Thursday, December 3, 2009

Promotion--Love it or Hate it?

So far this week, I've discussed the creative "birth" of a manuscript, the editing process, and the various forms and information needed to publish the book. At this point, the book should be ready to be read by millions... If they know my book exists.

This will be a short but sweet section about promotion. To many authors, it's a love/hate relationship. Heck, I love getting my name out there, but I often don't like to waste valuable writing time with promotion.

These are several methods by which I promote my work:
  • Publisher websites
  • Publisher Yahoo groups--thought it's encouraged to not do drive-by promotions, but rather to participate in these publisher groups to get to know the readers. I admit, I don't do too much of this. I need to be better and find the time.
  • Newsletters. I have my own newsletter I put out monthly, and am an editor for the Samhellion, Samhain's newsletter (which is offering a ton of free holiday reads, by the way, so check it out.)
  • Contests. I try to run a contest each month for newsletter subscribers, as a thanks for subscribing. But this can get pricey if I'm not careful. (My winners from Finland and the Philippines in 2007 blew the lid off my contest budget. Now I do mostly US-only shipping, and reward overseas folks with online GCs, that or publisher gift certificates.)
  • Buying ad space on reviewer sites. I am a member of The Romance Studio and try to advertise new covers there monthly. I'm also a big fan of Romance Junkies,which does great reviews and is REALLY author friendly. Cover ads there as well.
  • Interview. It's not so easy to schedule interviews anymore, not since epublishers are everywhere these days. But I have a big one scheduled in Jan or Feb 2010 with JERR, Just Erotic Romance Reviews.
  • Website. Keeping an up to date website is key to promoting myself, especially since most of my books are electronic (though I also have several in print.) I can't stand going to an author's site or blog, only to find it hasn't been updated since 2008.
  • Blog. Eh, I'll leave this open to interpretation. How many folks actually read this? Who knows, but I'm sharing anyway. And hey, Blogger is free!
  • I recently joined Goodreads. We'll see how that goes. It's an online network for people who love books and want to share opinions, reviews, and the lowdown on the written word.
  • RT Magazine. Considering how pricey the print ads are, I only advertise there if I have something in print and am really pushing it. But I'm not sure how much this helps.
  • Bookmarks and pens. Bookmarks rock. I use them all the time, and I'm always losing them. I figure if you read like me, you probably lose them too. I also get them professionally made. (Don't ask about the ones I made for myself. They screamed "home grown." Now I let Earthly Charms work their magic.)
Promotion, do I love it or hate it? A little bit of both. They say to remember something you need to see it at least seven times. So I've got to keep putting my name out there, and not as an idiot who sends too many invitations to people to join her at Goodreads (HUGE apologies to everyone, it was an accident!) but as an author of romance readers enjoy.

Now I must go. I have to find a Screature for my son. It's a silly little dinosaur that roars and squirts water at you. It's flying off the shelves and Christmas is coming. Man, that kid is SO going to owe me when he's older. And don't think I won't let him know it.


Kristie said...

I love to read an authors blog, esp if the author has a sense of humor on their blog, and you certainly do. One of my pet peeves is a website that isn't maintained. That's the main way I stay up on who has something coming out next.

Marie Harte said...

Hey Kristie. I like humor too. I mean, if you can't laugh at yourself every now and then, who can you laugh at? And an up to date presence on the web is a must these days.

:) Marie