"I do promotion when it is necessary, but I always want to get back to the music." ~Enya
A couple of days ago, Marianne emailed me to ask how successful I thought my promotional efforts had been, regarding One Night in Boston and Lost in Paradise.
I was honest: mixed. If you've been reading my blog all along, you'll know that my sales for Boston have been pretty decent for the ebook, but they flopped for Paradise. I'm still trying to figure out why. Because my print releases are coming up for both, I've tried to take an honest look at what's seemed to work, over the last few months, and what turned out to be a waste of time and/or money. I'm switching my efforts from the ebook sales to the print ones (what? you haven't pre-ordered One Night in Boston yet? It's on super-sale over at Amazon. Go ahead, here's the link. I'll wait while you take care of that.)
What has seemed to work:
1. Sending press releases to local papers. I had 2 articles featuring me as "local author" that bumped sales in those months.
2. Keeping a visible online presence - blogging, posting on various forums, running contests, sending an electronic newsletter.
3. Writing articles for various online sites and getting my name in front of other readers as much as possible.
What hasn't really worked:
1. Posting trailers. They're fun to make, but I don't know that they draw sales.
2. Sending bookmarks and other traditional kinds of swag to conferences. I have a feeling most of that stuff gets thrown away.
What I hope will work:
1. Teaming up with other authors in my area and doing some signing and appearances. These are all coming up in the next few months, so I'll have a better idea of how profitable they are then.
2. Having books available in print! As much as some people purchase and read ebooks, most of my friends, family, and coworkers are still waiting for the "real" paper copy to release. So I'm hoping my print sales are good.
3. Taking out an ad in Romance Sells. This is an expensive one, but the booklet gets mailed to nearly 7000 booksellers and librarians around the country; i.e., the people who make the book buying decisions for the public. [Has anyone out there done this? Reactions?]
And if you're still here, still reading, I'll toss out a few promo plugs for what I'm doing right now:
Samhain Spring Showers over at Coffee Time Romance. A bunch of authors have excerpts posted, and we've had some great comments, and fun discussion, so far. Stop by and comment on my post, please? I like to see it up near the top of the page with recent comments :)
This Friday, March 21, is my first book-signing appearance, though I won't yet have books in print. I'll be joining 4 other authors at the Borders in Scranton, PA, from 7 pm - 9 pm. And I'll be handing out these really cool excerpt booklets that I had made at Vista Print. If you're around Scranton, stop by!
Next week, Samhain author Diane Craver is featuring "Small Press Week" and interviewing authors. I"ll be there Thursday, March 27, so swing by for a funny "First Kiss" story :)
Have you signed up for my electronic newsletter yet? The link is over there, in the sidebar. I only send out 1 every other month, so if you'd like to keep up with Allie news, that's your chance!
Finally, if you haven't yet purchased Lost in Paradise, and you aren't totally against ebooks, give it a try! You can always treat yourself to read a few pages online during lunch or when you're taking a break at work. You can read the reviews here.
There's a lot happening in the next few months, so stay tuned! I know there are a lot of (new) lurkers out there, so I'm waving a big hello to you all. And if you're an author who's discovered promo methods that really show results, leave a comment and let me know. I'm always looking for new ideas!