Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Promo vs writing the next book

Okay,  so I sent off my book for final edits. And I’m considering promotions. I read Kait Nolan’s download tome on launch and promo.

I always feel like an asshole when I do promo. Disingenuous.

I thought about knocking on blog doors and asking for guest posts. I don’t do guest posts. I don’t solict others for guest posts. I promote blog posts I enjoyed on Twitter and in my infrequent of late Saturday mashups. It doesn’t feel like the right fit for me.

My current plans is to do a goodreads giveaway, do giveaways to people  in exchange for reviews or coupons for other books. I might also do a good reads q&a. We’ll see.

I’m trying to see if I can figure out a promotion angle that is different. You know how you hear about people who do something crazy novel and catches tons of attention. I have no ideas yet, but since I can’t figure out the damned title for this novel, I have some time yet.

I just read The $100 Start-Up by Chris Guillebeau, which is about starting a business on the cheap and just going for it. Not letting all those things you see as obstacles hold you back. I’d love to start a business, but I don’t feel like I have anything right now to sell, but then again, that little voice says to me that my little self-publishing venture is my business venture.

Anyway, I made six pages of notes and I think there are some things in there that I can transfer to a book release and self-publishing venture in general. Though I felt it was more geared toward the non-fiction crowd where ebooks sell for $20-50 or more.

What have you seen in the way of good promotions? what about bad promotions? What do you do to promote?

Also anyone have tips on titles? Fuck, I hate titles.

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12 responses to “Promo vs writing the next book

  1. Literary Man June 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I feel your pain. It’s a hard line to walk between needing to promote your art, but really preferring to create your art and just hope someone else will promote your work for you.

  2. prudencemacleod June 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Ah yes, Asrai, the same old question I usually wrestle with. I do struggle with promotions so I usually opt for writing the next book and hoping the reading gods will take pity on me.

  3. ahamin June 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Promotion… the writers Kryptonite.
    Well… we live in the digital world, so its easier to share, but you have to know what to say. Example is to through a quote in your book and write about it, youtube videos helps too. One of the good strategies is to get a per-publication review, try Kirkus reviews, they review unpublished works, which helped raising the prices… You are doing well with the goodreads giveaway, getting reviews is a crucial thing.
    As for titles… I would suggest pin pointing the centers of your book, like the name of the character, or a certain feeling in her book, or a location or a description of the location that can be a center which you branch of, that’s what a title is… a center.

    Congratulations for finishing, good luck with the rest.

    • asraidevin June 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you. All very good suggestions.
      Reviews are very important, which is why I’d like to go a small giveaway for people who will do a review. But details on that in the next few days/weeks. :) Thanks

  4. Jennette Marie Powell June 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Promotion: UGH. Let’s just say my books aren’t burning up the charts, and that’s my excuse as to why. I get wonderful feedback from the few who find and read them (mostly people I’ve met online or off), but no one else seems to find them. Then there are people on some of my email lists who sell tons of books and say they do almost no promotion. Then there are people who sell like crazy because they do tons of promotion. Assuming the books are good and well-written, I’m putting it down to LUCK. Not something I’ve ever had in great supply, good or bad.

    As for titles, what’s your book about? Maybe toss it out to the WANA peeps – I’ll bet you’ll get some brainstorming help!

    • asraidevin June 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      As I said to Prudence, they say luck comes to us who work hard. And Konrath says the best promotion is doing the next book, he’s never found an huge uptake no matter how much promotion he does and he’s received big media promotion. The more books you have out the more chance you have of someone finding you. That’s why I have several short stories for free around.

  5. andrewmocete June 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Definitely write the next book and don’t get hung up promo. The authors who take off with their first book are few and far between and there’s no exact science on how to do that. The BEST promo is your next book because it should be better than the last and it’s one extra chance for new readers to find you.

    I’ve seen LOTS of promo strategies and I think submitting to book bloggers is a good idea. They all have submission guidelines, so you don’t have to feel weird about asking for a review. They’re looking for books and so is their audience.

    Goodreads is a good idea for getting reviews too. But I’d suggest picking the people within your friends who’d be most interested in your book or a group within your genre. It might be a good idea to set a cutoff for when you need the reviews by.

    Aside from that, there’s only so much you can do for a book before you have to let it sink or swim. Priority one is always write the next book.

  6. Louise Behiel June 15, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I did kindle select with Family ties and that always resulted in some sales – not enough to allow me to retire but a bit. and the anthology that shows on my author page also has sold a few extras as FT is selling. but I’ve found only a small uptick in sales with blogging. Next to none with twitter. Konrath says it’s a matter of luck and numbers. get those books up there baby. I am thinking that the big blow out sales numbers happened when this was fairly new. Trish McCallan is one person I can think of who promoted like crazy every where and sold a gazillion copies as a result. But I can’t think of a single other person with that level of success from that kind of effort.

    and in truth, it’s exhausting.

  7. Diane Capri (@DianeCapri) June 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Hi, Asrai! First, congrats on finishing the book. Awesome accomplishment, no matter how many times you’ve done it. Yea!! Second, I am sooooooo bad at titles, yet I know how important they are. My current thinking is to choose something people are already familiar with in some way — so that you’re not starting from ground zero with building awareness. My “Don’t Know Jack” and “Jack in a Box,” and “Fatal Distraction” titles were born of that philosophy. And these are all selling better than my other titles, which I thought were perfectly clever at the time I chose them….sigh…..And now, on the promo question, I agree this is very hard. But what helps me is to change the way I think about it. I’m not “promoting my book,” or “selling myself.” What I’m doing is “getting the word out,” “letting you know,” “sharing my good news.” It’s not a huge thing, but at this stage, it’s the little tweaks that sometimes make a big difference for me. Maybe for you, too?

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