byon August 17th, 2010 at 09:48 PM (608 Views)
Promo is something that always weighs heavy on my mind. Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right thing or am I making prospective readers run in the opposite direction? Thatís the difficulty with promo for books. Itís hard to quantify and decide what actually works.
I have a few promo rules I adhere to:
1. I never spend more than I earn or think Iím going to earn.
2. When I do promo I tend to promote my brand as a whole rather than focusing on a particular book. (there are a few exceptions to this rule but now that I have a backlist I tend to promo my name)
3. When it comes to a choice of promo or writing, the writing wins every time. I figure if I donít have the product then there isnít any need for promo.
4. I have a rule I call the rule of three where I try to do three things every day to promote my name or books. This makes the whole promo beast seem more manageable because Iím breaking it down into manageable bites.
My promo consists of:
I like to blog hop as much as I can. Some days I have more time than others, but I think this is a way of getting my name out. I tend to steer clear of contentious blogs because I donít believe anyone wins in an online war. When I blog hop I also find books to add to my to-read list and it helps me keep up on market info.
I like forums. I belong to the Romance Divas forum and the Coffee Time forum. I donít manage to get there every day but I enjoy the contact with other writers and readers. Both places are extremely friendly and make newbies welcome.
I have a Twitter account and a Facebook page. I try to visit these pages in the morning only so I don't lose too much time.
I post to publisher yahoo groups whenever practical. e.g. Ellora's Cave and Samhain Yahoo groups.
I take advantage of guest blogging and interviews whenever possible. I join my publisher blogs and post as often as I can.
I joined The Romance Studio when I was first published and have kept up my membership. Itís very reasonable and offers many opportunities for advertising and promotion.
There's also Savvy Authors!
Iím not sure that print advertising is good value for money for ebooks. It can be very expensive and itís difficult to quantify the results. If I have a print book I always consider print advertising since this makes sense, but once again I think itís very expensive.
Take advantage of free offers. Manic Readers (see the button in my blog sidebar) has free author pages. It doesnít take long to set up a page. Authorís Den also has free author pages. (A fee is charged for the Featured Author pages)
Bookmarks Ė I donít believe itís necessary to have bookmarks. Yes, itís nice to have them. Yes, I have bookmarks at the moment, but I donít think youíll lose sales because you donít have them. You can use postcards or business cards instead of bookmarks.
Online Banner advertising Ė Iím not convinced banner ads work as a method of advertising. Others might disagree, but they havenít worked for me.
A good website, kept up-to-date, is the best thing you can do to promote yourself. Look at other authorsí websites. Features and designs that attract your eye will probably attract the attention of readers as well. I maintain my website and blog and update frequently.
Bottom Line: I think any promotion you do should be enjoyable. It shouldnít stress you out or make you crabby because itís taking you away from family or your writing. If you get to this stage, concentrate on your writing because thatís the most important thing.
How do you approach promotion? What do you do? What are your favorite methods of promotion? What things do you enjoy? If youíre a reader, what sort of things make you pay attention to a writer? What makes you pick up a book or order a book online from a new author or an author unfamiliar to you?