Building the Buzz results from Jennifer J. Chow

Today, I'm excited to have Jennifer Chow on the blog talking about her marketing efforts for her novel The 228 Legacy.

Jennifer J. Chow, a Chinese-American, married into the Taiwanese culture. The 228 Legacy was inspired by the family stories she heard after viewing photos of a two-million-person human chain commemorating 228. She has traveled multiple times to Taiwan and visited places dedicated to the incident. Her experience with the elderly comes from a gerontology specialization at Cornell University and her geriatric social work experience. You can visit her online at

Take it away, Jennifer.

I’m a huge fan of this blog because it’s taught me so much about writing. It’s also let me peek into the mind of a real literary agent. This past May, I read with interest Sarah’s whole month dedicated to marketing efforts. For the release of my new novel, The 228 Legacy, I took her advice.

Here is what I tried and how it turned out:
  1. Plan of Attack: Local Press Release
    I wrote up press releases for the local media. It’s easier to secure bites from media who may be interested in finding the new local author. This doesn’t have to be where you currently reside either, but anywhere you’ve planted your roots for a little bit. I targeted my current place of residence and my hometown. In the release, I added the names of recognizable institutions I was involved with in the area for a more focused spin. Plus, I sent out releases to alumni organizations and alumni magazines since I spent multiple years getting my schooling in those locations as well.

    Undetermined. The staff with my publisher’s company is responsible for the task of distributing these press releases. We’ll see how it goes.

  1. Plan of Attack: YouDoPR
    I signed up for YouDoPR, a site featured on this blog. I knew there was no way that I could compile all the contact information needed for national media outlets. YouDoPR fills in that gap by offering an extensive database of different contacts at various newspapers, radio, and TV shows that can be tailored to a specific topic (for example, I used “Asian interest” as one of my requests). They provide you with a tailored list of names and organizations to contact.         
The way YouDoPR works is that you write your own press release (unless you pay for the additional service). I ended up creating my own based on their templates, which resulted in three different documents: an interview release, a book release, and a pitch letter. For the pitch, you can take some elements from your query letter, but your hook must not be about the physical book release itself, but intriguing elements in your story (mine is: book reveals Taiwan’s equivalent of 9/11).
I’ve received requests from numerous reviewers wanting to download my e-galley from NetGalley. As of date, one of them has published a review on their blog. Through the mass press release distribution, I have received one response asking to be sent a review copy. By specifically emailing contacts, I’ve gotten two newspaper interviews lined up.  

  1. Plan of Attack: Giveaway Goodies
Sarah talked about doing something creative with your giveaways to readers. Instead of a copy of your book (after all, you want them to buy it and not give it away for free) or even a gift card, do something that fits your book’s theme or characters. My novel centers around a secret—but that’s too, um, secretive for me to create something around. The 228 Legacy is also a multigenerational family story, so at first, I thought I’d make a basket for each main protagonist. In the end, though, I focused on the matriarch, the grandmother Silk. Since Silk is from Taiwan, my goodies have an Asian flair to them. They also integrate cherry blossoms, plants she used to view with fondness at Yangmingshan Park in Taiwan.

Here’s a photo of some of the goodies:

What do you think of the prizes?

I hope some of these tips are interesting and help other writers out. Thanks again to Sarah for having me on her blog! 

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Three generations in an all-female Taiwanese family living near Los Angeles in 1980 are each guarding personal secrets. Grandmother Silk finds out that she has breast cancer, as daughter Lisa loses her job, while pre-teen granddaughter Abbey struggles with a school bully. When Silk’s mysterious past comes out—revealing a shocking historical event that left her widowed—the truth forces the family to reconnect emotionally and battle their problems together.

A novel of cultural identity and long-standing secrets, The 228 Legacy weaves together multigenerational viewpoints, showing how heritage and history can influence individual behavior and family bonds.