Monday, August 11, 2014

The Problem of Promotion: A Shared Dilemma

     Authors understand--or should understand--they are on the front line in the quest to sell books. No one wants to do it, not really. For the less outgoing, it is a tedious, often painful process. First comes the learning how, and then comes putting what one has learned into practice.

     Forget the previously-mentioned front line. The bottom line is, it's not a choice!

     As I write this, my friendly little hummingbird--who returns yearly or at least tells a buddy about the full feeder on the window ledge outside my study--is fluttering about with purpose. Sometimes I feel like that little hummer--fluttering about--when it comes to promotion. Alas, no flutter, no food--in the author's case, no sales.

     I've been at this for seven years now, and I'm no closer to feeling as if I know what I'm doing--much less being proficient at it. Still, I press on. This year I actually wrote out a marketing plan, using points from The Savvy Book Marketer. I'd recommend this site-several sites, actually, and the free newsletter. I've learned a lot.

     First, I determined what I wanted from this book writing/publishing venture--besides just enjoying myself and having the satisfaction of seeing my books in print. Let's face it--we all want to earn a little money. The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series earned me a lot of money--at least, it was a lot to me. Maybe it will happen again, but maybe not. However, I needed to write down the earnings I considered "successful". That means I have to do something to reach that dollar amount--and even then, it's not guaranteed!

     Then I needed to be sure I understood that promotion is part of marketing. You need to have a product (book) and then you need to get it out there. Getting the product in front of the people you hope may buy it--that's promotion. Publicity is how you do it. Advertising is paying for getting yourself and your product in front of the intended consumer group. (Credit the Savvy Book Marketer, Dana Lynn Smith, for these pearls of wisdom!)

      Using her downloadable Create a Book Marketing Plan That Sells Books, I proceeded through a number of points, some of which didn't apply to me as much as others did. Budgeting, tactics, timeline development, and measuring my self-stated 'success' did apply.

       Speaking of budgeting, let me recommend Lisa Miller's Market Your Book without Going Broke. It's an excellent way to spent 99 cents at Amazon.

        Tomorrow I'll talk about how I organized the nice black notebook which had been taking up space in the study closet for years. 

        Meanwhile, I would be remiss in grabbing this opportunity to promote my new series!

Available at Amazon as a boxed set ($4.99)
 or in single titles  ($1.99)

View the video trailer on YouTube

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