Sunday, May 2, 2010

Plugging Away: The Follow-Up

By Pat Cunningham
Last week I wrote about efforts to market my book, A London Werewolf in America, by posting ads on grocery store bulletin boards. So how did it work out?
Um … ever seen that footage of the Hindenburg?
I posted the ads on a Saturday. I had full cooperation from the store managers. Once up, though, they didn’t stay there. At one store I went back the next day and somebody had covered up my ad with another, even though there was room on the board for both. I separated the ads and gave both prominent places. When I went back on Tuesday mine was gone altogether. I returned to another store on Thursday and my ad was gone from that board too, even though it had been date stamped and should have been left up there for a month. Since management was cool with it, I can only assume some customer complained or took them down themselves.
I should have been forewarned. Ephrata, Pennsylvania isn’t exactly the most progressive town on the map. Here in Amish Country we go beyond Bible Belt; we’re Bible Three-Piece Suit and Tie with a Top Hat. I suppose an image of a fully-clad man and woman about to kiss was too racy for some sensitive shoppers. More likely it was the word “werewolf” in the title. Did I mention one of our school districts banned Harry Potter?
I still believe it’s a sound idea, just not for this book in this area. The market I’m trying to reach doesn’t live around here. I’ll bet I’d have better luck in Harrisburg. Definitely in Philadelphia, where the story’s set. I may try again at a later date. If any of you want to give it a whirl in your areas, let me know how it turns out.
On a lighter note, drop by the Title Magic blog,, and see what I’ve done to the Western. I started this for a Samhain anthology before I got distracted by guy-on-guy vampires. It’s Jack and Jill by way of Louis L’Amour, with bad puns thrown in for a larf. Enjoy.


Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, yeah, it was probably werewolf and the fact that it's a romance. Still, lots of prejudice out there against anything 'romance'.
I wonder if an inspirational romance would fly?

Since my 'romances' aren't family-oriented I don't think the grocery store bulletin boards would be a good idea.

Crystal Kauffman said...

Interesting idea but I wonder if you were headed in the wrong direction. To me that feels too much like "in person" promo which scares the heck out of me. I wonder if sticking to on-line promo is better considering our product is mostly digital?

But that is disappointing that someone else would take it upon themselves to censor what everyone else sees.

Serena Shay said...

Sheesh, I can't believe someone was taking it down... If they don't like it, they don't have to look at/buy it.

Hope you find a better place to post it! :)