Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Two Cents on Promotion

Like Charles and Vicki, I'm getting ready for a new book to come out very soon - planning a promotional campaign - and not enjoying it very much, sorry to say. I'm one of those peoplewho doesn't care for the planning part. I don't like calling up people who've never heard of me and trying to convince them that I'm the greatest thing since little green apples and they should by all means have me speak at their bookstore/library/club. It's not that I'm particularly shy, and I'm certainly not overly modest. I secretly suspect that I am the greatest thing since little green apples. My problem is that unlike Charles, I'm having to learn the advertising game as I go along, and I really hate having to take the time to do it.

Writing is a - let us not say 'late' - but more like a 'mature' life career change for me. I put in my thirty-five years in the workplace, and now I find that getting out there and beating the bushes doesn't appeal. I like to be quiet for a change, and write. I like the public speaking. I've done a lot of it in my life and am good at it. But I don't like having to set up the gigs . If I had the money, I'd have a publicist do it for me.

It’s difficult when you start a writing career to know what the most effective things are to do to gain attention for your books. I think sometimes that I’d be better served to do fewer signings and start concentrating on attending more big writing conferences. That way I’d get to know more of the mystery writers around the country, and maybe get a little bit wider exposure. When I first started, I was advised to concentrate on a narrower audience until I was better known, which I have done, and it has served me well. But the law of diminishing returns kicks in after a couple of books, and you have to keep finding new venues.

I think that with the new book, I'm going to try more internet promotion. Which is pretty optomistic of me, since I'm not very computer-savvy, either.


Jan Brogan said...

Hi Donis,
I feel EXACTLY the same way. Not shy, like public speaking, and I don't even think I'd mind marketing as an alternate career -- as long as I was selling something other than myself. For me, its not just the organizational element, but the energy required to keep putting yourself, your book, your poor ego forward time and time again. And when you come back from a bookstore event, where say three people showed up, you have to ask yourself - is this really an efficient strategy???

Charles benoit said...

Depends how you define efficient. I had a book signing a few years back - sold one book. But that woman hooked me up with her book club where I spoke to 12. One of those in attendance set me up for a signing that led to 50+ sales, and two people from that signing connected me to other events, both of which topped 50 sales each. From that one woman I can connect 200 sales - not Larry Block numbers but I'm not Larry Block. You just never know who you are selling to - besides, what are your other options? Not doing that event? More bookmarks? I strongly believe that, like it or not, you have to put yourself out there, all the time.

Rick Blechta said...

I think you sort of look like Larry Block. You certainly have the same accent and come from the same part of the US.

You can be our TypeM Larry Block stand-in.

But to be on topic, my motto is: every book sold is one less to go in the remainder bin. Now THAT'S something really sad to see.

In the current book market, it's up to most authors to do their own marketing. Look at it as an investment in yourself.

Our Charles is a good example of someone who makes the most of his chances.