Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Promotion on the Net

This month's Colophon, put out by our wonderful publisher is full of great information.

Though I do think most of us seek our comfort zone for promotion--all of us need to do a bit of stretching. I was especially taken by Sunny's comments about the author who thought she was too old to learn new tricks.

I'm not sure who Sunny was referring to, though I've heard more than one person make similar comments. Folks, I'm probably the oldest of the Oaktree Press author's--but I've learned lots of new tricks. Of course it takes time, just ask me about my new iPhone!

Why someone wouldn't want to learn how to do things to promote a book that you can do right in front of your computer I don't understand.

Right now I'm on a virtual blog tour for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Dispel the Mist. I went on one for No Sanctuary and I plan on doing one for the next book in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Axe to Grind. I paid for this blog tour, but you can arrange one for yourself by finding blogs that do interviews and book reviews of the kind of book you write. Of course you must plan dates and do some back and forth emailing to set the whole thing up.

It does take time, even if someone else is arranging the tour, because you want fresh content for each of the blogs you visit.

Today I'm here http://www.thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ where my main character Tempe Crabtree is interviewed.

When you are on tour, you need to let everyone you know where you are stopping each day. Also time consuming. But when I do one of these tours my numbers on Amazon go way down--which is a good thing.

I also do a lot of the in-person marketing that was mentioned in the Colophon. I'm not going to Bouchercon this year because it landed the same weekend as the Apple Festival in Springville where I live. I know I'll sell a lot of books there.

Last weekend I was at the Central Coast Book and Author Fest. It was cold and windy so not as many people came as usual. I sold quite a few books despite the weather as did the author on my left side, and the authors in the Sisters in Crime booth on my right side. However, the people in the booths directly across from us didn't sell anything and I can tell you why. They never once got out of their chairs to talk to anyone. Folks, if you are doing an in-person event and are behind a table you must stand up when people pass by and engage them in a conversation. That's the only way you can interest them in your books. The man directly across from me had books with beautiful covers but that wasn't enough, people looked, he sat, people walked on by.

No, it isn't easy, but put a smile on your face and start talking about your wonderful book(s).

We are really fortunate that our publisher is willing to go to Bouchercon and promote our mysteries. This isn't the norm.

I've never done what Michael Orenduff did with his bookstore tour and probably won't. But it's a great idea and turned out successful for him.

It's certainly okay to find your comfort zone with this promotion business--but you still have to stretch a bit if you want to sell books. And as far as the Internet goes--goodness there are so many opportunities and it's so easy and in most cases, free, why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

Sunny keeps sending out great places where people are willing to interview you and/or read and review your book. I've been taking advantage of them and because I see some familiar names, I know some of you are doing it too.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

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