I'm filling out my publisher's questionaire, and there's a request for me to list 10 web-sites that would be useful for targeting readership to my book. The book (Small Crimes) is a tough, fast-paced crime-noir novel. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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Will they place ads on the crime fiction zines? I usually notice the ads when I read stories on them? I think The Thrilling Detective, The Spinetingler and several others have small, inexpensive ads.

I'm not sure what they mean by targetting readership. How would listing The Rap Sheet and Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind for instance, the blogs I read most, help to send readers your way? Do they think they can get the blog writers to mention it? Or is it just websites they're after. How about ones like Bookgasm and the other ones that review books.
They could looking for sites to advertise on. I guess I should ask them to clarify that, but I was thinking what they're looking for are sites that they could approach to do a story on me or maybe an interview. I'm hoping other authors here could mention some of the web-sites that they feel have helped for them to be interviewed or profiled on.
Let's here more about you. Do you live in the vicinity of a big city? Active with any groups? Where is your novel set? Is there an author out there that's producing something similar? Who is your publisher? That info may be helpful in honing down the websites. And do you have a blog or plan to have one?
Naomi, I live in the Boston-area--which makes things tough. There are too many named authors in this area for the local media to care about a newer, mostly unknown writer. The novel's set in rural Vermont--my agent calls it a mix of Hammett's Red Harvest with Daniel Woodrell, but I don't think that's really accurate. The book's kind of a throwback to something Charles Williams might've written, a fast-paced damned-to-hell noir novel. The publisher is Serpent's Tail (UK), and they're going to be publishing it in the US also. This is my third book, the second is out next month with a different publisher. I have a blog (http://smallcrimes-novel.blogspot.com) , also publish a noir fiction web-zine (Hardluck Stories). Any suggestions would be very welcomed.
Dave, Serpent's Tail might be different, but my experience of the author questionaire is that, for the most part, it's just a way of making you feel like they're going to do something.

But there are plenty of places to target - Murdaland, Crimespree, Spinetingler (I know Sandra is inundated but she also gives solid support to the books she likes), The Rap Sheet.

Perhaps you could also contact Ann McKinstry Micou who published "A Guide to Fiction Set in Vermont" (she featured my first book, People Die) because she might be able to give pointers to libraries and so on that would show an interest (a solid local fan base would be a great starting point, and from there you might then get the interest of the Boston media).

One other possibility for interesting some of the crime magazines listed above is to do a two or three-way interview with a few people who are writing in similarly classic noir territory.

Good luck, anyway.
Umm, that Micou lead seems most helpful. I think what everyone has said (Kevin, Sandra, etc.) is true--that there's only so much that the publicist will, can and should do for you. But it seems that the questionnaire is a good impetus for you to form your own list of websites to contact.

I also think that the crime websites are inundated with requests to feature books and a lot of promotion to them is best handled personally and organically (meeting folks face-to-face at conferences, etc.). But maybe you can note on the questionnaire on what website folks should be sent ARCs. What I've been doing on my questionnaire is attaching my personal media list (which mostly includes leads outside of the mystery world) and indicating which ones should be sent ARCs and which ones should receive press releases. In the past, I've also requested a stack of press releases (or the electronic press release) that I can send out myself with a personal note.

I'm sorry, I had brain freeze for a moment and forgot that you publish Hardluck Stories. Seems like that you have a pretty strong web presence and can do some fun collaborative stuff with your websites when your book comes out.

It's also nice to develop a friendship with well-established authors in your regional area who can advise and make introductions. Denise Hamilton has been that writer for me.
I also think that the crime websites are inundated with requests to feature books and a lot of promotion to them is best handled personally and organically (meeting folks face-to-face at conferences, etc.).

Yes, meet. But I wouldn't recommend asking someone to review your book when they're at the signing table and ask if you can mail a review copy instead of ask them to take one then and there. They may offer to take one, but don't assume they have luggage space. I end up paying overage charges all the time, despite careful packing to allow for a certain number of books.

Another thing authors can do to raise their profile is to offer to do an interview of someone else for another publication. Even a reciprocal interview - two authors chatting on the release of their book. It's fresh, different, and minimal work for an ezine to consider including it.

Like Ali, I tend to go after authors I'm interested in, and that means they have to get on my radar somehow. Once there, it becomes a question of timing. I'll keep someone 'on the line' for a while, until the timing works out for them. I keep a long list of people I'm interested in. I prefer to have read their work and other interviews with them first to move into fresh territory. I also try to have the interviews reflect the personality of the author, to some degree. That's why interviews with Al Guthrie and Duane Swierczysnki have been wilder than say, my interview with Laura Lippman.

So, if someone comes to me and says, I want to be interviewed it may take months to sort that out, if it happens. It all depends on the timing and what I already have booked and what my schedule is like. If someone comes to me and says, I want to contribute something, do an interview, article I'll automatically cut them an opportunity.

This fall, we're running an interview with George Pelecanos, and despite the fact that I would love to interview George I let someone else do it. The guy is a huge Pelecanos fan, has read everything, and I knew how much it would mean to him to have that opportunity. As far as I know Rob's never interviewed anyone else before, but he did a good job. I'm hoping to have another interview for fall done by someone else, which means a lot less of me in that issue.

I believe that means I have more time to torture Kevin Wignall, actually. ;)
Seriously, Sandra, most people would consider it torture to have to interview me. I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully will have the ARC to you in the second half of July.
If you misbehave I'll just call you Wiggie. ; )-
Oh yes, I didn't mean accosting folks at conferences. Just meant that it's probably best to get to know them naturally (and that can happen over the Internet as well) instead of having a publicist do a cold cold, etc.
I'd venture to say Shots is one of, if not the best crime fiction site on the web, and if the book is coming out in the UK it's a site that shouldn't be overlooked.

Pulp Pusher is also doing interviews.

For the most part (and this is a generalization, as there are some exceptions) I don't deal with publicists. I have found that most who approach us treat us like indentured servants, like they're doing us some great big favour and why shouldn't we be delighted that they've allotted 20 minutes on one specific day for us to have access to their author? We do have a rapport with the publicist for Harcourt and get on great with him. He just emailed to offer me a Ray Banks book. And unlike some of the publicists we've been dealing with, when he offers books he actually sends them! When Kevin says, Dave, Serpent's Tail might be different, but my experience of the author questionaire is that, for the most part, it's just a way of making you feel like they're going to do something, I have to smile, because a lot of authors contact us to make arrangements to have their publicist send a review copy and the publicists never send them out. Most recent example was the new PJ Parrish - I emailed Kris so I still got a copy in time, but there are some publishers (St. Martin's, Kensington) I don't waste time expected a book from.

Serpent's Tail has us on their mailer, though. Part of the growing stack of titles for me to work my way through...
Sandra, I forgot to mention Shots because I think of it as UK (despite Ali reminding me recently that most of its hits come from the US), but yes, that's a must, and I imagine Serpent's Tail in the UK have a relationship with Shots anyway.

Also back up what Patricia said, Sarah Weinman absolutely must have a copy for Confessions.


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