Thursday, October 21, 2010

What kind of promo works

Well, no one really knows, of course, but SinC released their survey results (I participated in the survey and, boy, it was LONG and detailed--I complained about the time it took to fill out!) that are kind of interesting and informative. Here's the URL of a blog talking about what was "found."

http://poesdeadlydaughters.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-kind-of-book-promotion-works.html

The discussion that follows is interesting, also, with as many opinions as people.

Kit


5 comments:

BillieJohn said...

Thanks, Kit, for sharing this link and your thoughts on the topic...always a hot button item.

In my experience, having done almost 100 paper books, there is just no one path to good sales. And the X factor is always at play. What works for one author simply doesn't for another, often times.

And there ARE big difference between small press books and those from big houses...the biggest of these is having sway with the brick & mortar booksellers. It is simple economics...they have only so much display area and the bigger houses are willing and able to pay for their displays. End caps and front of the store displays are not accidents and they are not free. The big houses also pay cash for co-op advertising, again in amounts and chain-wide deals that squeeze out small presses.

The thing that is almost guaranteed to NOT work, however, is doing nothing. I think the author, in conjunction with this publisher anyway, needs to figure out what he can do, what his reach is, make a plan and work it.

Some people are very into the social networking things and that creates interest in their books. But that isn't the only way. For example, John Taylor, whose two OTP books have been big sellers, and with sales that have endured over many months...John is totally NOT an internet guy. However, through his military and police careers, he has many friends who were eager to buy book one, then book two. Similarly for Bill Wilhelm. And, our title just released in San Luis Obispo last month, JETTA'S JOURNEY, is selling strong and kicking up a lot of interest since its author knows just how to identify her markets and support groups.

The nut I am trying to crack right now is the Ebook biz...not Kindle, but the others. At six months and lots of moolah into the program, we still have sold only one copy of one title...surely I am doing something wrong!

Billie Johnson
Publisher

BillieJohn said...

Thanks, Kit, for sharing this link and your thoughts on the topic...always a hot button item.

In my experience, having done almost 100 paper books, there is just no one path to good sales. And the X factor is always at play. What works for one author simply doesn't for another, often times.

And there ARE big difference between small press books and those from big houses...the biggest of these is having sway with the brick & mortar booksellers. It is simple economics...they have only so much display area and the bigger houses are willing and able to pay for their displays. End caps and front of the store displays are not accidents and they are not free. The big houses also pay cash for co-op advertising, again in amounts and chain-wide deals that squeeze out small presses.

The thing that is almost guaranteed to NOT work, however, is doing nothing. I think the author, in conjunction with this publisher anyway, needs to figure out what he can do, what his reach is, make a plan and work it.

Some people are very into the social networking things and that creates interest in their books. But that isn't the only way. For example, John Taylor, whose two OTP books have been big sellers, and with sales that have endured over many months...John is totally NOT an internet guy. However, through his military and police careers, he has many friends who were eager to buy book one, then book two. Similarly for Bill Wilhelm. And, our title just released in San Luis Obispo last month, JETTA'S JOURNEY, is selling strong and kicking up a lot of interest since its author knows just how to identify her markets and support groups.

Continued...)

Billie Johnson
Publisher

BillieJohn said...

Part two...

The nut I am trying to crack right now is the Ebook biz...not Kindle, but the others. At six months and lots of moolah into the program, we still have sold only one copy of one title...surely I am doing something wrong!

One of the best things about the Internet/social networking venues is that often a mention pops up at some random moment and exposes the author or title to a whole new group of potential readers...such as in the comments of this post Kit directed us to...way down in, one commenter refers to a fellow author in his church who is a successful author...Diane Noble. It is true that Diane is one of those success stories that keep us all going, and also true that Diane is a wonderful writer, though her books are slanted toward the Christian market and are not mysteries (and this post was on and Sis in Crime blog)...and it is also true that Diane and I started out in the same writing critique group in 1988!

Small world indeed...

Billie Johnson
Publisher

BillieJohn said...

Here's Marilyn's comment which I so carelessly deleted while trying to correct the DOZENS of repeat posting of my comment...my apologies to Marilyn, and as she said....


I have only read bits and pieces of the survey--but it's really apples and oranges.

The authors with big name publishers go on book tours and have advertsing, small press have to do something different.

I'm getting ready to go on a blog tour in November for my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery and most of the blogs I'm visiting are read by readers rather than writers--which I think is a biggie.

Many of my friends on Facebook are just that--friends though of course I have some writer friends there too.

If social networking does nothing else, it gets your name out there. Ask me about the fan I met at Bouchercon. Can't tell the story in a public forum, but he "met" me on a social network.

They also poo poo DorothyL with it's over 3000 members. Sorry, I know that one sells books.

Frankly, I'm going to do wha works for me.

And though I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, International is NOT a friend of small press authors.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hey, Billie, what do you mean you've only sold 1 e-book? Clarify, please.

Marilyn