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Posts Tagged ‘promotion’

Hey! It’s Monday! I’m blogging again! Woot!

I thought a lot this weekend about how I prioritize things when it comes to writing and promoting. And I realized something.

I spend a whole lot of time checking the ranking of my books. Or for new reviews. And a lot less on actively promoting my books.

But, that’s a little backwards. I should be concentrating on future sales, after all. I can’t turn back time and force readers to buy my books. Or leave a review. So, why do I check two or three times a day?

One of the common complaints I’ve heard from authors is that we don’t have time to promote. It takes too long to do x, y, or z. But we’ll spend more time checking for reviews than it takes to post a single tweet. And I’m as guilty of this as the rest of you.

So, I’m challenging myself to NOT check ranking and reviews until October 1st, 2017. Instead, every time I’m tempted, I’m going to promote one or more of my books on FB or Twitter. I’ll learn how to create better graphics for teasers. I’ll post something to Authorsdb.

I’m going to spend that time promoting instead of wondering why the numbers aren’t improving.

Who’s with me?

BB

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Hey!

Not sure how many have missed me, but I’m still here and kicking!

For almost two years now, I’ve been in a rabbit hole of sorts. Losing my mom in 2015, followed by my dad in 2016. My youngest being assaulted at school, and the case still pending. Life in general put a lot of things on hold. Primarily, promotion and this blog. First, it was the funerals. Then it was helping my sister with the estate and simply sorting through over 70 years of accumulated stuff in their house. Some things came home with me, and other things got sold. This is what happens when your parents die. You have to make decisions that aren’t always easy to make. And, while I have great faith in our judicial system thanks to my dad, the pace at which things move has been a learning experience. I keep telling myself it’s research in a way. If I ever need an accurate timeline for an assault case like this for a book, I have first hand experience now.

Back in May, I started to climb out of the rabbit hole I found myself in. Surgery finally happened, and the estate was settled. I’m on a path that will see me at a healthy weight that I can maintain.

I’ve got a monthly gig at a Barnes & Noble in Federal Way, Washington now. I’m working hard on simply getting back on the promotional horse.

As authors, we can’t sit back and think that it’s up to our publisher to promote our book. We can’t blame them for bad sales, or that we didn’t get into a local book store. We can’t email them, demanding to find out what they plan to do for us without bringing something to the table.

Plain and simple, authors have to market their books. They have to promote them. They cannot sit by and expect magic to simply happen.

Being an author these days is all about what we will do to promote. It’s not up the the publisher. They’ve got hundreds if not thousands of titles to promote! How arrogant is it for me to assume that mine will be the top of the list?

Stop blaming your publisher for low sales and take a hard look in the mirror. My sales right now are a direct result of the work I let slide. To refuse to take responsibility and whine (yes, I said whine) that it’s all because of what someone else did or didn’t do is reprehensible.

My publisher didn’t write them. I wrote them.

My publisher doesn’t need to promote them. I need to promote them.

School is back in session. The house belongs to me and the cats during the day. There’s no more long phone calls between me and my sister about what to do with this or that family treasure. There’s no more doctor appointments to get ready for surgery. There may still be court hearings to attend, but not for a while because of what happened at the last one (nope, can’t go into details).

Yes, promoting is hard work. It takes time, and has little immediate results. It gets frustrating when you do things day in and day out and no one buys a book that month. But it’s part of being an author.

Suck it up, Buttercup. There’s only one person stopping you from the sales you think you should be getting. Go stand in front of the mirror, give yourself a reality check, and get to work.

BB

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Happy Thursday! Snow is gone, sun is actually shining right now. And my husband’s 5 month old kitten is full on toddler mode. LOL

So, something happens to me on Twitter. Talking with other authors, publishers, and friends, it happens to them a lot. And it’s those annoying automated direct messages we get whenever we follow someone new.

I’m about to be blunt. To me, those things are the literary equivalent of an unsolicited dick pic!

Look, we know you’ve got a book out. Or do covers. Or have a blog. We took the five seconds to scan your brief description. But to then send me something that’s little more than ‘BUY MY BOOK!!!’ is annoying. Really? You’re so lazy that you can’t say hello like a real person? You’re too busy to bother connecting with your readers?

You’re so full of yourself that you honestly think I’m going to buy a book when you’ve done nothing more than shove the link at me? Before I’ve had time to say hello to you?

In this age of social media, the key to selling books isn’t to scream about it all day long. It’s not a used car lot where you’ve got to wheel and deal and try to constantly put the product in front of readers. We get it. You wrote a book. You’re proud of your accomplishment. It’s up for sale.

But I want that buy link shoved in my face about as much as I want to see your anatomy. Which I don’t.

Give me the chance to learn who you are. Say hello, ask how my day’s going. Have an actual conversation with me. You’re a writer! Words are your thing! Use them!

Develop a real connection with potential readers instead of spamming them.

BB

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Hey everyone!

I’m snowed in today. LOL. Seattle got a rare blanket of white last night. Hubby made it to work, but getting from our neighborhood to a main road was interesting. If there’s no pressing need for me to go anywhere, I’m waiting for it to melt. Power is still on, meaning we have heat and internet. Yeah!

There’s a cold hard fact to being an author that most people don’t realize. Even most writers don’t have a clue until they put a book up for sale or sign with a publisher. And that there’s absolutely NO direct path to success and sales.

You’re going to be bombarded with ads claiming to know the ‘secret’ to getting good sales. Treat it like you would any other spam and get rid of it. Plain and simple, they want to make you spend big bucks to see little or no lasting success. Unless you count them growing richer as they suck you into the process.

Being an author is tough. It’s work. 99% of us are NOT ‘special snowflakes’ that get their every whim catered to because they make money left and right. You have to be willing to face that fact. Want a lasting career? Don’t be a jerk, stop pretending you know everything, and do the work. Roll up your sleeves, dig a trench, and keep trying.

At one point, I was looking at a career in performing arts. My degree’s actually in technical theater, specifically props and stage management. We’ve all grown up with the stories about how hard it is to become a star in Hollywood. Thing is, it’s JUST as hard to get to the level of Stephen King as an author. I know that. And I’m willing to do the work to get myself there. I believe in my writing. I stay positive. I work with people instead of demanding I be given special treatment.

Get over yourself. Stop imagining that you should be shielded from the reality of the job you claim you want, and get to work. Put in the time to make a solid foundation to your work. Try new things to promote that are free before investing thousands of dollars in a promotion that has no guarantees of getting you enough sales to recoup the investment.

Don’t just sit back and expect money to come pouring in because you wrote a book. Because that’s simply just not how it works.

BB

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Good morning everyone!

I hope all is well with each of you. The weekend was a bust for me, in that I didn’t write one bit. Unless you consider scattered posts on FB. And even those were few and far between.

Every now and then, each author will hit walls. You’ll either lose your motivation to write, or will to promote. You’ll get discouraged, and see lack of sales as an indication that you should just give up. After all, why write if you can’t even give your books away for free and get readers?

When you hit that wall, ask yourself a simple question: do I write because I want to be rich and famous? Or do I write because I love it?

If you’re only writing because you think you’ll get fame and fortune, then stop. The odds of that happening in less than ten years, or at all, are high. And no one’s going to read your book just because you think the should.

We can’t force people to buy our books. Even if we think they’re worth reading. We can’t throw fits like children and demand they either buy it and review it or else. It’s as useless as holding our breath would be. Eventually, you pass out and don’t get your way.

So, what do you do when you hit that wall? That’s up to you. You can give up, sure.

Or you can shake off the feeling, take a walk, soak in a bubble bath, and think on the next scene or a new promotional opportunity.

Because authors do that to break down the wall.

On another note…..

If you live near Seattle, or are coming into town for Emerald City Comicon, be sure to find me on Saturday the 28th! I’m going to be out in the crowd and will have a few books, some postcards, and business cards (both author and COO) with me. Oldest is supposed to do the lettering on the shirt soon, but I’ll be wearing a bright green crewneck shirt with ‘Published Author Cosplay’ across the front! Be sure to say hi if you spot me!

BB

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Good morning! The solstice was yesterday, the sun’s warmth will be returning soon, and I’ve got two kids awaiting Thursday morning. Me? I’m thinking Muse is going to have a fun time with piles of paper and boxes.

I’m not big on twitter, but I do get on there once or twice a day. It’s a great tool for authors to connect with readers, but only if you do it right. Unfortunately, my message box and newsfeed are flooded every day with writers who are sabotaging their own sales.

Simply put, stop screaming about your book non-stop and start talking to people.

I see it all the time. I get followed, and I follow them back. Next thing I know, I get a direct message from them about how I should buy their book. Guess what? I never have. Same goes with the people who schedule tweets that are nothing but sales pitches for their book.

Why? Because I detest high pressure sales tactics. Because, as a reader, I want to know more about the author than them shoving the link to their book in my face every 15 minutes. I want a connection, that spark of humanity that makes me go, ‘hey, I can relate to that!’, to share something with them beyond the story they wrote.

Seriously, stop talking non-stop about your book. It’s going to alienate readers, not increase sales. Take the time to say hello, wait for them to decide to buy your book. Bide your time. Be patient. Be kind. Be polite. But, please, for all you or I consider holy, stop the high pressure screaming of ‘buy my book’. It’s not working. It’s annoying. It puts readers off. The constant push is making you look like a literary used car salesman!

BB

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Good morning!

I’m up! I’m awake! I’m rested and caffeinated! That is a recipe for a very productive day.

The giveaway for ‘Fin’s Magic’ officially ended last night. Overall, I call it a success. The book was downloaded quite a bit, and hit best seller lists on Amazon in both the U.S. and overseas. It actually climbed as high as #5 in Spain, and #4 in Germany!

In other words, I came very close to being able to say my book was #1 somewhere in the world.

Yes, it was free. And I know that overseas rankings work a little differently than U.S. ones. A book can be in the top 100 from a single sale.

Still, I was close. So close that I realized how much I wanted that top slot.

There’s 5 more weeks of sales and freebies coming. This coming weekend (10/24-10/26), “Permafrost” will be free. Who knows? Maybe that one will give me that magic number.

Putting a book on sale or free is not for everyone. Some will think it’s giving money away. I see it differently. Being that I’m still waiting to be found by readers, it gives me the chance to put my titles into the hands of someone who wouldn’t have taken a risk on me if they’d had to spend money. It’s someone reading my book who would’ve passed before.

Let’s face it, we all can be cheapskates on occasion. Readers are no different. They want a bargain. They want to feel their money is well spent. If they can get one book of mine for free, who’s to say they won’t like my voice. And go search my name on Amazon. Now, they’re thinking of buying a book instead of getting it for free.

Just like postcards and bookmarks, free and sales are promotions. They put your book into the hands of the readers. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.

BB

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