Category Archives: promotion

A question for my readers…

I need to do some promotion work for The Corpse-Eater Saga.  I know that my series is  bit niche, but I’m comfortable that the appropriate audience is out there.  Somewhere.  I just have to figure out how to put my book in front of them.

So my question to you is this: where do you get your book recommendations?

The New Plan

So, one of the hardest parts about trying to ‘make it’ as an author is promotion.  It is an unfortunate fact that, no matter how good your writing is, you can’t do it for a living if you can’t get people to buy it.  And that means promoting yourself.  Unfortunately, for many, if not most artists, ‘sales’ is contrary to our very nature.

A friend of mine, also an author (Jason Richter, look him up!) has a plan that seems like it won’t be nearly as painful as most self promotion techniques.  It is a multi-step plan which will start right about the time I release Curdled Cuisine.

I look forward to sharing more about it once I actually start, but for right now the part that I’m working on is a series of short stories.  I haven’t done a lot of short story writing in the last couple of years, so I have to ask: if I’m sending out short stories or serialized short stories to people’s e-mails once a month, how long is too long, and how short is too short?

Bloody Banquet

Bloody Banquet is currently in the hands of my editor, which means that it shouldn’t be too awful long before it winds up on bookshelves… well, on virtual bookshelves everywhere.  I’d like to think that it won’t be too awful long before it ends up on physical bookshelves, but let’s be honest here, they’ll probably put out book one first, and since I still don’t have an ETA on that… I guess I’ll just focus on my end of things.

Anyway, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m trying to pull off in book three, but I still need to organize a few of the major events and decide what foreshadowing I need for future books, and which lines of foreshadowing I need to make sure continue through this one.  I’m going to have to get a lot more organized, I think.  I’m also going to have to reread my books which I’m not looking forward to… hey, don’t look at me like that, I’ve already read both of them, like, half a dozen times while I was writing them!  There’s a limit to how many times you can read your own work before it starts to make you a little crazy.  Of course, I’m already pretty deep into crazytown, so maybe I just need to quit my bitching and get back to work.

Well, wish me luck, Book three, tentatively entitled ‘curdled cuisine,’ is going to be my focus for the next couple of months.

That being said, if you enjoyed book one, and if you like book two, please make a point of mentioning it to your friends.  As I understand it, I’ve currently sold about twenty-odd copies of Awfully Appetizing, which is somewhat on the disappointing side.

Anyhow, hope you’re all doing well, talk to you soonish.

Social Media?

Perhaps I’m dating myself, but I just don’t get most social media.  It’s basically a requirement, if you’re trying to be a writer, that you use social media to promote yourself.  You’re supposed to set up a facebook author page, a twitter account, a webpage, a blog, pintrest, twango, rootcanal… sorry, kind of started making stuff up there, but if I’m honest about it, half the time when I hear about something new I’m fairly certain the person telling me about it is pulling my leg.

There are a few I kind of like.  I mean, blogging, that’s basically just me talking about myself in front of a bunch of people, but without them being able to see me, so I don’t have to put on any clothes first!  The webpage is fine, too.  I wish they’d make those things a little bit easier to play with, if they did I’d be changing stuff up more regularly.

But there are so many different online things that I just don’t get!

Twitter: what could I possibly have to say in a hundred and forty characters that anybody would want to hear?

Okay, I can think of a few things, but only… maybe twelve or thirteen. And those don’t come up often.  Outside of ‘finished my latest book, and boy am I tired,’ and ‘I just became an Uncle!  Woo!’ most of my interesting tweets are also fairly depressing.  I can’t imagine why anybody who didn’t know me already wold want to hear about that.

Pinterest may be cool, I don’t know, I don’t understand it at all.  As best as I can tell you just click ‘pin it’ on images and articles that look cool to you and then… can other people look at your pins?  I don’t really know how that works.

But the one that really makes me crazy is linkedin.  As best as I can tell, linked in is basically an electronic rolodex, but without the useful contact information, and other people get to put themselves into it.

Wanna free book?

A while back it occurred to me, after going to a couple of book signings, that book signings don’t seem to be massively effective.  Basically, if you want to get a bunch of people there, and you aren’t already famous, you have to do a lot of advertising, make sure that ALL of your friends promise to come, and tell them to invite all of their friends, too.

So, what you end up with at a typical book signing is a bunch of people you know, and a couple of people that they know, and maybe two or three people who saw an ad and thought ‘what the heck,’ or just stumbled across the signing by accident.

Now, there are other styles of book signings which generally seem to involve setting up a table in a high traffic area, bringing a lot of books, and hoping that your nifty cover draws some attention.  Apparently those can work, although in many cases what you end up with are sore feet and three or four sales.  So, you know, just make sure you don’t have to pay anybody to set up your table.

What occurred to me back when I had friends setting up book signings was that a multi-author book signing event would probably work a lot better.  For one thing, larger events tend to attract more people.  If you have one author signing books it’s easy to say, ‘eh, probably a terribly written story inspired by a role playing game.’  But if you have five or six authors signing books, it lends the event an air of legitimacy.  Plus, if five or six people invite all of their friends, chances are that some of the people who are hearing about your book don’t actually know who you are.  it’s actually possible to expand your audience, which, needless to say, is kind of the point of the whole damned thing.

To my surprise, an author friend of mine invited me to an online book release party.  Not just to attend, but also to be one of the hosts, talk about my books and my writing, and even give away a few copies of my book.

I wish I could give away physical copies, but as stated before, there are some issues with that.

Anyhow, the event is coming up on the 12th and is on facebook:

Please feel free to attend if you’d like to have a chance to get a free copy of my book, or one of the other hosts, most especially J.A. Kazimer, who is writing the Deadly Ever After series, and whose second book is about to be published.

I’m quite excited to be involved in a multi-author book release.  I still think that it would be cool to set up a multi-author book signing… but there would be a lot of logistics involved there.  Maybe someday.

Promotional Project Woes

So, as I’ve mentioned before, my book sales are not exactly where I want them to be at the moment.  My publisher and I discussed a couple of promotional things that I can do, and I’m hoping that as soon as my book becomes available in print, as well as just online, my sales figures will start to rise.  But in thinking over what I can do to draw some attention, both to my book and to myself as an author, I remembered an idea I had a few years ago.

It’s pretty much a perfect fit with my current series, and I while nothing is guaranteed, it at least has the potential of drawing quite a bit of attention.

The downside is that it basically centers around my writing another book.

That’s right, to promote one book, I’m going to need to write another one.  And how do I promote the second book?  I’ve got a few ideas on that front, but i’m going to be playing it all a little close to the vest for right now.  And that isn’t the point of this blog.

The thing that’s giving me trouble at the moment is that writing this new book involves a complete style change for me.  I’ve spent years learning to write a particular way, and now I have to make massive adjustments in how I approach my new book.

There actually isn’t all that much to write.  Where one of my novels will typically be around eighty thousand words, this new project might get up to ten thousand.  But I’m struggling with it more than I do when I’m writing a novel.  With a novel I hit maybe one or two walls in the first half of the book, five or six right in the middle, and one or two as I approach the end.  With what I’m working on now, it feels like every paragraph is its own wall.  I find myself lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to sort through one more line.

In the end I expect it will all be worth it.  Even if this doesn’t work as a promotional tool, it’s a project that is forcing me to practice writing skills I don’t usually use, and I’m a bit believe in that.

But in the here and now, I’m starting to get frustrated.

A manufactured Rush

So, I got some terrible news today.  It seems that in the three weeks since my book came out, I’ve sold a total of seven copies.

Now, in fairness, most of the people I know who are willing to buy a copy of my book for me are more into print copies of the book, and for the last three weeks no print copies have been available.  That said, seven books in the first three weeks is… pretty bad.

I talked to a friend and fellow author about the problem.  Jason Richter, who wrote Mating Rituals of Migratory Humans.  He suggested that I ‘arrange a rush’ on my book.  Basically I’m supposed to contact all of my friends who are willing and able to buy copies of the book and try to get all of them to purchase a copy on the same day at around the same time.

The theory, as I understand it, is that if you do that your amazon ranking shoots up, which, presumably, means that some amazon algorithm decides that your book is ‘hot’ and they market you a little bit.  Theoretically, you get a few extra sales out of the deal, I think.

Now, honestly, I don’t really get it.  Any of it.  But Richter is a smart fellow, and according to him it can work, so what the hell, I’ll give it a try.

The problem now is that I have to wait until I know for sure my book is actually in print, and then I have to contact everyone I know all at once.  Sadly, I am not the most organized person in the world.  At the moment, for example, my bedroom floor is a bit tricky to navigate as I have a sprawling pile of clean clothes that I really need to hang up, a pile of junk mail from the past couple of months that I need to shred, and a pile of dirty clothes that is slowly encroaching on the clean clothes pile.

Oh, and a giant roll of paper that I bought from the newspaper people so I could make diagrams to help me keep track of crap in my writing.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: writing is a passion, a calling, a lifestyle.  Promoting is a job.

Anyhow, if anyone out there who happens upon this blog is interested in reading a book about an anti-social ghoul who finds himself caught in the middle of a battle between neckbiters and crotchsniffers (that’s vampires and werewolves), please, head to amazon and buy a book.  You’ll make my day.

No, seriously, you’ll make my day.  I’ve got to have a ‘talk’ with my editor and a marketing guy in a couple of days.  It feels like I’ve been called into the principals office.