Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Promoting your work

My e-mail inbox is full of opportunities to promote my work. There are calls for blog tours, calls for giving on-line classes, calls for contests, and calls to work with promoters. There are don't miss opportunities. Don't forget your Amazon page and twitter and facebook and tumblr. There are libraries to be contacted and booksellers. Newsletter e-mail lists to keep plus newsletters to write. Hand written notes to others who bought your book or sold your book. Thank yous to people who helped you with quotes, etc. There are contests and book blogs and Ning. It is the giant elephant in the corner of my office. One I've been ignoring, while others tackle it head on and spend literally 40 hours a week at work on their promotion.
I'm still the kind of writer who wants to spend those forty hours in my stories and let someone else take care of the rest. But that is not possible in today's market. You have to tell people who you are. You have to build a brand. You want to create a community. How do you do that and not turn it into a full time job?
Step one is to sort through the opportunities. Toss those you know you'll never do no matter how great they are. Toss those that didn't show you a significant bump in sales last time. (If this is your first book-toss those that "feel" to large.) Sort into a will do, can do and won't do pile. Throw away the won't do and don't waste a moment of regret. Trust me even if you did everything there is no guarantee that you will see significant sales. Too much is out of your hands. Next- ask your agent and editor what they expect you to do. Put those things at the top of the pile. Do them first and if that's all you get done-bravo!!
Do not try to compete with Marketing Sally who seems to be everywhere doing everything. No matter how she gushes you will never have a true idea of how her campaign relates to her sales. She is a salesman- she will never let her slip show. (Her exclamations of success might be accurate but are not necessarily true.)
It comes down to moderation. Your real efforts need to go into your creative work- your books. The key is to tailor your promotion efforts to your time and money constraints and your ability to be comfortable with what you do. And let the rest go~ really, truly there is no one way to be successful. What works for Sally might not work the same for you. Relax, do what you can and let the rest go. If you start to get worried again, come back and read this blog. You have my promise that doing what you are comfortable doing and letting go of the rest is really the best road to success.
This blog was brought to you by my latest release. THE COUNTERFEIT BRIDE, Avalon books will be released next month. It is available for pre-order now. click on the title to pre-order.


Judy Croome said...

Phew, Nancy, this is just what I needed to hear right now. Moderation in marketing! It is so easy to get hooked on the hamster wheel of marketing - so much effort for not much visible reward...and all that time away from what matters: writing the stories! I've got my 6 week launch campaign and then I've decided that's it! The novel must stand or fall on it's own merits, because this constant marketing is a drain! Every time I get carried away, I'm going to say: Moderation!
Judy, South Africa

Nancy J. Parra said...

YAY! Hi Judy, You are so right. Moderation. I think I need to type it out and make a poster for my office wall.
I am the same way- do the launch and then let people decide for themselves so I can write the next for the next launch.lol.