Lisa's topic today is timely for both published and unpublished authors. Promotion. The value of it, the various trinkets authors use to promote their names and books. I'm looking forward to seeing the comments for this discussion.
I’m relatively new at this writing game. My first book, TEXAS HOLD HIM, released a little less than a year ago and my second, A MIDWIFE CRISIS, came out this January. I had no idea how much easier it was before getting “the call”. As pre-published authors, we all dream of that moment, sure that our trials and tribulations will end as soon as an editor recognizes our brilliance and buys our first book. Little did I know that the chaos was about to begin.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s extremely exciting, fun chaos, but chaos is chaos no matter how you slice it. I quickly learned the editing ins and outs, and my agent handled the contract issues, but no one told me how expensive all this would become. Yes, you read that right. Getting started in this business costs a lot of money. Contests, conferences, bookmarks, website, travel to book signings, book trailers…the list goes on and on. One of the biggest problems I’ve had is trying to decide what works and what doesn’t by way of promotion.
New York agent, Donald Maass, says it’s unproductive for an author to spend any money on promotion until she has 5 or 6 books out. But I have to ask, if you don’t do promotion, how will the reader know you have out 5 or 6 books? It seems to me that the author must do something, but when is enough, enough?
I have attended many conferences and writing workshops where all sorts of promotional items were distributed. I have bookmarks, ink pens, magnets, stuffed animals, bags of candy, key chains, cover flats, and many more items in totes stuffed in my closet. Right now, I have at least 5 book cover magnets on my refrigerator holding important notes. My writing basket has 10 or more ink pens with author names and book titles emblazoned in colorful letters.
And now, it’s time for the confession. I don’t know who the author or book is for any of them. AND I have never purchased a book because of a cool promotional item. There. I said it. Promo trinkets do not work for me. I know the idea is to get your name in front of the reader so when she goes to the bookstore, it’s familiar to her, but I don’t even read the magnet to see the author’s name.
What good is that doing her?
Based on my own reaction, or lack thereof, to promo goodies, I decided to do the basics. I have a website, bookmarks and some business cards. I attend conferences to meet and talk to readers where I hand them my bookmark in person. I know they won’t buy the book based on the bookmark, but my hopes are they’ll be interested based on our discussion, and the bookmark will help them remember who I am.
- That brings me to my question for today. Have you ever purchased a book based on a promotional item? Do you visit author websites? What will cause you to buy a book from a new-to-you author?
After 25 years of teaching high school Biology, Lisa decided to tackle her first novel. It was, of course, abysmal, but the love of writing took hold, giving her a new goal in life. She wanted to be published by the time she retired from teaching. Seven novels and four years later, she sold her first manuscript to Dorchester Publishing four weeks after retiring from the classroom.
The Midwife Crisis
Katie Napier is happy with her life as a midwife and healer in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. So why does her family suddenly decide she needs to have a husband? It’s not that she’s adverse to it, mind you, it’s just that by her estimation, men are more of a hindrance than a help. But she agrees to their plan to find a husband because for the purpose of having children. Unfortunately, each of her well meaning, though zany, family members finds her the man of their
dreams and now she has three fiancés!
John Keffer, a widowed doctor with secrets of his own, comes to town with is five year old daughter to set up practice and escape memories, but the locals don’t trust the outsider and continue to seek help from the healer they’ve known for years. John’s only way to gain their trust is to hire Katie to help him in his office. What he’s not expecting, however, is her request that he help her decide which fiancé she’s going to keep. A task complicated when he finally realizes he wants to keep her for himself.
A MIDWIFE CRISIS is a fun filled romance that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and a tug to your heartstrings.
Lisa and her husband live on a 70 acre farm in southern Ohio with a Maltese who thinks he owns the place. She has two grown and married children and the world’s most perfect granddaughter, who also thinks she owns the place—though in her case, that might be right.
You can contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at http://www.lisahistoricals.com/