Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ups and downs along the promotion road
When my book, A Lesson in Murder, published by OTP, came out last fall, I was a novice at the promotional game. But, I have been learning with the help of other writers I have met at writers' conferences and online. When I attended the Philadelphia Writers' Conference in June of 2007, I connected with someone from my high school days. Turns out she is one of the organizers of the conference, and is a writer herself. She did an article about me and the book in a Philadelphia suburban newspaper. (It probably helped that I won 1st prize in the fiction competition at the conference for the first four chapters of my 2nd novel). In connection with the article, I had a book launch party at the local library with food supplied by my caterer cousins. I had bookmarks made up for the occasion, also. There was also a story and book review in newsletter at the place where I work, which has several hundred employees.
Those are the high spots. I have also encountered a great deal of rejection in my attempts to get the word out about the book. I sent press release packages to other newspapers. No responses. I was scheduled to have a reading and book signing at a local independent bookstore. They had promoted the appearance on their website and in local newspapers. They then said they had to postpone the reading, and then would not respond to me when I tried to reschedule. Other bookstores have also simply not responded to inquiries about purchasing or promoting the book. I also have tried to have the book reviewed without success, except for one online spot.
But, I am going to another mystery bookstore to pitch again, and I will be attending another writers' conference next month, with bookmarks in hand. I was at a local mall the other week, and I saw someone handing out flyers and putting them under wipers on cars in the parking lot to promote her dance studio. I started to think maybe I should do the same thing with my bookmarks. But, do people really like stuff put on their cars, and would this action create negative responses? Still thinking about that one.
Anyway, congratulations to my home team, the Phillies, for winning the World Series! I wish you all well.
Gus Cileone, www.augustuscileone.com