Friday, October 3, 2008

Looky looky, linky linky - Author Promotion!

Tip of the Day: Books should not be banned. That's really all I have to say on the subject.

I'm not doing a post on banned books. I hope my A2A buddies won't kick me out. I just don't have much to say on the subject. It makes me mad, and that's about it. So, moving on...

In the past week or so, there have been two outstanding posts around author promotion. I’m going to link to them separately here, and then add a few of my thoughts about each one.

First, YA author Lauren Barnholdt gave us a list of ten things she would tell her “old self” when it comes to marketing and promotion. You can read the blog HERE.

I found myself saying yes, Yes, YES throughout the whole post, but a few things that really hit home for me, and I wanted to talk about those.

The book she did the most promotion for (REALITY CHICK) has sold the least amount of copies of all her books. The book she did the LEAST for (THE SECRET IDENTIFY OF DEVON DELANEY) has sold the most.

This is why we must not, as authors, freak out about promotion and feel like we have to do everything under the sun. Because it really is true that you can do a whole bunch of stuff and your book still won’t take off and you can do hardly anything and your book will be the next TWILIGHT. Lauren goes on to say it’s important to do the things you enjoy and forget the rest. Amen!

For example, I really don’t like book signings. They are time consuming plus they take up my valuable weekends and evenings since I work a day job. So, I rarely do them. I know some members of the Class of 2k8 have done a ton of them, and they work hard at getting people there by sending out postcards to high schools and that kind of thing. That’s great. They enjoy doing that and it fits in with their schedules. On the other hand, I know some class members have talked about how they hate myspace and just don’t get how to use it to their advantage. Well, guess what? I like myspace. I’ve spent lots of time friending teens, connecting with them, talking about books, and I definitely think that’s helped with the sales of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. Lots of teen reviewers have featured my book and/or done an interview with me. Is one way right and one way wrong? Absolutely not. It’s figuring out what you can do and like to do, and being okay with letting the rest go.

One other thing you have to remember, which Lauren talks about as well, is the power of word of mouth. Is that something we as authors can control? Nope. Not at all. It’ll either happen for your book or it won’t. If I knew what might cause one book to get more lip service than another, I could make a fortune. So, write the best book you can and then cross your fingers that something about it will resonate with readers so they want to share it with their friends.

The other great article blog post was written by YA author April Henry which lists some specific things an author can do before the book hits the shelves. Read it HERE.

April talks about the importance of timing with newspaper articles and I wanted to expand on timing a bit more. Okay, this is my personal opinion and I could certainly be wrong, but I think authors need to be careful about too much promotion with their book too early on. I think over-saturation is very real. Too much talk about the book too soon, and by the time the book is actually on the shelves, people are sick of hearing about it. This includes talking about it in your own blog. Sure, share the little steps of the journey from manuscript to printed book if you’d like, but day after day, week after week of posts all about the BOOK gets old real fast.

I’d love to know if anything really struck you from either of Lauren or April’s blog posts? Anything that surprised you, or scared you?

~Lisa, Miss Pinch Me I’m Pubbed


Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Thanks for these, Lisa! Great stuff!

Kate Fall said...

Wow, I never imagined the info in the April Henry article. That was very revealing.

Emily Marshall said...

Lisa, thanks for the links. I agree that if someone talks on their blog excessively about a book (and only their book) it could be a bad thing, but in general they say it takes seeing or hearing something atleast 3 times for it to register. So I don't think in general marketing you can do too much, too soon. Just my opinion, though. I guess it depends on what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Just wanted to let you know that I nominated this blog for the I <3 Your Blog Award. You can see the post on my blog. :)