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Creative Book Marketing

How I’m staying the course to spread awareness about my novel.

Podcast Episode #34

My name is Naomi Shibles and I’m here to tell you Why I Need This Author Gig.

With each episode, I’ll share a little bit about my writing journey, sprinkled with some anecdotes so that we can share a laugh.

In this episode, I cover:

  • QR code lore

  • Book marketing notions

  • Channeling a racehorse


Do you remember the first time you saw a QR code? For me, it was 2010 and they popped up on ads and signage around NYC. I didn’t know what to do with them then, but now I can make my own. Isn’t technology cool?

Did you know that “QR” stands for “quick-response?” Now you do. Fun fact: QR codes were invented back in 1994 by Masahiro Hara who envisioned the tech while playing Go—which looks similar to a QR code. But we all needed camera phones to read them, so they weren’t mainstreamed in the U.S. until 2010.

The reason I’m chatting about QR codes is because I tried something different yesterday in my quest to promote Counterblow Clemency, my YA sci-fi caper. Using Art Set and Canva, I created a 4-pane comic strip of the first few seconds of my novel. The fourth pane contains a QR code that I was able to generate right there in Canva, which links to the book’s Amazon page.

Check it out:

Comic strip of beginning of Counterblow Clemency by Naomi Shibles

Would you scan this QR code? Canva allows you to customize the code you generate, including picking the color. Does it stand out more because I chose to make it red, or does it look pure sketch? I’d love to hear what you think.

It took me several hours of a holiday weekend to create this, so I hope it grabs some attention on social media. I did pay to boost it on my Facebook page, and I’ll let you know how it does.

I’m so excited to have an ebook to sell, and even more excited to get the print edition out soon. But this early on, I’m not sure what effort is generating book sales. It’s difficult to accept that we might be squandering our time and other resources. So these are the moments when we have to just dig deep and push forward. I guess that’s where the idiom, “stay the course” comes from.

The earliest usage of the term that I found was from an 1878 weekly journal out of England reporting about racehorses. I have a lot of respect for racehorses. They are magnificent athletes. But their lives consist of running around in circles, not getting anywhere except hopefully the winner’s circle.

It may feel like I’m running in circles right now, but I’m going to stay the course and keep trying my marketing ideas. Sooner or later, I’ll be in the authors winner’s circle, blowing kisses and handing out QR codes for my next book. 😘

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