Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

More Conversation about Book Promotion . . .


Book Promotion

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This discussion began on November 7th

The comment that let this conversation continue came from a writer, poet, and artist living in Belgium:

“Well, I have yet to finish a book, so I have no idea. But will be reading along!”

I couldn’t have had a better first comment if I’d paid someone to write it :-)

First, I’m glad this writer was able to admit they have no idea how to promote a book—eight years ago, I also had no idea; but, I was fully aware I’d be self-publishing so, while I was writing my novel, I used Uncle Google to guide me to no end of bad advice about promoting, though one invaluable tidbit seeped through—begin a year ahead of publishing

The most important thing I did—having no other clear and rational idea of what to do—was to begin this blog; though, I didn’t start it until four months before publication…

However, I had done something earlier…

I was a regular in a virtual world and I organized a reading of my “final” draft, one chapter a week, to audiences of two to five folks—it was my first chance to probe a very few readers’ minds in the after-reading ultra-short “discussions”…

Those sessions helped me get used to “working at” promotion—this blog has been a constant, seven-year adventure of learning how to create a Space that has drawn attention from around the globe—not riotous or feverish attention; but, a steady stream of people arriving here, mostly by putting a few words into Uncle Google’s search bar…

And, after more than six years of struggling with what to do about social media, I finally have a regular routine that I like doing—>Tweeting—>sharing articles about writing and a few tweets about my book and this blog, every day of the week…

I’m starting to see a bit of “stickiness” happening—folks hanging out here…

I did have a bit of Synchronicity this morning, just before doing this post, my being aware of needing to respond to our Belgian writer—I received an alert in my email of a new post from Dan Blank—You Have to Ask

My eight-year schooling in becoming a Gateway has led to a few simple conclusions that I feel Dan Blank could call good—the most important being that I learned to Ask folks to come here, read my posts and these discussions, and, perhaps, notice my writings in the left-side bar…

I’m grateful I didn’t cling to any of the other “cheap” advice I read—best summed-up by “egregiously yelling at folks to notice my writing”…

I’ll share just a bit from Dan’s post:

“If you want the world to discover your work, your talent, your vision, don’t wait for people to magically discover you. Reach out to them. Ask.

“But asking is super difficult, right? It means we have to engage with other human beings. It means they could say ‘no’. It means we could be rejected. Judged. Laughed at.”

He then shares the experience of three people who worked hard at Asking; and, eventually, learned how to evolve groups of enthusiasts…

As Dan says it:

“…they consistently reached out to like-minded people. They asked. They collaborated. They created meaningful connections that developed into trusting relationships.”

The second comment that will move this discussion forward comes from one of our regular visitors, an author from the United Kingdom:

“Now you’ve started something! Our most recent effort at book promotion was a book fair organised by a local writer. It was her second attempt and she had fifty authors, many of them self published with their works on display and, in spite of advertising online and in the press, had fewer members of the public. Our talks had audiences in single figures and many of the participants sold no books at all.

“Our next effort will be our Charity Gig on 23rd November with music and readings but we are beginning to believe folk no longer want to buy actual books. Personally I sell more at talks; but then, folk are as interested in the author as the stories, aren’t they?”

I must alert you to a past conversation we’ve had about “Reading Print Books or E-books“; yet, I can completely agree that many people are as interested in the author as in the stories…

I find it fascinating that an organized event with so many authors was such a flop; but, as I learned back in the sixties, the times they are a changin’

And, to avoid being remiss, I’ll share one stanza of the lyrics of that linked-to song:

“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'”

Plus, our U.K. author seems to be Asking for enthusiasts by giving talks—offering something of value that might reap a return of interest in her work…

So

What have you done in the way of Book Promotion…?

What do you already know for sure about Book Promotion…?

Who could you recommend who knows how to promote books…?

Why do books need careful and devoted promotion…?

Where should books be promoted…?

Does it takes a lot of money to promote books…?

Does an author have to hire others to successfully promote a book…?

Care to share some of your experience with Book Promotion…?

Want to be the first to share a comment so this conversation can continue…? :-)
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3 responses to “More Conversation about Book Promotion . . .

  1. Jane Watson November 9, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I think that true promotion requires reaching out to other people – it’s not bashing them over the head. As Dan says:

    “…It means we have to engage with other human beings…”

    I think ‘engage’ is an important word here.

    My first publisher, who was mainstream, insisted that folks needed to hear about (be bashed over the head about) a book eleven times before they remembered it properly and they would then buy it. Apparently this method meant that the publisher thought it would be a good idea if I spoke on the “Overnight Racing Channel”. You can imagine the scene:

    “…and here’s Roadrunner going down the strait; a length away from Black Caviar; and, here’s Jane Watson, who has just written a novel. Thanks for coming in, Jane”.

    You need to engage with other like-minded people who may want to read your book.

    A book is not a bar of soap… or, a racehorse…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Still More Conversation about Book Promotion . . . | Notes from An Alien

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