Christopher Stookey is a physician and writer living in Laguna Beach, California. Terminal Care, a medical mystery thriller, is his first novel. You can visit his Amazon author page (includes blog and reader discussion) at: http://www.amazon.com/Christopher-Stookey/e/B003UVLDI4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 Christopher will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book in September and October ’10. Visit his official tour page here. He is here with us today to give his impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Chris. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Terminal Care is a medical thriller about a new drug called “NAF,” a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. NAF is in the final stages of testing before being brought to market. Although the drug manufacturer has declared the drug to be safe, two doctors who work at the hospital where the drug is being tested begin to have concerns about the safety of NAF. The book centers around their efforts to discover the truth about a drug they suspect might have serious, even lethal, side effects. Their investigation discovers an elaborate cover-up scheme by the drug manufacturer and leads them, dangerously, into the cut-throat world of big-business pharmaceuticals.
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?
Touring the book on the Internet struck me as being an inexpensive way to get the word out about the book to, potentially, millions of people. Also, I found the idea of promoting my book from the comfort of my office at home to be highly appealing.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Yes. A friend had suggested I use the Internet as a promotion tool. I looked into it and quickly discovered there are a number of was to promote a book online. One way is the virtual book tour which largely involves blogging about your book as a guest on literary websites and reviews of the book by online reviewers.
I simply hope to make more people aware of my book. Then people can decide on their own whether they want to buy it or not.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
I have an author’s website on Amazon.com. As noted above, this includes a blog and a readers’ discussion site. The book is also promoted online by my publisher, Silver Leaf Books.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
My twitter address is www.twitters.com/pogoshome. I do have a Facebook account, and I’ve tried to gently make my Facebook friends aware of my book. Aggressive marketing of anything on Facebook will probably turn off a lot of your friends. Again, my goal is to make people aware of the book, but I don’t push them to buy.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
I dislike offline booksignings. I am a shy person by nature, and I don’t like the public spotlight. Also, I’m a poor salesman and self-promoter. Plus, I can think of few things more pathetic than a bookstore booksigning where the author sits there at a table with his stack of books and no one shows up for the signing.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
My first reaction is, no, no way. Why promote the book if not for the sales and the money? But, on thinking it over further, I probably would still promote. Otherwise, a book is very likely to quickly fall into obscurity, to quietly sink into the vast ocean of books out there. Very few books gather a wide audience by spontaneous combustion. A purist—an independently wealthy purist—might write just for the sake of writing. But, then, why publish at all? The very act of publishing a book means you want people to read it, whether to make money, to make a point, or just to massage your ego. Consequently, if you publish a book, you might as well promote it. Otherwise, why not just shove your writings, unpublished, into a draw in your desk and forget about them?
Thank you for this interview, Chris. Do you have any final words?
My pleasure. Check back with me in a month, and I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll let you know if the tour has helped me sell some books.