Marcus Dino has had an interesting professional career, first as an Aerospace engineer, next as a passionate math teacher teaching in urban Los Angeles which he currently still does, and finally, as a part time literary fiction author. It is Mr Dino’s being a die hard movie buff that led him to writing Diary of a Mad Gen Yer in addition to his first novel, Fifi, Anything goes in the Double Os, first published in 2003. Mr Dino is a graduate of Chapman University and he also has Masters Degrees in both Education and Electrical Engineering. Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Fifi can be found at www.smashwords.com and www.summertimeproductions.net. Mr Dino’s personal website which includes numerous blogs, short stories, and poems involving his central character Fifi Larouche, which helped inspire him to write his anthology, Diary, can be found at www.authorsden.com/marcusdino.
Marcus will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours in August and September and is here with us today to give his impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Marcus. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Marcus: Diary of a Mad Gen Yer is all the silly adventures, silly poems, and silly blogs of Fifi Larouche, a young struggling 21st Hollywood wannabe from the Midwest who works as a waitress to get by, goes through or writes about. While Fifi Anything Goes in the Double Os, my first book talks about Fifi’s specific struggles to reach the top of the Hollywood mountain and whether she makes it, Diary kind of pries into her daily life and adventures as she goes through the auditioning process. It’s like a prequel to Fifi and is a bit more humorous and less serious. In Diary besides Fifi you meet some of her friends like her also struggling actor boyfriend Biff or Alocki, an alien from another planet and who Fifi considers is the ‘smartest person she ever met.’ In ways Diary is like a 21st century version of the Arabian Nights, a modern world anthology of a very entertaining and energetic young actress.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Marcus: Because the internet is the world’s largest media outlet. If you target your niche audience well you can reach out to more people on the internet than all the printed newspapers and brick and mortar bookstores combined.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Marcus: Well yes even though when I first met them on the internet it was the first time I heard of Pump it Up Books they seem to have a very strong track record with some well known authors and I am very happy to be working with them.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
Marcus: To gain readers, to gain fans of my literary fiction, and to gain visitors to my websites on Authors Den and Summertime Productions. That’s all an author can expect when he or she does a virtual blog tour. Hopefully sales of Diary and also Fifi follow after a number of readers like what they see with reviews and other information about the books.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Marcus: Yes especially as previously mentioned on my two websites Authors Den and Summertime Productions. My character’s blog Fifi’s Thoughts appears on Authors Den. Sometimes I’ll blog too and call it Marcus’s Thoughts.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
Marcus: I need to get more comfortable understanding how these two platforms work in marketing my books. I am not active in promoting my books with Twitter and Facebook but will consider using them in the near future as the main audience they seem to cater to appears to be gen yers and of course my books are targeted to people in this age group.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
Marcus: I have not had any offline booksignings but am looking forward to having a few not only with Diary but also with Fifi. As for offline booksignings I’ve had a number of signings in the past with Fifi. I have no preference when it comes to booksignings being offline or online, getting any kind of traffic of people interested in your book is still going to depend on how well you advertise your book and getting word of mouth out about your book to your targeted audience before you do the signings. I’ve had signings where quite a few people were interested and bought my books and signings where very few people bought my books. Face it not only is pre marketing important for a successful signing but so is time and location.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
Marcus: Even if money were no object I would still have a marketing budget for your books. You still have to consider profits versus expenses. Of course if money were no object I would have a much larger publicity/marketing budget than I do now but does that mean will I generate a lot more sales? Who can tell? Remember it’s not how much you spend but how well you spend on marketing to get the maximum number of sales per dollars spent on marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Marcus. Do you have any final words?
Marcus: Yes, that I really enjoy doing this blog tour and look forward to doing more interviews about Diary in the future. Anyways thank you giving me the privilege of doing an interview with you about my books on your website.