Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Marketing For Today
I haven’t posted here in a couple of days, but those days have been pretty much of a whirlwind for me. I’ve been contacting a lot of people about Swords of Talera, trying to set up a couple of signings, and also just enjoying looking at the cover. I’ve always heard that the time for writers to do their marketing is “before” a book comes out. I didn’t do any marketing directed at “Swords” before it came out. This isn’t completely because I’m lazy and dumb. I do have my reasons for not doing so, some of which do have to do with marketing.
First, of course, I freely admit that I’m superstitious about talking of potentially good publishing things until I see them in front of me. Writing primarily for the small press means that, often, things will not come out when you think they are, perhaps just not on time, and perhaps not at all. I’ve been embarrassed before by telling my friends that such and such was going to be published and then having it…not.
Second, and this is a marketing related issue, I see the benefits of “pre-marketing” to be much more important if your book is going to be widely distributed in bookstores and be there on the shelves when potential buyers stop by. The purpose of this kind of marketing is to create an awareness in potential readers that the book exists and to suggest in some way that it might appeal to those readers. But if the book is going to be sold primarily online I suspect that the same rules don’t apply. So far, all of my “marketing” has been done online. I’ve sent emails to friends and have posted about the book on my blog and on various other sites/groups that I visit regularly. This worked pretty well to create an initial surge. “Swords” reached into the 8000 level on Amazon’s Sales Ranking, and hung around in the 9000 to 14,000 level for a couple of days. I know this doesn’t mean I’m going to hit the Times Bestseller list, but it felt good and I know it means that I did sell some books pretty quickly.
Third, in a way I have been doing marketing, but not marketing of a “book.” The internet has been a boon to folks like me. Strange as it may sound, I’m a pretty shy sort of fellow. I don’t make friends easily and I don’t really enjoy a lot of social events. I often feel ill at ease or even a bit awkward when there are a lot of people around. I suspect that this is true of quite a few writers, of course. But the internet has given me a forum where I can feel comfortable posting information about myself and letting people get to know me in a sort of slow, non-intense way. I also have interests in reading and writing that aren’t necessarily shared by large numbers of other folks. The net has helped me find several groups who have common interests with me, and it was after posting to those groups that the biggest jumps occurred in the Amazon sales rankings.
Some of the people who bought Swords of Talera had read my writing before and liked it. Some bought it because they love the genre and are willing to take a chance on anything new in that area. But some of them bought the book simply because they had gotten to know me online. Many of those are folks reading this blog. I appreciate you all.