Wednesday, April 04, 2007

PR ~ Marketing

Several of my crit partners have recently discussed the importance of marketing their work. They are published but through different methods. With the growth of online communities and e-book publishing, marketing has opened up for aspiring authors. With a click you can visit various blogs and leave a post. I've met some incredibly talented and interesting people this way. But it also opens up a new avenue for my books...when I become a published author.

Which brings up various publishing opportunities. Harlequin has a very large and supportive online community where you can chat with published/non published authors, readers and editors. They have sections dedicated to encourage learning more about our craft. They are also gearing up to include e-book sales. They have offered workshops, contests and hints/tips on submissions. It's a win situation for all because they are searching for new talent and will profit from it. Just my opinion though. It's also very hard to get published because of the amount of submissions they receive.

E-book sales have exploded and offer instant gratification for readers without having to trudge around looking for a particular author/title. Several friends have ventured that way and succeeded. It seems that the length of time from sale to release is about the same.

But back to the main focus (not my strength) toward marketing. Through various friends I have widened my circle through blogs. I also post and chat through various online communities and author sites. How strong are those connections? Would you be willing to submit your book to a popular online reviewer and risk a bad review? What about if you were almost guaranteed a bad review ...but... it caused people to buy/read it because it got a bad review?

Marketing can be about how far you are willing to push yourself. A friend recently shared that normally she was a very introverted home-body. She poured her heart and soul into a manuscript and after many rejections and revisions...she got THE CALL! But her sales were slow after the release. A mentor suggested she start building her presence online. She who was technology challenged. Oh, she knew how to log on and check her e-mail. She had even been so adventurous to fumble online and do research for her book. How hard can it be? She learned how to blog and chat. She made a fortune in friends. Interesting, creative people who shared a common dream. She began to feel her confidence grow stronger and so did her sales. She had a friend who helped her set up a website. Her sales continued to climb. She participated in a local writers group and was asked to speak in a conference. She got brave. She approached a bookstore manager and set up a book signing. She/friends/family told everyone they knew and asked them to pass the word. The signing was a success and the manager asked her to come back again. Her sales grew.

But...her kids and hubby got cranky. They grew tired...tired of being hungry and unclothed. She realized although she had expanded her reader base and sales figures, she had left them to fend for themselves. So the family discussed it and she organized certain days and times for "her job" and family time. The husband agreed to step it up a notch and she promised to grit her teeth and not gripe about the method he used to "help". A happy medium. She says they stick to the idea as often as they can. But they still have crazy, chaotic moments.

But when Mom is happy, they'll be happy. When they're happy, Mom is at peace.

What methods are you willing to try? How far can you go? Mentally, physically or financially? (OK I'll stop with the -ly words, geesh) Hmmmmm. I'd probably go as far as I can push the limits, without hurting my family. I have a 13 & 4 yo. A teenager and a toddler. Enough said.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow. I don't think I realized what a spread you have in kids.

Ha! You have to use two totally different parts of your brain.

Chicki Brown said...

Great blog today! I'm willing to do anything that doesn't make me look like a complete idiot. There are so many avenues for exposure these days, but new authors are limited by finances (unless they're independently wealthy!)

The thing that scared me the most when I first started writing was public speaking. Just the idea made me want to pass out. But, after I was asked to speak at a local writer's conference at Barnes & Noble, I made up my mind to do it. Believe or not I'm still alive and everyone told me I did well.

Whatever you are the most afraid of doing is the first thing you should do. Also, those with limited funds need to check "out of the box" methods of promoting their books. That's what I'm concentrating on.

Chelle Sandell said...

Jen~ Thats whats so scary. My brain on overload! I have to use different tactics on both. We were told hubby couldn't have kids...surprise. 2 yrs after we married we had Cayd.

Chick~ I totally agree. I've heard bad reviews can push readers to buy just to see what the hype was. I'd never cared much about reading reviews because I have such eclectic tastes.

Bunch of Stuff said...

I'll do almost anything to sell my books. But I think I'll concentrate on the electonic ways. The idea is to get out their and get your name out. Anyway you do that is good.