Woo! Sorry about that last post. As rule I should avoid blogging when I’ve been up for more than twenty hours at a stretch. I know people who can function after a couple of days without sleep, but let’s face it, I need eight hours a day or I’m delirious.
Anyway, after finding out a couple of days ago that I’ve sold all of seven copies of my book over the last three weeks (SEVEN?!?), I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time over the next couple of days focusing on promotion.
But one of the problems I have with promotions is that the best forms generally take a lot of time, and are incredibly hard to attribute directly to the source.
For example, the form of promotion I think is most effective is word of mouth. If somebody reads your book and loves it so much that they start telling everybody about it, that is probably the single most effective method of reaching a wide audience that you will ever find. Now, it’s true that if the person who read it and loves it has a platform, it’s even more effective, for example, if Oprah Winfrey loves your book, that’ll get you more sales than if Ms. Bennett from apartment 3A loves your book, but either way, if you can make somebody a fan for life, then you’ve got an advertisement that will keep on working for you for years to come. Not to mention the fact that an endorsement from someone who is obviously not being paid to endorse your work will carry more weight than any paid advertisement. Oh, and by the way, you also have somebody who wants to know when your next book comes out.
But getting word of mouth going requires time. After all, you have to get the book into the reader’s hand and wait for them to actually read it. Plus, who remembers the name of a book recommended to them in a casual conversation? You have to tell it to them half a dozen times before they remember that it was Storm Front by Jim Butcher, not the Butcher Store by Jimmy Front.
And attribution is a bitch as well. Promoting is a lot like putting on a blindfold and throwing darts at the board. When you finally take the blindfold off and see that one of the darts got you fifty points, how the hell are you supposed to know which throw it came from?
So even if you find the perfect way to promote your book, once you’ve done it, how the hell do you figure out which of the techniques is actually responsible?
I’m sending review requests to a bunch of book reviewers over the next couple of days. I’ve done this before, when I was promoting a book under another name. I sent out reviews to about a dozen bloggers and exactly zero of them replied. But hey, maybe this time…