Karen T posted an entry about promotion on her blog. I agree with her—and everybody else who has said it—about gimmicky things not making a difference. I love widgets and such, but I’m not plunking down 7.99 unless the book looks good or I’ve heard good things about it.
Here’s my favorite part of her post:
With the very, very rare exception, Iâ€™ve yet to see where plowing so much time, energy and moolah into promotion has paid off to any significant degree. But I think I understand why people do it â€” because, in an insanely competitive business where so much seems out of our control, thereâ€™s a desperate need to feel that something, besides the book itself, is. That, if we really, really try, we can influence the outcome of our career. Frankly, I think thatâ€™s pretty much of an illusion, but a comforting one, for all that.
Being terrified of promotion, I latch on to any excuse not to dive into it. *g*
I think one of the reasons I spent a long time targetting Harlequin/Silhouette—besides being a
long-time loyal* reader of category—is the comfort of having the H/S promotion machine behind you. Line branding is a promo-shy author’s friend. If I published a Blaze, Blaze readers would find me. And, while the short shelf-life may seem unappealing, category readers know when to go to the stores and get them. I wouldn’t ever see the NYT list, but I wouldn’t have to leave my comfort zone, either. It seems ironic to me that I found my way to e-publishing—a venue in which on-line promo is not only vital, but sometimes seems more important and more effective than writing a good book.
Anyway, go read Karen T’s post. I’ve learned more from her and Patricia McLinn in the last 5 years than in every single how-to book I’ve ever bought.
Oh, and I guess—since promo’s the subject—I should remind y’all that Forever Again is out in print! Clicking on the cover over in my sidebar will take you to Amazon, but it’s also available at bn.com and bamm.com, as well as mybookstoreandmore.com. It’s also on the shelves at Borders!
* My editor pointed out THAT I used ‘long time’ twice in one sentence.
PS—There’s a Dunkin Donuts on fire in Concord.
Forever Again in print, oooo! :love:
Awful about the Dunkin Donuts.
Promo: I started to reply but turned into an essay. It’s a big subject. For myself, I only do what I’m comfortable with, most of what I do is free, and I think very carefully about what I spend money on. And my time is a big factor. I have a husband who works long and erratic hours and two very small children who need attention and care pretty much 24/7. I’m producing 4 titles a year and working on upping that. This leaves very little time to spare.
Having spent the past three years in the epublishing world, where the publisher doesn’t promote much on behalf of the author, I have invested an enormous amount of time on my own behalf. A lot of that probably stems from my former career in marketing where it was drummed into our heads that a potential client has to see your name 8 to 10 times before they’ll remember you. I figured if I was going to go to all the time and trouble to write a book, it would be nice if people recognized my name and knew something about me and my book(s) when they were released so maybe they’d buy them.
I do spend money on promo materials. I do spend money on conferences. I do spend time on groups promoting myself, though not as much now as I used to because I don’t have the time I did once. Then again I’m not publicity or promotion shy. I like to get out there in front of people, so my situation is a little different than yours, Shan.
And I don’t mind spending a little money on things like bookmarks and magnets and pens to give to my readers. Does it equate to book sales? I’ve done it since before my first book came out, so I can’t say. It’s just something I do.
But I also like to think I write good books, and promotion notwithstanding, the quality of the story is what sells them, not the promotion.
Your blog here is an incredible promotion tool. Don’t discount it. You do a fabulous job with it.
And I have Forever Again. Found it at Borders last weekend. :cheer:
I’m trying. Really I am. It’s just…hard for me. :baby:
So if I type…
…y’all will run and get my books? :cheesy:
No, but seriously. I understand the necessity and importance of promoting. It’s just so painful for me I’m always relieved when somebody says you can have some success without investing all my time and all my husband’s money into it. :nod: