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.