I'll admit when I first started this writing gig I was CLUELESS about promotion. I showed up at my first booksigning with nothing but a little bowl of mints and a few business cards. That was it. Honestly? No one seemed to mind. I had the signing at my local Books a Million and sat in a "high traffic" area and was thrilled as a line formed. Not everyone bought a book but most did and it was so great signing and meeting readers. But as time went on and I got more books under my belt, I figured out pretty damn quick that my little babies were NOT going to jump off the shelves and sell themselves. It was going to require time, creative thinking, and yes, money, to help things along.
I do a couple of chats a month. I've found some loops that have fairly high volume and I try to stick to those places to post excerpts and meet readers. I'll never forget my first "slapping the head moment". I scheduled a chat by myself! Oh, Lordy! Big Mistake. I was posting excerpts into a big, giant sea of nothing. Was there an echo in there???? Oh hell yes, there was. I was miserable and upset. I knew there had to be a better way. Later I learned the writing community is full of people quick to share their ideas and experiences and I found out it's a whole lot more fun to chat with a group. I often do chats with Anne and Kell and we have a blast chatting up our books, running contests and giveaways, and sometimes we can talk Anne into posting a naughty pic or two just to keep things interesting...wink wink. I also chat with a group called The Frogs, a group of talented Ellora's Cave writers. Fun to be had by everyone when these ladies show up to share their stuff.
I blog and blog and blog. I maintain a myspace page. These are FREE things and I'm all about FREE. I'm also looking into co-op advertising. A big group gets together and using their covers, come up with a full page color ad for not much money. Sounds like a plan to me.
At the moment, I'm planning to get some stuff together for a big romance readers conference in Australia and I'm racking my brain for something clever that won't cost the moon. Bookmarks sound good, so do magnets. Pens, pens, pens. A good idea or not? I just don't know. Since I'm a Texan, I'm thinking of a Texas theme that's fun and colorful.
Have any of you been to the conferences and seen clever/cute/smart ideas, maybe some dumb ones? I can't help but wonder what kind of stuff gets tossed in the trash and what is deemed worthwhile to keep. I'll probably do some conferences next year so yeah, I'm thinking ahead. Who wants to waste their money on stuff that doesn't work? Doesn't grab a readers attention?
Yesterday Anne talked about an ad on a popular site that didn't get put up. Pitiful. But does anyone know if these ads even work? Okay...color me a newbie but I'm ready for a crash course.
What kind of things grab your attention? What have you done as an author that really really works? Inquiring minds want to know.