Marketing Support for New England Bookstores

  1. Publicity

The first Silent Lee series title was launched with a PR campaign from Smith Publicity that generated numerous reviews and kickstarted an author Instagram platform. Goodreads and two Instagram book tours created awareness among readers in the category. Positive reviews in the San Francisco Book Review (“readers are held in lasting suspense”), Insatiable Readers (“I loved the characters, both lead and supporting”), Books for Kids Blog (“Two unlikely but intrepid characters bond in a time-traveling fight against a dark enemy in a style reminiscent of Hermione Granger’s and Harry Potter’s adventures between the muggle and magical worlds”), Beths Book-nook (“Such a fun read!”), Midwest Book Review (“An original and delightfuly entertaining read from first page to last”).

For example:

Alex Hiam has begun a fascinating, fun, and original new series for middle grade readers featuring a smart and sassy 15 year old protagonist who is sure to appeal. The time travel and school of magic concepts aren’t new, but Hiam breathes fresh life into them here with the Girls’ Academy. Sie’s relationship with her mother adds needed tension to the story, and her relationship with Aunt Gen is one we all wish for. I look forward to sharing more adventures with Silent Lee and the Girls’ Academy students.

Its All About The Book, April 30, 2019, Children’s, Magical

Each title in the Silent Lee series will be the subject of a publicity campaign starting prior to the pub date to insure editorial coverage of the book and topical interviews with and guest blogs by the author.

The goal is to build the visibility and reputation of the series with annual or semi-annual new title launches over several years.


  1. Social Media

The first book’s publicity campaign included the creation of a business Instagram account initially managed by Smith Publicity and now managed through daily posts by the author (see @alexhiamauthor on Instagram). Instagram serves this role well because of its large number of readers and book enthusiasts (including hte bookstagram community) and because it reaches both adult readers/influencers (such as parents, librarians and teachers), and a great many younger readers of both middle grade and YA fiction. Many of the posts are dominated by actual prospective readers in the 13-17 year old category and the majorioty of followers are in the correct demographics for influencers and/or readers.

The Wattpad community is also young and reading-oriented, and a new campaign to generate visibility for the series is anticipated on Wattpad in the coming months. The goal is to create a critical mass of young readers who are famiiar with Silent Lee and her adventures, so that word of mouth brand building supports bookstore sales by making the titles recognizable to younger readers.

Facebook news feed is used to publicize Instagram and Wattpad postings.


  1. Promotion

The promotional activities have included Goodreads and Instagram based book tours, which generated considerable exposure but are hard to quantify, as well as regular (often daily) postings on Instagram and Facebook. Those too can be hard to quantify. The promotional placement of Instagram posts is quantifiable and to date, has produced 3.6 million exposures.

A new book series takes time and effort to make it known to potential readers. Conventional advertising media do not reach interested young fantasy readers specifically enough to be economical, but Instagram drills down to very specific audiences, making for high impact at relatively low cost. The Silent Lee series is being promoted continuously through IG.

Some of this advertising is national and international given Instagram’s broad reach. Building platform-wide interest in the series makes sense because IG users communicate with each other across geographic boundaries.

The main campaign targets readers in the author’s regional market, where the initial  bookstores are most likely to be located. (The books are available for order or reorder returnable through IngramSpark.)

A mix of promotional targets are in use, from Boston-specific (since the first book takes place there), to (in most cases) the six New England states. Because there are so many social media users in California and Texas, these states will dominate any promotion that is automatically targeted by IG. The SIlent Lee promotions are therefore usually targeted by hand to the New Englad region to insure high exposure there.

In addition to geographic focus, promotions target those with expressed interests in fiction, fantasy, and middle grade and young adult book series. Some posts have also included readers with an expressed interest in diversity (because Silent and her friend Raahi are nontraditional lead characters that diverse readers may identify with).

And while indiivdual posts attract their own demographics, generally the campaign has reached readers from 13 to later teens or early twenties, reflecting the intended age range for target readers of the series. (Possible younger readers are not in theory on Instagram, but may incidentally be exposed to the program under the radar.)

Most of the posts show a slight tilt toward female versus male, reflecting the female lead character and also the similar skew in readers overall.

Posts can be promoted upon request to specific bookstore markets by town, with call-outs to visit the bookstore/s.

IG posts to NE States, fantasy, YA/middle-grade readers:

Post date & Description Impressions
10/20/19 autumn leaves 1,102
10/17/19 book, pumpkin, mums, painting 11,819
10/16/19 second book teaser (both covers shown) 1,792
10/12/19 review repost with both covers 1,600
10/11/19 book in autumn harvest still life 8,945
10/10/19 book in Little Free Library 38,121
10/6/19 dogs looking out windows 28,653
10/5/19 book with pumpkins/seasonal 20,233
10/4/19 maple leaves morning walk 33,922
10/3/19 Raahi from Silent Lee books 9,768
9/29/19 IG book review repost 80,069
9/29/19 Book with second book’s cover and review quotes 24,142
9/27/19 Silent Lee giveaway contest 4,024
9/27/19 book with antique ‘station hack’ 5,915
9/27/19 book with antique car 10,452
9/26/19 Book in autumn foliage bookstgram style 33,967
9/21/19 bookstagram post with autumn foliage 4,255
9/20/19 second book cover reveal 2 149,606
9/17/19 books in stack in front of old painting 47,081
9/17/19 Book cover plus open chapter teaser read 16,714
9/15/19 favorite YA/middlegrade books 1 28,249
9/15/19 author in studio 9,671
9/15/19 author’s garden 12,653
9/13/19 landscape general 18,364
9/12/19 cover with teaser mystery puzzle 19,168
9/12/19 Book in elegant setting 8,280
9/12/19 author’s pets 7,495
9/9/19 sunflowers 10,243
9/8/19 magical landscape 1823
9/8/19 in the author’s garden w/bee (teaser for 2nd book) 18,229
9/5/19 author’s garden photo 20,917
9/4/19 author’s family 7,201
9/4/19 teaser for second book 137,661
9/4/19 author’s family 2,795
8/31/19 book portrait 5,160
8/31/19 book with coffee and donut 3,381
8/30/19 Book review repost 8,184
8/30/19 repost from book tour 64,895
8/30/19 repost from book tour 64,895
8/28/19 in the author’s garden 32,141
8/28/19 cover on author’s mantle 23,826
8/28/19 still life composition with book 24,480
8/27/19 repost from book tour 13,427
8/27/19 author, general 18,865
8/25/19 author, general 7,238
8/25/19 bookstagram photo with flowers and china 91,835
8/25/19 author’s pets 17,580
8/25/19 repost from book tour 1,574
8/25/19 repost from book tour 2,405
8/23/19 author, general 8,609
8/22/19 repost from book tour 1,863
8/18/19 repost from book tour 3,334
8/17/19 repost from book tour 5,628
8/16/19 repost from book tour 3,042
8/16/19 repost from book tour 12,651
8/15/19 repost from book tour 15,029
8/8/19 book giveaway promo announcement 34,923
8/8/19 books, topical 3,457
8/7/19 author’s dog 36,963
8/6/19 dog napping on book 21,170
8/6/19 lifestyle 7,960
8/1/19 book with quill and ink pot 55,538
7/30/19 Book in author’s studio window 19,001
7/30/19 Book with mabled cover notebook and statue 78,343
7/29/19 book on model boat in pool 5,840
7/25/19 book with middle / YA classics 40,155
7/22/19 repost from book tour 37,290
7/22/19 Silent Lee portrait by author 173,770
7/22/19 San Francisco Book Review repost data lost
7/17/19 cover and review quotes 135,612
7/17/19 girls holding keys over book cover 13,471
7/17/19 side door key club teaser 38,987
7/16/19 book and author’s antique typewriter 23,671
7/16/19 Midwest Book Review quote 27,603
7/15/19 book cover and  antique tyewriter v 1 15,877
7/13/19 Harry Potter series new covers discussion 111,006
7/10/19 Book with author’s inspiration titles 32,512
7/8/19 books by author 33,881
7/8/19 Book open to chapter header in library/witchcraft 179,290
7/6/19 cover and manuscript 15,541
7/5/19 Unlikely friends 67,587
7/2/19 book and historical novel source materials 19,783
6/29/19 book and author’s studio 15,149
6/28/19 summer theme w/cover 59,335
6/28/19 Pup with author’s book/s 19,864
6/25/19 Author’s inspirations 1,568
6/25/19 landscape 3,991
6/24/19 author’s studio and Silent Lee portrait 8,126
6/24/19 Book and antique telephone 103,528
6/24/19 Book in library with flowers 151,197
6/23/19 Reading the book (Sadie) 78,936
6/20/19 Author’s pup with book 43,965
6/19/19 Book and magical academy gate 18,815
6/19/19 cover and magical door (Parker House) 19,081
6/19/19 Magical gates to Silent’s school of alchemy 61,194
6/17/19 Sadie Hiam with antique key (Silent Lee model) 30,638
6/16/19 Sadie / reader with book 47,619
6/14/19 pup with mannuscript 56,686
6/13/19Book in library with rose 54,227
6/11/19 book, Sadie reading 93,904
6/7/19 Tea and mystery? 182,011
5/30/19 book tour repost 33,150
5/21/19 repost from book tour 2,865
5/17/19 cover with antique keys 3,345
5/7/19 magic quote 3,197
4/29/19 open book with keys 18,601
4/24/19 Back Bay teaser 1,751
4/19/19 Silent Lee portrait 5,668
4/10/19 book and magic keys 4,364
4/1/19 book and magical keys advance tease 2,248
3/22/19 puppy and book 4,663
Total impressions TD (10/22/19 snapshot) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,623,888

Excludes impressions from regular non-promoted posts because impressions are not reported for them. Excludes impressions from book tours and IG reviewers because the data is only available to the poster.

Following are several examples of IG posts that have attracted viewers and likes on their own, and also proven to be productive when periodically promoted.

IG Promo Example #1, “Tea time for Silent Lee and her Great Aunt Generous in their (very old fashioned) library”.  151,195 impressions, 92,218 reach (unique individuals), 14,316 likes, Northern New England states, ages 13-34, 61% women, ongoing (stats from Oct. 22, 2019)

IG Promo Example #2, “Tea and a mystery?”  182,010 impressions, 112,729 reach (unique individuals), 7,465 likes, Northern New England states, ages 13-17, 55% women, ongoing (stats from Oct. 22, 2019)

IG Promo Example #3, “Imagine a hidden world where everything is old fashioned—
and brimming with magic!”  55,538 impressions, 38,761 reach (unique individuals), 8,294 likes, Northern New England states, ages 13-24, 60% women, ongoing (stats from Oct. 22, 2019)

IG Promo Example #4, “Imagine a hidden world where everything is old fashioned—
and brimming with magic!”  78,341 impressions, 53,625 reach (unique individuals), 11,496 likes, New England states, fantasy fiction readers aged 13 up .  Ages 13-17, 45% female

IG Promo Example #5, “The new cover!” (Introducing the second Silent Lee book).  149,562 impressions, 61,784 reach (unique individuals), 1,207 likes, New England states, fantasy fiction readers aged 13 up.   Ages 13-34, 54% female.

  1. Events

The author teaches creative writing to teens, which can lead to opportunities to create events in support of the book.

Regional bookstores in New England may offer workshops with the author, and he also arranges events of his own to publicize the series at libraries, middle and elementary schools both public and private, and home-school learning centers.

In the initial, awareness-building stage of the marketing initiative, each non-bookstore event is an opportunity to spread promotional copies of the title/s into bookstore market areas, so as to build buzz about the title among young readers and their teachers, librarians and families.

The blog featuring writing prompts on the author’s Web site supports these fun and instructional events: Creative Writing Prompts for Teen Author workshops,

Author appearances at bookstores may be scheduled by contacting the author directly at


5. Bookstores stocking Silent Lee and the Adventure of the Side Door Key, Feb. 2020:

A Freethinker’s Corner- Bookstore Dover 652 Central Ave, Suite A, Dover, NH, 03820

A Little Bookish – Bookstore Ooltewah 8898 Old Lee Hwy., Suite 110, Ooltewah, TN,


Adventure Bound Books – Bookstore Morganton 134 N. Sterling St., Morganton, NC, 28655

Arcade Book Exchange – Bookstore Hillsboro 136 SE 3rd Ave Ste 300, Hillsboro, OR, 97123

Bank Square Books – Bookstore Mystic 53 West Main St, Mystic, CT, 06355

Barner Books – Bookstore NewPaltz 3 Church St, New Paltz, NY, 12561

Battenkill Books – Bookstore Cambridge 15 E. Main St., Cambridge, NY, 12816

BayShore Books – Bookstore Oconto 302 Collins Ave, Oconto, WI, 54153

Bliss Books & Bindery – Bookstore Stillwater 120 E. 9th Ave. #1, Stillwater, OK, 74074

Blue Cypress Books – Bookstore NewOrleans 8126 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA, 70118

Bogan Books – Bookstore Fort Kent, Maine 130 West Main Street, Fort Kent, Maine, Maine,


Book No Further- Bookstore Roanoke 112 Market St SE, Roanoke, VA, 24011

Books With A Past – Bookstore Glenwood 2465 Rt 97, Glenwood, MD, 21738

Caprichos Books – Bookstore BEL AIR 37 N Main St, Suite 102, BEL AIR, MD, 21014

Cavalier House Books – Bookstore Denham Springs 100 N. Range Ave., Denham Springs, Louisiana,


Cupboard Maker Books – Bookstore Enola 157 N Enola Rd, Enola, PA, 17025

  1. Shaver, Bookseller- Bookstore Savannah 326 Bull St, Savannah, GA, 31401

Fentons Open Book – Bookstore Fenton 105 W Shiawassee, Fenton, Michigan, 48430

Ferguson Books & More! – Bookstore Bismarck 413 East Broadway Ave., Bismarck, ND, 58501

Ferguson Books & More! – Bookstore Grand Forks 1726 S. Washington St. S3, Grand Forks, ND,


Fiction Addiction – Bookstore Greenville 1175 Woods Crossing Rd. #5, Greenville, SC,


Flashlight Books – Bookstore Walnut Creek 1537 N Main St., Walnut Creek, California,


Fountain Bookstore – Bookstore Richmond 1312 East Cary St, Richmond, VA, 23219

Gottwals Books – Bookstore Byron, GA 660 Peavy Rd, Byron, GA, Georgia, 31008

Gottwals Books – Bookstore Macon 2834 Riverside Dr, Macon, GA, 31204

Gottwals Books – Bookstore Perry 909 Carroll St, Perry , GA, 31069

Gottwals Books – Bookstore Warner Robins 1806 Russell Parkway, Ste 1400, Warner

Robins, GA, 31088

Ink Spell Books – Bookstore Half Moon Bay 500 Purissima St, Half Moon Bay, CA, 94019

Island Books & Crafts – Bookstore Sault Ste Marie 101 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste Marie, MI, 49783

Jan’s – Bookstore Beaverton 12320 SW 1st St, Beaverton, OR, 97005

King City Books – Bookstore Mt. Vernon 104 N. 9th St, Mt. Vernon, IL, 62864

Letterpress Books – Bookstore Portland 91 Auburn St., Ste K, Portland, Maine, 04103

M and M Bookstore – Bookstore Cedar Rapids 212 Edgewood Rd NW, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52405

Main Street Books – Bookstore Frostburg 2 E. Main St., Frostburg, MD, 21532

Main Street Books – Bookstore Lafayette 426 Main St, Lafayette, IN, 47901

Nightbird Books – Bookstore Fayetteville 205 W Dickson St, Fayetteville, AR, 72701

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore – Bookstore Lakewood 28 Chautauqua Ave,, Lakewood, NY, 14750

On The Side Books – Bookstore Bradford 10 Kennedy St , Bradford, PA, 16701

Page and Palette – Bookstore Fairhope 32 South Section St, Fairhope, AL, 36532

R&BUsed Books – Bookstore Grand Blanc 12830 S. Saginaw St., Suite F, Grand Blanc,

Michigan, 48439

Reading Rock Books – Bookstore Dickson 122 North Main St. Dickson TN 37055,

Dickson, TN, 37055

Round Table Bookstore – Bookstore Rossville 617 SW Redwood Dr., Rossville, KS, 66533

Sassafras on Sutton – Bookstore Black Mountain 108 Sutton Avenue, Black Mountain, NC, 28711

Savoy Bookshop & Cafe – Bookstore Westerly 10 Canal St, Westerly, RI, 02891

Sparta Books -Christina Candelaria – Bookstore Sparta 29 Theatre Center, Sparta, NJ, 07871

Squirreled Away Books – Bookstore Armada 22985 West Main Street, Armada, MI, 48005

Star Line Books – Bookstore Chattanooga 1467 Market St., Suite 106, Chattanooga, TN,


Stillwater Books – Bookstore Pawtucket 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI, 02860

Story on the Square – Bookstore McDonough 19 Griffin Street, McDonough, GA, 30253

The Book House – Bookstore Mableton 5450 Old Floyd Road, Mableton, GA, 30126

The Book Rack – Bookstore Cincinnati 8315 Beechmont Ave, #23, Cincinnati, Ohio,


The Book Worm Bookstore – Bookstore Powder


4451 Marietta St, Powder Springs, GA, 30127

The Brain Lair Bookstore – Bookstore South Bend 714 E Jefferson Blvd, South Bend, IN, 46617

The Briar Patch – Bookstore Bangor 27 Central Street, Bangor, ME, 04401

The Conundrum – Bookstore St. Francisville 11917 Ferdinand Street, St. Francisville, LA,


The Crazy Book Lady – Bookstore Acworth 5058 Cherokee Street, Acworth, GA, 30101

The Dog Eared Book – Bookstore Palmyra 208 E. Main St. , Palmyra, NY, 14522

The Haunted Book Shop – Bookstore Mobile 109 Dauphin St., Mobile, Alabama, 36602

The Tiny Bookstore – Bookstore Pittsburgh 1130 Perry Highway Suite 106, Pittsburgh, PA,


ThirdHouse Books & Coffee – Bookstore Gainesville 400 NW 10th Ave, Gainesville, FL, 32601

Towne Book Center- Bookstore Collegeville 220 Plaza Drive, Suite B3, Collegeville, PA,


Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop – Bookstore New


631 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119

Underground Books – Bookstore Carrollton 102 Alabama St., Carrollton, GA, 30117

Valley Bookseller- Bookstore Stillwater 217 N Main St N, Stillwater, MN, 55082

Volumes Bookcafe – Bookstore Chicago 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622

Walls of Books – Bookstore ATCHISON 733 Commercial St, ATCHISON, Kansas, 66002


Georgia, 30529

Walls of Books – Bookstore E. Ellijay 96 Craig St #104, E. Ellijay, Georgia, 30540

Walls of Books – Bookstore WATKINSVILLE 1011 Stonebridge Parkway, Ste 105, WATKINSVILLE, Georgia, 30677

Walls of Books – Bookstore Cornelius 20920 Torrence Chapel Rd, Cornelius, NC, 28031

Walls of Books Ankeny – Bookstore Ankeny 613 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA, 50023

Wild Thyme Books – Bookstore Carbondale 705 W Main Street, Carbondale, Illinois, 6290