Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Promo: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A few months ago I walked into a Borders bookstore with a $25.00 gift card and a list of three books I wanted. That left me with some money left over to spend, and the strangest thing happened when I thought of what else I should add to my basket.

I panicked. I thought to myself, when my book hits these shelves, what will possess a person to pick it out of all of these?

Ebook authors today have a very small window of “front page” news, but even so I think we have a small advantage over traditional paperback releases in the sense that our books are displayed on the front page of our publishers website for a week, when mass market paperback get about a month stuffed into a shelf at the bookstore among hundreds, maybe thousands of others in the Romance section.

But still, the ultimate question still looms: What’s the best investment of our promotional time?

I thought I’d take a little detour today to ask readers and writers alike (because writers are some of the most voracious readers) what they like on the receiving end of promo.

Readers, does anything have a positive influence on you? Does anything annoy you? I’ve placed a poll here on the page, but I’d also like to hear your suggestions or opinions in the comments area. Writers, what works for you? What do you enjoy doing, and what won’t you do even for a double mocha frapaccino?


Paris said...

I used to collect bookmarks and goodies at conferences but not so much anymore,probably because of the space! I do like reading about new authors and books online because that's where I spend most of my time these days.

I'm going to be attending Romanticon and am planning on doing excerpt and blurb tri-fold pamphlets as promo.

Great subject and very timely!

Mel Teshco said...

oh, I liked and voted for all of the above LOL. I have to admit to a liking of blogs since I started my own, and really enjoy author interviews and/or spotlights =)
ps - thanks for allowing me to guest blog!

Crystal Kauffman said...

Thanks for voting Mel. It's interesting to hear what influences people on the other side of the world as well as the US.

Savanna Kougar said...

Crystal, good poll. I find I like reading interviews, spotlights or blogs. I like the inside story the author tells.
Bookmarks are always good for me. Just the designs intrigue me.

Given ebooks and small print are relatively new, it's the Wild West when it comes to promo. What works, what doesn't work. It's all evolving and I'm always learning. Though, I wish I had a much bigger handle on what truly works ~ but that is evolving, too!

Serena Shay said...

Great blog, Crystal. I have to admit to be being a bookmark girl. :) Plus I really like the Blurb and Excerpt pamphlet both as a writer and reader. They are very easy to make up and only require a quick trip to Office Max to print out.

Laurann Dohner said...

I like the blogs too, as you can see since I come on them since I read them. LOL. I like bookmarks. I think the best author promo I ever got though was years ago an author sent me a picture of her book cover. I LOVED that book cover. It was card sized with the blurb on the back and she'd signed under the blurb. I STILL have it. I have lost some bookmarks but that card... STILL have. I just don't know if they allow that or not for ebooks for us to print up cards with our bookcovers. It was really cool though.