"Upon the creatures we have made, we are, ourselves, at last, dependent." ~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe(1749-1832) German poet, novelist and dramatist.
Yesterday, the June issue of Romance Writers' Report arrived, with an article titled "Self-Promotion for the Introvert." Perfect timing! Though I'm not really an introvert, I'm always interested in what other authors/publishers have to say about marketing and promotion.
Most of it was the typical advice: develop on online presence, send out press releases, have bookmarks made and carry them everywhere you go.
But two pieces of information did stand out for me, both in the section on Book Signings. First, the author of article recommends having 2 but no more than 3 authors at a book signing. More than 1 is good so you're not sitting there alone, but more than 3 becomes intimidating for readers walking by. I've already blogged about how I agree with this. Second, choose other authors whose books are similar in genre to your own. This, I think, is part of the struggle I have with the group of authors in this area that I've been doing appearances with. They're all lovely, interesting women, but 4 of the 5 of them write erotic romance. (The 5th writes historical romance and I, of course, write contemporary mainstream that's sweet/bordering on sensual). It's tough to promote your book about a love story set in present day that has no explicit sex in it, when your title is sandwiched between covers with naked men and multiple arms and legs twined together and stories about demons and vampires and futuristic societies where everyone is having lots and lots of graphic sex, often with multiple partners.
Don't get me wrong, I know that the market is hot for paranormal and erotic romance right now. And I'm learning a lot in spending time with authors who've been published longer than I have. It's just that it's difficult to sell such completely different kinds of books to a single reader standing there looking at the covers.
So how does this affect me? Well, in the future I may not go to every signing and appearance that the group sets up, though I'll still attend some, especially in my local area. But as I said a couple of days ago, I need to think carefully about where I spend my promotional time and money, and this article shed some light for me.
Along those lines, I'm looking into setting up an author launch party at my local library (which is not really a library, but a "resource center" - long story for another time), which would be just me and my books. We'll see...I have to do some more research and talk to some people this week.
And that ends today's chapter on Allie's Promotional Efforts - I hope those of you out there who are pre-published or newly published are taking notes! (just kidding...sort of...)