Thursday, August 26, 2010

promotion

What's more important, to write a great book or to have great promotion? What if the two are mutually exclusive? Promotion is taking major time away from writing. PR is definitely my Achilles heel. I don't know how to do it and I don't enjoy doing it. So for the last couple of years, I've all but ignored it. Which is showing up in my book sales.

So over the last few weeks, I had to put away my bestseller project and have been doing promotion instead. I'm now on Twitter and Facebook and even blogging at eHarlequin. (Please find me and friend/follow me. Pleeeaase!) I'm also taking two classes on social networking/PR, one from Beth Barany, the other from Marcia James. I love both. I'm taking copious notes and making lots of plans. And hoping that I'll have the time to put what I learned into practice. Learning about >>meme<< tonight. Well, trying to. My brain is fried and I'm so not getting it. So far, it seems like a virtual chain letter. Will give it another try tomorrow.

If you're a writer, what do you do to promote your books? If you're a reader, what makes you to pick up a book from a writer you haven't read before? Any help would be much appreciated. I'm soooo out of my depth here. Feel like I need to go back to college and get a marketing degree. Unless I win the lottery and can afford to hire a PR manager.

7 comments:

SusanMallery said...

Writing a good book is more important... Good promotion may get people to buy your book, but if it's no good, they won't finish it, and they certainly won't buy the next one.

But - and this is a big but - if readers don't know your book exists, then it won't matter how good it is. So you do need to plan on putting time and money into promotion. But don't spend more than you can afford of either of those.

Patrice said...

I feel for you! I haven't even gotten my first book published (haven't even landed an agent yet!) and am feeling the pressure to promote myself as a writer. I think the one thing to remember about promotion is it doesn't happen overnight. Just like writing, it takes time, determination, resilience, and the support of your writing community. Hang in there.

Adele said...

I have read only 3 of your books, so I am no expert. Have you tried having a book signing?? A book store, even a library ? You have a great talent. This is a good way on fb...I will send this to my fb friends. Don't give up !!! My money is on you !!

Sazzy said...

You know I am a fan of your work Dana. What made me first pick up one of your book was the fact it was something diffrent. What kept me buying was after a chat room you were promoting your new book just the way you and the book came across maybe me want to read more.

DA Kentner said...

I read a lot of novels by authors I'm not familiar with.
For me, the selection process is simple:
An eye-catching tag line takes me to the blurb, which takes me to the first chapter, and so forth.

When I'm finished with the book, if I liked and enjoyed it, I research the author before I make the final decision to buy another one of her/his works.

Ironically, the jacket cover plays a large part in drawing me to check out the tag line of an unfamiliar author.
The irony is, the cover is the one thing the author has the least amount of input into and has nothing to do with the writer's abilities.

Dana Marton said...

Susan--You're so right. It's whole catch of 22 thing. I have way underestimated the power of promotion. What happened to the good old days when writers went off to a cabin in the woods for years at a time to focus on nothing but their writing? :-) I guess those times are over. I better catch up with reality here.

Patrice--Well, they say the best time to start promo is before you even sell your first book. So it seems like you are thinking about this at the right time. Wish I had the foresight! Thank you for the encouragement. I'll keep chipping away at this.

Adele--I'm so excited that you're reading my books! Thank you for the tips. I'm currently out of the country due to hubby's job, so in-person promo is out. But I'll double up on the online things. Thank you for mentioning me to your FB friends!!!!!!

Sazzy--Long time no "see!" I'll have to see if I can catch you online to chat. Hope all is well with you. I can't tell you how much your support meant me over the years. You always put a smile on my face.

DA--Your comments make complete sense. You're right about having no control over the blurb. One of my book blurbs talked about a shoot-out at an airport. Too bad the book was about terrorist taking over an opera house. LOL The publisher mixed up the plots.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all for responding!!! Dana

Beth Barany said...

I agree with Susan. We need to let the world know about your fabulous books... This notion of spending only the amount of time and money you can afford. Set a budget. Set a schedule. And by all means, set up some down time so that you can day dream whatever is next while you rest.

Book promotions is above all a mindset. You're letting people who don't yet know about you get to know you. That can be fun! And lucrative!