Self-promotion is on my mind a lot these days because the very first professional promotion of any kind starts April 8th for Spirit Legend, my third book, my fourth e-published anything. I never had to self-promote before because I sold my works to publishers and they took care of the rest.
My first foray into promotion uses the simplest promotional package I could find. I figured I’d start easy and gradually work my way up to complicated. My experience with this simple package makes me realize what’s behind something I’ve noticed that puzzled me greatly. Why many not-so-great books get wonderful reviews and sell well while other, possibly better books, don’t get reviewed and don’t sell at all.
The reason is simple. There’s nothing easy about promoting books. Nothing!
This first foray of mine into publicity doesn’t require me to do anything except spread the word about a Book Blast that starts April 8th and continues for a week. I’m to name the book blogs that will feature Spirit Legend but that’s not hard, I have a list. Then all I have to do is check the blogs on the days they are featuring my book and comment and reply to comments if there are any questions. Which, by the way, the promoter said may not happen because it often doesn’t.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong! I’ve already learned that spreading the word isn’t simple. I do know many places where I can post information of this kind, but each place has rules. Different rules for different places and I’d better not break any of them!
So that’s where I am now. Slogging through the muddy waters of mentioning my Book Blast. That’s all I’m doing and I’m already lost. I’m sure that when the Book Blast begins, I’ll find myself equally lost as I pick my way through the maze of book blog etiquette. And It’s possible that none of it will be worth the effort and expense. Sales may not increase. Name recognition may not be helped.
But no matter the result, I’ve learned something. Authors who figure out how to work the system sell books while those who don’t know how to do it right sink like stones. Now I know why a book I read by an author who can’t even write a sentence in decent English is not only selling very, very well, I know why her novel is being chosen as ‘best of’ in several categories. And it’s happening even though many reviews of her novel commented on the fact that her English is very bad. Some reviewers were shocked and turned off by her poor grammar.
Yes, the story line of her novel is good. Excellent. Still, with so many other books out there that also have excellent story lines and, in addition, are easy to read, I suspect that the reason she’s selling so well while others aren’t is that she knows how to self-promote. She knows how to work the system.
I wish her luck. I just wish every writer out there could learn those same deceptively simple skills.
Anyone out there know the secret? If so, please let all writers know. Most of all, let me know in time to get things going for my Book Blast!