Saturday, April 24, 2010

Plugging Away

By Pat Cunningham
(I'm going back to work on Monday, so here's another Saturday post. Just pretend it's Monday morning.)

I’m not good at self-promotion. I don’t know a thing about marketing. I don’t have a website or even a Facebook page. When it comes to tooting my own horn, I’m pretty much tone deaf.
This is not how one sells copies when one is writing for an ebook publisher.
It finally occurred to me that maybe I should do something to drum up some publicity. I mentioned possible coverage to a local reporter I know and got a tepid response. The library bulletin board only posts non-profit info. Maybe if they saw my royalty figures I could qualify.
However, they’re not the only fish in the sea, or the only bulletin board in the county. There are at least half a dozen grocery stores within 5 miles of my house, and each one features a community bulletin board for advertising everything from yard sales to church breakfasts. That’s when it hit me: why not take advantage? If people can use these things to sell exercise bikes, pickup trucks and those puppies the dog had under the porch, why not a novel?
So the other day I made the rounds with copies of my cover art and the website info. So far I’m five for five. To be honest, I was rather surprised at the acceptance rate. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania isn’t exactly a reading community. One of our school districts banned Harry Potter because they said the books promote witchcraft. I doubt if the Amish are interested in paranormal romances, but you never know.
At any rate, I gave it a shot. Did it do any good? Guess we’ll find out. I’ll keep you posted. As for the library, I intend to donate a copy to them as soon as it comes out in print. I typed the electronic version on their system, I figure I owe them something.
Having done my bit for publicity, now I’m trolling for advice. How do you promote your books? What’s the most unique thing you’ve done to sell copies? How’d it work out? Why aren’t we all rich and famous yet?
I’ll have to figure out something new for my next one, the M/M with the angel and the demon. I don’t think the Amish are ready for that yet.


Serena Shay said...

Gosh, I'm with ya on the self-promo quandry. I'm terrible at tooting my own horn. I love the idea of posting your books on bulletin boards...I can't wait to see if it works for you. I might have to give it a try!

Here's what I've tried...Myspace and Facebook in order to have my name out there. I have my own blog and joined this one and another. I also did two blog interviews and was given a great Author Discovery from our own Savanna Kougar which I proudly posted on my blog. :)

Have any of them worked? I think so, I've been thrilled with my numbers so far, but as all the wise authors out there say...I need to write the next book. Or in my case, just finish the darn thing! hehe

Good luck, Pat!

Savanna Kougar said...

"Why aren’t we all rich and famous yet?"

That's my question, too, and I'm sticking with it. Truth to tell, I'm kinda leery about putting stuff on bulletin boards... because of the heat level I write.
I did finally show the lovely gal at my mailbox place the pic of STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME in the RT ad... if I were in a position to do book signings, I might give that a whirl since all kinds of spicy hot books are sold there, and I'm not talking about cooking.
As far as promo, I've done my best to get past my natural reticence. Or, I am the Kougar, hear me roar occasionally. I kinda do some of the chat loop thing. I do the blogging thing because, in most cases, I just like it, and it does get your name and your books out there. I do have a MySpace page which I no longer do much with, because I don't care for MySpace... way too much commercial hype... and Facebook I won't touch with a ten foot pole for a number of reasons, one is that they have said THEY OWN everything you write and can do what they want with it.
Because of my circumstance, and we all have them, there are certain kinds of promo I can't do.

I wish I had the magic bullet, or the magic genii, or anything that worked since I do believe in my writing and would like those who would enjoy my books to read them.

Like they say writing that next book is always important