Hello my Freaky Darlings,
I recently read a blog post about doing enough publicity. The post stated that you needed to do three meaningful things every day to promote your book and in John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Promote Your Book it states that you have to do at least one thing every day.
Now, I blog twice a week. I’m on Twitter and Facebook every day. Last week I gave a lecture on publicity to a class full of University students. On the 9th of October I’ve got an Author talk at Indulgence Coffee Cafe. I’ve had several reviews done on Shadows, I even bug friends of mine who have read my book to leave reviews on Amazon and Kalahari.net. I’m an interview slut. Although I don’t believe in the ‘In Your Face’ publicity. I try to keep the shoving my book down a persons throat to an absolute bare minimum. But strangely enough, I have a lot of people who pop onto my Facebook profile page and tell me that I’m a very hard working Author.
And even after all that it doesn’t seem to be enough. The reason I say it isn’t enough is because I only sell one or two copies of Shadows every month, which – lets face it – is not enough to survive on.
So it’s back to the drawing board! I have to wonder what I’m doing wrong and what am I doing right? Should I tweet more about my book? I must admit my tweets are more conversational with the odd bit about my writing. Should I do more on Facebook? Although it irritates the crap out of me when some Author I’ve never heard of starts trying to shove their book down my throat.
Which makes me think it has to do with striking a balance. But where is the happy middle? How do you avoid alienating potential readers while still letting them know that you and your book exist? JA Konrath says he’s got it figured but he’s been around one hell of a lot longer than I have and has a shitload more books out than I do. Plus I think he’s an anomaly.
So I put it to Authors and readers. When is it enough? What kind of publicity pisses you off? What attracts you? Let me know! Please!
8 thoughts on “When is it enough?”
I think I’m the wrong person to answer – cos I freaking have no answer! And I suspect I bug the living crap out of people so they buy my books to shut me up!
This is what bugs me as an author – I get hundreds of blog hits a day… yep hundreds. If only half those people bought my books we’d all be better off. 🙂
Exactly! I have over a hundred people on my blog everyday. I have people telling me on a regular basis that they desperately want to read Shadows, but they don’t actually go out and buy it. Is it the economy?
I think the economy plays a huge role. Personally, I hate spam, and on principle will not buy anyone’s book when it’s all they talk about.
I think competitions that are based on people having read the book are a good way to publicise. You have Caxtons available to you. Use them. You have a crossword – offer a signed copy to the winning entry. (That will help sell a few copies). Selling books is about raising awareness.
Christmas is coming, with that comes bonuses. Timing is often the most important aspect to success.
Offer to do book signings over December at restaurants (yes – what a crazy concept).
I think success comes with thinking outside the box as often as possible. Team up with a Tupperware lady for a month, and go with her to her T parties, offering to do book signings for anyone who buys your book at the party. (maybe sign a photo to be different). Offer her a percentage to help you sell copies.
Every publisher struggles at first. Maybe get the publishing house to offer a package – via a bookstore chain. Anyone who buys two or more of your publishers books stands the chance to win six books from the publisher.
It’s nationwide, the bookseller has an online newsletter to publicise it in – the publisher should sell more copies – run the competition for 3 / 4 months – and ask the competition entrants to email their till slip to you. Only one winner -but wow – you could sell quite a few in that time.
Selling is about being resourceful. Approach someone at the local flea market, and ask them to sell your book for you every Sunday? (For a percentage)
Those are just some of my thoughts on the topic.
Don’t spam – but publicity comes in may forms. Including book signing Sunday mornings at your local Wimpy 😛
Yeah, the promo thing has certainly given me the blues. And I agree with you about the in-your-face form of promo. That Page One thing that’s on Facebook drives me crazy with all their posts. The other thing that drives me crazy is the lack of response I get to emails inquiring about interviews and reviews.
There is a book out there called Beyond The Bookstore which I hear is a very good one for off-the-beaten-path ways to sell your book. I’ve ordered it.
Though only a month into this promo thing, I am beginning to see what seems to work, if even just a little, and what doesn’t so at least I’ll be a little better prepared the next time around.
I do wish that more of those who did buy the book would review it on Amazon and anywhere else the book is up for sale. Those reader reviews are one of the things I really think help sales.
I wish I had a better answer to it all.
People can be rather rude in regards to not replying to emails, but I guess they get so many and it’s probably all spam to them. I think in some ways it’s also just a case of keeping at it and not giving up. We’re all in the same boat and all competing for a narrow margin of readers.
I also think you have to be comfortable with whatever way you choose to publicise or market your book. If you’re not comfortable with what you’re doing it shows and will turn people off.
Scratch the people part – FRIENDS and FAMILY are the rudest. They’re the ones who lend their copies out and tell you delightedly how many people have read them and LOVED them. Great if your friend runs a library – cos here we get paid when a book is borrowed… not great if they don’t.
Oh and they’re the ones who can’t be fagged leaving a freaking review on Amazon, B & N, or Mobi… yet it takes seconds.
reviews and interviews sell books.
But like Joanie – I am tired of people who really want to read mine, actually, no, I’m tired of the excuses. So many people won’t buy them here because they have to buy them online… really? Is it that fucn hard to purchase something online? Cos I do it all the time, and it never occurred to me that it was hard.
People are lazy. If it doesn’t jump off a shelf and into their goddamn hand they won’t do it or buy it.
Rant over. 🙂
Oh and no one enters competitions. Cos they are required to do something – enter, not telepathically express interest.
now it’s over. 😀
What attracts me and pisses me off at the same time is JA Konrath.
I know and have talked with Joe. He’s a heck of a nice man and a pleasure to chat with.
But, now that he’s earning 100k a year, he blogged he’s going to stop public appearances. And by his lack of signing up to attend Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, a writer and fan day event just an hour from where Joe lives (and one he’s never missed), it seems he’s holding to that plan. I do hope he changes his mind on this.
Joe worked like a dog for many years to get his name out there.
He even tracked down the largest book distribution warehouse, gave the workers signed copies of his books, and bought them all lunch and beers.
He spent the day signing the books in the warehouse.
He told me, though he hadn’t asked for it to happen, the workers were adding at least one unordered copy of his books to every shipment leaving that day for bookstores.
Hundreds of shipments – hundreds of Joe’s books.
Few were returned and his sales for that month showed an obvious increase.
How many of us are really ready to invest that kind of commitment? Joe’s earned every bit of recognition he receives.
For my own book, I made up 1200 bookmarks which were handed out by four dealers at one of the largest flea markets in my home state of Illinois.
I stopped by our local bookstore only to be asked by the clerk how I’d managed to get so many people coming in to buy my book. The problem? It’s an ebook, and the publisher, Noble Romance, doesn’t do POD.
The bookmark had the download details on it. But the majority of book buyers don’t buy on-line – – yet.
Did it help or hurt me? The jury’s still out.
I have two blogs and contribute to a third.
I also wrote an article on law enforcement for mystery author Sam Reave’s web site.
In addition, I make hit-and-run stops like this one to try and promote my work, both as author and journalist.
I post interview links along with my book on facebook. But I’m shy about the ‘friend’ request thing with people I don’t know.
I’m aware many send out requests and have built numbers of friends that way, but are those unknown ‘friends’ actually helping that marketing venture?
In my latest agreement for my unpaid column I write, a line advertising my book was added to the end of the column.
Controversy drives sales.
But writers who bash their readers seem to drift away.
I recently started to read a book about publishing a book.
In the first chapter the author called me (the reader) an “asshole” three times, and mentioned more than once how stupid I was for buying the book – a point I found us to agree on, and one I will not repeat as far as that author is concerned.
I didn’t make it to the end of the chapter and readily share my opinion of that book with anyone who wants to hear it.
I don’t “Tweet,” but have weiter friends who do, and they advertise my work on Twitter for me as a favor.
And I think that is a huge part of what we do.
Writers must support each other.
Leaving reviews and sharing links is critical and of mutual benefit to all involved.
By ignoring each other, we only ignore ourselves.