Sunday, July 23, 2006

Prome Ohhhhhhhhhh!

Brides Maid in Heaven isn't selling as well as I'd like, in fact, sales figures made me double over laughing. Hey, it was the only double I got so don't knock it! Why isn't it selling? Good question. Folks who've read it say they loved it. My review was awesome. Um, I haven't let blood yet, maybe that's what everyone is waiting for. Seems the missing link is my promo.

Ahhhh, promo -- lessee -- website, blog, net groups -- check. Interviews, involvement on lists, reader's sites -- check. Gee, maybe I should put my book up in lights over the football stadium? Nah, most of the people I know there don't read. (wink)

The truth is, I hate shoving myself up people's noses. For one thing, it's messy and green has never been my color. And the promo I've read from others is often such guff it makes me cringe. It's burdening our already overfull dumpsites, both the landfill and the hole between our ears. I mean, really, how many books truly are "the best story you'll read all year?" I'm yet to "die laughing", and though some of the "awesome authors" do indeed have me gobsmacked, it is mostly because I wonder who they slept with to get their tripe into print.

I guess author promo is no worse than the advertising promises you read on other products. I'm yet to meet the person who really can put up that "garden shed able to be erected by the average handiman in under an hour." Hah! A qualified builder maybe, and then only if he didn't look at the twice translated instructions. And "so easy a child can put it together" is wrong again, though a child can take most things apart even if they're welded, or maybe that's just my boys.

Nope, can't trust promo/advetising, that's for sure. Forget "lies, damned lies and statistics", we now have "lies, blog rambles and other promo." How is it everyone tells me how well I write yet I sell so few books? I don't get it. I want my work in readers hands, but I don't want to oversell it or lie. I can guarantee you will laugh if you buy my book, but you will not lose weight, get rich in three weeks or attract vast crowds of the opposite sex. Sorry. (However should you find a true way to do these things let me know about it, okay?)

Sigh. Guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I'll always be a bridesmaid, never a bride. I just hope next month brings me a bigger slice of the wedding cake.


Stacy Dawn said...

I so know what you mean. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I'm not one of those who can say BUY BUY BUY, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO...HAVE YOU GOT IT YET, NO WHY NOT...that's just not me. I do what I can but still, how do you get your name out there beyond the people you've already bothered??

Babe King said...

Yup. That's the truth. Although I must say I'm adicted to your blog- great site.

Tempest Knight said...

First, about having a blog. I won't help you sell your book unless you blog, blog, blog, blog. If you don't blog, people won't blog back. Blog hop like there's no tomorrow. Does that transcend to buying books? In my case, it has increased a bit the sales.

Another thing, it'd help if you kept a pic of your book on the blog. *g* The more you put it out there for people to see, the higher the possibilities to sell it.

Don't rely on the author's promo package from your publisher just to get you through. Even if you were NY-published, publishers put a minimal amount of backup behind your book. Maybe during the first week that's out. After that, you're on your own. It's the same for NY-published authors (unless you're a well-known writer like Stephen King, or Nora Roberts).

Run small contests through your website or blog.

It's a very competitive word out there. In order to sell, you must spend a substancial amount of time promoting it. In few words, become a promo whore. Which means shoving your book in people's face, no matter how messy it can get. *wg*

angeleque said...

If you figure it out let me know.

I'm in the same boat as you. Great reviews, lots of feedback but not that good in sales.

Angela James said...

I somewhat think that a large portion of promo isn't telling people how great your book is but just getting your name and book out there so people know about it, if that makes sense. People won't buy a book they've never heard of.

That's why they say no publicity is bad publicity--because even negative reviews are getting you name recognition and letting people know about you and your book. Some people will buy a book based on a bad review, to see if it's really that bad.

So don't think of promo as teling everyone how great you are (though it helps if you believe in the product you're selling) but rather as a way of telling people who you are and that you exist. Just get your name out there, as often as possible, in as many different venues as possible.

And if you don't mind, I do teaching Tuesdays on my blog. I'd like to talk about promo from the publisher standpoint and use my comment here. I'll link to your post as my inspiration. Free promo :)

Angela James, Editor
Samhain Publishing

Gina Welborn said...

How generous is Angela?!?!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

The truth is, I hate shoving myself up people's noses.

Same here, Babe. Promo can be torture. It's also a slow process. My first novel has sold peanuts despite great reviews, but each time I put out something new I sell another copy or two of the older titles. Having a back list helps a lot, so my advice is write, write, write. The more you have to sell, the more people will buy.

Babe King said...

Oh that I am very happy to do. I have a lot of projects in progress and some out in the ether so I hope you are right about the more you have out there the more readers buy.
And thank-you Angela for that kind offer to use this blog as teaching. That would be great.

Babe King said...

Angeleque, the picture on your blog is beautiful.

Jen said...

You know what worked both for Stacy and Shelli Stevens was the contests. Of course, both of them had lots of visitors to their blog. Have you noticed that you'll visit some blogs more often than others? Those are the ones who sell more books, I think.
I love contests. That's how Paula Graves sold me her book "Forbidden Territory".
You can doooo it Babe.

Babe King said...

I'd like to have more contests, but it's a case of money, as in I'm buying a house and don't have any, not as in a case of money that I wish I'd found. Though I guess that works too. Definitely a case of money would be a great contest prize. :-)

For starters the exchange rate means every $1US is over $1:50 Australian, and postage from Oz is frightful. Minimum $13 to send almost nothing, but normally costs me $20 or so in postage to send stuff to Divas. You don't want to know what contests cost me, though I rarely enter any for that reason. Electronic entry and paypal are such a boon.

HOWEVER, should any of you want to see photos of or know something about this place, the floor is open. Tell me what y'all want and I'll try to get it.

Oh, I am a pretty good CP, too. Maybe I should offer a one chapter crit contest????

Oh, and free postcards are currently circulating the big wedding expo here in Tas. Well, it is a wedding anthology that I'm in after all. Unfortunately the postcards cost me, but I like to give something folks can use. I wonder if the other authors in the anthology are doing anything promo wise?

JENNA said...

It's a definite struggle. I spent too much time on the internet following all the advice...writing forums, reading forums, target market forums...I had a few nibbles from it, but not much. Honestly, I think e-pub readers are VERY loyal to their publisher of choice. Even new authors get good numbers there.