d never be able to conceive of all the ways people would be using our data. The possibilities were endless.

Instead of controlling how our product would be used, we decided to simply create a platform for location-based literary information and let the crowd develop their own applications. So far, so good. Libraries around the world have started to map scenes that take place locally and have been sharing that information with their members. Cultural organizations have done likewise, plotting literary places on the map in an effort to reach our global audience. Academics are using the site to collect their research data in a central database for further analysis.

Last week, however, I was completely blown away with how one user is using Placing Literature to help build momentum for an upcoming book launch. Terri Guiliano Long is our IndieReader Author Spotlight for December. Terri–whose debut novel In Leah’s Wake reached the New York Times Bestsellers list–is launching her second novel, Until I Come Home, in January.

As an indie author, Terri doesn’t have the luxury of large advance orders from retail booksellers or the marketing muscle of the Madison Avenue publishing cabal. Her success relies on both the quality of her work and all the promotional sweat and tears she can muster. In Terri’s case, this includes paying a publicity agency out of her own pocket and doing a lot of the work herself–in addition to a busy writing and teaching schedule.

Strapped for time and resources, Terri and her agency are using Placing Literature to build a literary road trip across the U.S. for her fans in anticipation of her upcoming launch. Several times a day, Terri is showcasing a literary place on our map that means something to her as a reader and as an author. She’s also plotting some places from her upcoming novel–as a way to tease her fans and build momentum leading up to the launch. In addition to talking about the places on her blog, Terri is Tweeting each post to her followers and inviting them to submit their favorite literary places–effectively engaging each potential new fan in 140-character increments.

Terri and her team are doing a brilliant job. By using place, Terri is approaching readers who live near a particular location and may be inspired to explore literature that takes place in their neighborhood. She’s also reaching fans of other established authors who may already have a connection to a particular book or place. And everything is being communicated over social media–connecting with readers on a local level.

Katie, Steve and I continue to be blown away by the interesting way people are using our data–which only fuels our desire to create an open platform for this type of location-specific literary information. So, authors, book club members, researchers, teachers and business owners, let us know how you are using Placing Literature, and we’d love to promote it on the homepage.

In the meantime, join Terri’s literary road trip and visit Placing Literature to map some of your favorite literary places.

Introducing IndieReader Author Spotlight Terri Giuliano Long

We introduced D.E. Johnson in our last post, and now I’d like to introduce our IndieReader Author Spotlight for December, Terri Giuliano Long.

Terri Giuliano Long is the author of In Leah’s Wake, an indie novel that received critical acclaim and spent some time on the New York Times bestsellers list. The book won several awards—including the IndieReader Discovery Award for Literary Fiction in 2012 (coincidence alert: my novel Learning to Haight was a finalist in the same category).

Terri is mapping the places from In Leah’s Wake as well as The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout throughout December. Both books take place in New England.

We’re really excited about another book that Terri will be mapping. Over the next several weeks she will map select places from her upcoming novel Until I Come Home, teasing her fans while building momentum for her mid-month launch. We’re excited that Terri has chosen Placing Literature to interact with her fans and release her latest work.

Follow Terri on Placingliterature.com and her blog to track her progress.