One of the things I get asked a lot, besides “When does the statute of limitations expire?” and “You seriously don’t understand why you can’t say that in a book?” is “What steps have you taken that have made a difference in your promotions?”
I would have to say that the KDP Select free days have had a massive positive impact (although how long that continues is anyone’s guess), as has my my participation with Melissa Foster’s World Literary Cafe.
BREAKING NEWS: New interview with Kevin Rau and yours truly. Because it’s all about me.
NEWS: An excellent new blog featuring my thoughts on promotions by @inkwellHQ. A good read.
MORE NEWS: New book review for King of Swords sequel, Revenge of the Assassin, by bestselling author Steven Konkoly.
STILL MORE NEWS: Book review for pet biography An Angel With Fur from Pets Weekly.
UPDATE: Yours truly was in the Top 50 indie authors by sales for the second month in a row!
UPDATE TWO: A lengthy interview wherein I cover everything from the war on drugs, to central banking, to writing.
WLC, as it is known in shortened form, is a gathering place, author resource network, promotional site, and much, much more. I originally was introduced to it by Andy Holloman, for the launch of his book, Shades of Gray, in which I featured The Geronimo Breach as one of 9 books that helped support his launch. My experience was positive, so I signed up for their tweet teams (reciprocal tweet groups) and then did a few launches – most noteworthy being The Voynich Cypher, my first launch with them March 20, which sold 4,000 copies within a week of the launch, to which I attribute much to WLC – it was a featured book, had an excerpt on the site, featured a blog by yours truly, etc. I have no doubt I wouldn’t have gotten the visibility I received absent those promotions, and I continue to use WLC for my launches – I’ve integrated them into my strategy. The cost is a no brainer, more than reasonable, and the results speak for themselves. I used them for the launch of Revenge of the Assassin and saw a big run of sales, and will continue using them for the foreseeable future. They’re a quality outfit, and the founder, Melissa Foster, is a caring and supportive bestselling author in her own right.
They can be found at WorldLiteraryCafe.com.
Another thing that’s made a difference is @TweetYourBooks doing promotional tweets for me. Hard to measure the success directly attributable to that, but my gut is that it is substantial. Their sister service can be found here.
I have also tried advertising with little success, blog tours with some success, interviews with some success, and all sorts of other promotions, with inconclusive results. The few things I can say that are part of my arsenal moving forward are the two I just mentioned, as well as trying to respond to every e-mail and comment from readers, and keeping my blog interesting as I can – although I’ll grant you that it is very author-centric at the moment. Perhaps next week I’ll focus more on fluffy kitties or cute puppies. Or clowns, and the ever-present menace to thinking upright bipeds that they represent.
While the aforementioned types of promotional vehicles (except for the clowns and puppies/kitties) definitely can add to your visibility, the truth is that success in publishing is as much luck of the draw as it is skillful planning. Being in the right place at the right time, luck, a fluke, a mention from out of the blue…any or all of these can have just as much to do with exposure and sales as any strategy I’ve seen. Having said that, I can’t help but think that the harder you work at promotions, the luckier you will be.
That’s it for this installment. My philosophy is to just keep writing, and hope that eventually quality will rise to the top. Or in my case, that I’ll get lucky.
And since no blog of mine would be complete without shameless self-promotion, here’s the cover for my new one, to be released by the end of the month. Sequel to King of Swords and Revenge of the Assassin – Return of the Assassin. If anyone wants the contact info for my cover artist, e-mail me through the site and I’ll be happy to provide his info.
Now go buy some of my books so I can afford my bar tab this month. Papa gets thirsty. Wink.