Thursday, March 29, 2012

IS THIS PROMOTION OR IS THIS INSANITY?

Current Project: LEGACY SERIES
Status: Writing, editing, promoting :)
Posted by: Genie Gabriel



Blog tours, online parties, contests, free reads, and an occasional personal appearance. Welcome to my world of promoting my new LEGACY series!

First of all, I feel compelled to say I'm basically an introvert. I like to stay at home, dig in my yard, snuggle with my dogs, and play cards with my sons and grandkids. Ironically, I'm also the kind of person who will start conversations with strangers in supermarket lines and I love to respond to commenters online. 

So when I considered promotion for my series of books, I figured the more I could do online--without changing out of clothes that were covered in dog hair or garden dirt--the happier I would be. (A photo at left of some of my daffodils insist it's spring in spite of the cold weather!)

I collected lots of ideas on how to promote my books and picked the ones that seemed to fit my personality best. Well, I was kinda dragged into the world of blogging, but I'm getting the hang of it. I love giving away things but need to make sure I'm not spending way more money than I earn on books. I also discovered online parties, where fifty or more authors offer excerpts of their books and give away prizes.

And I do change out of my "grubby" clothes once in a while and venture into the world of real people. :)

Though I thought I had a "plan," the promotion blitz for the release of the first book of my series, PICTURE PERFECT LEGACY, still knocked my writing schedule out of whack. I got rather crabby from not writing before I regained my balance and moved writing back to the top of my priority list where it belonged. If I can't produce a good book, promotion isn't going to do be effective! 

Then came some great successes of authors offering free downloads of books. Too good to pass up, that was added to my promotion plan. My first trial of this will come in mid-April with one of my novellas. If that works well, my publisher and I are planning an online "Summer Concert Tour" with my first three novels that are linked to members of a rock band, offering them as free downloads at different times this summer. 

Also a new venture for me is welcoming guest authors to my LEGACY series blog . While I'm here today, Dr. Veronica Esagui is at my LEGACY blog talking about her series of VERONICA'S DIARIES. She has led a fascinating life, and I hope you stop by there to say hello to her. I'm also starting a new contest, and your name will be entered in the drawing twice on Thursdays when guest bloggers visit. 

In addition, Facebook and other social media are still on my list to catch up on. Video trailers are waiting for me to complete…

There are many possibilities for promotion and, for me as for probably most authors, all these possibilities have to be weighed against continuing writing deadlines and other commitments, as well as keeping myself healthy. I've seen a number of authors exhaust themselves when a book is released. With a new release every two months for the next sixteen months, I don't have time for exhaustion--despite the fact it's after 2:00 a.m., which means it's almost bed time for night owl me. :)

I still have moments of wondering what have I done? But with a "to do" database, I'm more productive than ever  and enjoying this new phase of my journey.

As an author, have you found a promotion plan that works for you? Do you have any tips you'd like to share? As a reader, are there promotion efforts that will help you decide to buy a book? 


6 comments:

Meggan McQuaid said...

As an author I DREAD promotion. If I had known then what I know now I would have started writing 20 years ago when publishers still promoted their authors. I'm afraid of all that time going out the door. I'm such a slow writer in the first place, I'm afraid I'd never get any writing done. Honestly I think the only possible way for me to do it is to hire someone else. Maybe I could find someone who would do it for a share of my profits...I think I will probably use goodreads, since I know of several successful authors that use that. Even though I dread all the promo, I'm already getting prepared for it. I have gmail, FB, twitter, tumblr, and wordpress in my writing name. I don't know how to use them, but I have them.

As a reader, I'm not much better, perhaps worse. I like paper books. I don't have an e-reader and I don't read on my computer. The only blogs I've read more than twice are this one and a few for authors I already like. I get my recommendations from picking up a book at the library, twitter reviews, paperback swap, my facebook ad feed, and amazon. I'm lazy and busy both. I want the information to come to me, but I don't want my privacy interrupted, either.

I'm greedily soaking up all the info I get about this from all of you and the members of my critique group who are already publishing online. I hope to glean a few good ideas. I'm so impressed with the results Barb has gotten on Amazon; I'll probably try to duplicate her efforts if I decide to self publish.

All in all, I'm pinning my hopes on getting an agent, editor, and publishing house who will all help. I have marketed my own work in the past...jewelry I've made, clothes and quilts I've made, direct sales businesses...and I know its a huge amount of work, of a kind that I'm not suited for. I dread it because I'm reasonably certain I'll suck at it.

I'm so impressed by your courage, because for me to do what you are doing would take copious amounts of it, courage that is. I hope all your efforts pay off in big ways. You deserve all the good results you can get.

Cheers, Meggan

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, Meggan!

What you said is very profound: "I want the information to come to me, but I don't want my privacy interrupted, either."

That's a balance I'm striving for. I want to let readers know about my books, but I really dislike pushy salespeople, so I don't want to become that. I have to be careful because sometimes I get carried away in my enthusiasm and need to watch for the glazing over of the eyes--hard to do online. LOL!

I was pretty overwhelmed with promotion options too before I started this journey. But I'm getting better and better at listening to my inner voice as well as doing reality checks.

I allocate the time and money I want to spend on promotion that still allows for writing and the rest of my life. And I try to remain flexible. Sometimes--like release time for a new book--I'll be spending more time on promotion.

And if something isn't working for me, I'll need to stop doing that also.

You seem to have a pretty solid sense of what is do-able for you. That's good. But don't sell yourself short either. You may find when you sell, a new promotion option is available that will be perfect for you. Or you may be in a place where you want to grow and stretch and try something new. :)

I appreciate your thoughtful comments and kind words!

Christine Young said...

so very overwhelming...
and when do we write?
Yes, writing has to be put at the top of the list.

Barbara Cool Lee said...

I would find your schedule overwhelming, Genene. I don't do much promo at all. I announced my free giveaway on all the regular outlets--email, twitter, facebook, goodreads--but that's all I've done so far. For me, I think getting more work published and out there is the best form of "promotion" I can do. I'm not yet at the blog tour/self-promo stage; perhaps I'll be at that point when I have more books out to promote.

It sounds like you've (mostly) found a balance between writing, living life, and doing promotion. I think that's what we're all striving for, and that balance point will be different for each of us.

Good luck on your projects!


Barb
The Honeymoon Cottage
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Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

LOL, Chris! I can "blame" you for many wonderful promotion ideas. :)

Combined with the top priority of writing, these will pay off.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Hi, Barb! But your free read promo is paying off well! And your experience added impetus to my motivation to also take advantage of that.

Totally agree with finding that balance point and that it will be different for each writer. And, yes, the best promotion is a good book.

I have a bit of a backlist with my Rock'n'Romance trilogy, and novellas in two anthologies. That's another form of promotion I didn't dig into in this blog post--promoting with other authors. We do it on this blog, and I do it with Rogue's Angels.

I also spent several years doing much of the writing on my LEGACY series so the books could be released close together to gain momentum with each release, and build a backlist readers could discover.

Promotion is different for all of us, and I love to learn from what other authors have done--even if it sometimes seems overwhelming. :)