Monday, April 24, 2006

This Little Piggy


...went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast boeuf.
This little piggy had none
...

Ah yes.
Marketing.
Like a big bloody sword of Damocles hanging over a writer's head.
Everyone stirs uneasily.
Shy writers, anti-social writers, writers with five kids and a sickly parent, writers whose houses have no mirrors, disabled writers - all sorts of writers swallow convulsively, go to a dark corner, rock back and forth at the word and moan.
They figure Hercules had it easy.
It was only horseshit he moved,you see, not personal shit.

Joe Konrath wields a pony whip about it, yelling "Move, move" like the instructor in Police Academy, telling us to get our rear in gear.
Maybe because it's spring release season, but the topic has dominated lately.
Visit bookstores, chat up librarians, arrange readings, advertise, shill for interviews, reviews with print, radio and TV, blog, web-site, internet chat loops, bookmarks, buttons, gimmicks, contests, conferences.
Sell them out the back of your car, door-to-door.
I had one of Ron Hubbard's shining devotees show up at my door once, flogging one of the master's books.
Forget what I said, with a kid attached to left and right knee, one in my arms and one swinging on the door knob, but I remember him going away down the sidewalk shaking his head and muttering - probably about "breeders."
One writer, Dakota Knight, I believe, suggested one always carry a couple of copies with you. Everywhere. People ask.
A wise writer should probably make little lists and post-it notes about the various promotion methods mentioned hither and thither and scale and tweak those that are practical for their own situation and strengths.
One needn't tour coast-to-coast as in the classic cocktail promotion, you know.
Pick a radius and saturate it. A lot can be done with local radio, bookstores, libraries, newspapers for personal contact. Though if your title is "Epiglottal Stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway" you may need to provide careful explanation to the radio station that airs only classical music.
Think guerilla marketing as well as the standard means.
There may be a major theme in your book that fits, if asymetrically, a certain group. Time travel/historical? Is there an SCA /Re-enactment group near-by? Might a local travel agency do the airport thing for you? Crafts? A Home-Show table? You may have more contacts and avenues than your realize. Seems old ladies with walkers love erotica.
A lot can be done by internet for beyond your travel zone. And the postperson is your friend when sending out tidy promo packages. Try.
Don't flap your hands and go into a catatonic fit.
Make a list. Check off the availables and the possibles against your personal abilities and inclinations.
You've managed to create an entire fictional world. You should be able to imagine marketing ways that might work for you.
Go "whee, whee" all the way home.

14 comments:

Erik Ivan James said...

Excellent post, Bernita, excellent.
Targeted marketing.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I see that Bloggers being a ppo again! This is the first time I've ever posted first on your blog, Bernita...I so excited :-0

I always keep a folder of the marketing ideas that I run into so when the time comes...I'll be ready.

The only one that you gave me that is new ans i love ...is the pick a radius...that makes huge sense...Thanks...it get's top of the list!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hey! Erik didn't show up till i published....wahhhhhh!!!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.

Surprised you found anything new, Bonnie, was trying for an over-view only.

For The Trees said...

Personally I've actively discounted every one of your suggestions, leaving only the one that ALWAYS works best:

Transmigrational Neucleonic Mass Hybridization! YES! Just hold the volume up to your head and Transmogrify the plot to everyone in the United States! They'll all GET IT and go to their bookstore looking for it! YES! And they'll pound on the counters there until they've gotten THEIR COPY ordered!! AND paid for!!

Transmigrate! Transmogrify! Trans-Am! Transcend! DO IT TODAY!

Are you getting my plot yet? Here it comes again...

Dakota Knight said...

Yes, marketing has become a big subject as of late. It appears it's becoming a necessary evil for authors these days. I think you definitely have to define your target markets and go from there. Bonnie, I keep a list too. Right now, I'm focusing on Internet stuff until the release date of my book nears, but I do have cards available when I'm out and I'll have books when they arrive because Bernita's right, people always asks and the most important thing for me is to make sure I have something for them when they do.

Bernita, thanks for the mention.

Dakota Knight said...

for the trees, I have something new to add to my list.

Oh, and I meant ask not asks in my comment. I have to work on my blog grammar.

Bernita said...

Oh dear, Forrest, I must have had my tin foil hat on at the time and it deflected your transmorgrification...

M'dear, you are most welcome. Thought yours was a great and practical idea.

Mark Pettus said...

Great post, Bernita.

Now that I've got all these great ideas on how to push my book - once it actually becomes a book, what I'd love to hear is new ways for a pre-published writer to market his or her work.

So, tell me. :)

Bhaswati said...

Good, informative post, Bernita. Thanks for sharing these tips. I am adding you to my blog links. You can reciprocate, if you wish :)

~ Sury

Bernita said...

I certainly will, Bhaswati, as soon as my tech child becomes available. Thank you.

Now, don't be sarcastic, Mark. Except for Dakota's tip, this is all fairly generic.
Point is to file the information now,as Bonnie does,as you find it, not wait.
You know the "pre-published" tips are simple and undeviating.
1. Write a good book.
2. Write a good query letter.
3. Write a good synopsis. This may be optional - depending on the agent/editor.
4. Query the agents/editors who handle your type.Query many.
5. Contacts can help.
6. Wait. Pray. Continue to write.
7. Gimmicks are usually silly and useless.

S. W. Vaughn said...

You said it, sister. Dark corners are my friends -- this promotion bit is such a drag. But it's so tragically necessary, isn't it?

Here's another ditch-that-door-to-door-spiel suggestion: set up a live chat tour. There are companies that will do it for you for big bucks, or you can just do some digging and find active chat rooms populated by your target readership and drop the mods a line: "Hey, I'm an author, can I come in and talk to your peeps for a while?"

If you do this, you'll end up with some chats with three or four guests and some with a hundred or two. But it can be fun and you don't have to leave your beloved -- I mean, computer. :-)

A Ron Hubbard flogger showed up at your door? How intriguing! You should have invited him in for tea!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot!
» » »

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site...
Betting las vegas sports free online keno information 2006 hummer h3 Proactiv dandruff shampoo power keno online los angeles online aristocrat clown keno e ring the series