Monday, October 3, 2011

There's No Business Like Show Business


Don’t bother trying to run; it won’t do you any good. We’ve touched upon this topic several times here at Romancing the Muses, most recently just a few weeks ago when Jacquelyn had over a guest poster to discuss the nature of the beast. Unless you’re one of those people who loves pushing their product out into an already saturated market, promotion is likely the bane of your existence. It’s certainly the bane of mine. And yet, with every release, you have to ask yourself: “How can I expect people to buy it if I don’t let them know it’s there?”

When you’re a relatively unknown author, even if you do have a handful of past publications to your name, you can’t rely on notoriety to sell your book for you, especially in a market where every story has been written eighteen different ways, and that’s only since yesterday. But here’s the kicker: good promotion is like fine dining – it usually ain’t free. You’ve heard in order to make money, you must spend money. In order to clean up, you need to make a mess. That’s the way it goes. You spend on bookmarks, collectibles, gift cards for giveaways, shipping and handling, hard copies, conventions, and so on. What you pay might triple what you make, but in the process you gain readers, fans, meet fellow authors, develop business contacts, cultivate groups, and so on. The payoff might take a while to see, but I promise it’ll be hard to miss.

The best promotion, however, is being available. Twitter, Facebook, emails, blogging, etc. Make yourself the person everyone wants to meet. And, of course, writing. Developing a backlist is essential. Write so much a reader can’t visit a new website without seeing a new upcoming release with your name on the cover. Try to conquer the fear of over-saturation. Make that your challenge, and I can damn well guarantee you’ll see results.


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