Friday, May 25, 2012

I Don't Want to be a Book Whore!


A few years ago, when I had my first self-published book out, I met a self-published author, an older gentleman, who had gotten his book of short stories printed up and was one of the authors I met at a book signing. We got to jawing and I learned he was able to sell his book out of hand to people he just met. I'm not sure if it was as great as all it sounds, but he probably did alright. He called himself a "Book Whore". I thought it was a funny term and in a way sort of appropriate.

The thing is we do need to work hard to sell our books, get it to the right audience. I'm sure everyone can agree with that. But when I see people plopping their books on the Facebook groups I belong to every few hours (the same people/books), it sort of makes me want to un-join. At first I put my book out there, but I've quit doing things that way. First of all I don't want to be a pest, I know how it makes me feel -- hey! Freebies! Hey! only 25 more people join/like/etc. and some lucky person wins... come and "like" my book on Amazon...only .99 today!!!
And seconly, after those same people have seen your book once, or a couple dozen times, if they didn't buy it the first time, they may be unlikely to buy it after the hard sell again and again. In fact it may have turned them off--I don't care if it is award winning.

There are other things that I question too. I don't really know how it counts to have all your friends on facebook/groups to go and "like" a book they've never read before. I don't do this, and I won't ask anyone to "like" my book over on Amazon, unless they've read it and want to go to the trouble of doing this. I won't ask anyone to make a review there either. Usually people WANT to do this, not because I've asked them. I don't want to hold a cattle prod and make people do something that they didn't feel like doing in the first place. I don't even think anyone (readers) care if you have 3 likes or 300 likes. Or that it even matters, or that they see it. I've never noticed it before, until someone was talking about it. (Oh... there that little bugger is, never noticed it before.)

So, I've let my little rant out. I might be a little bit of a book whore, but not big-time selling on the street corner, sort of thing.

It all boils down to this, the hard sell can get a bit too much. And really it is like whoring, if you become a little too agressive about it.

The best way to get your book to audiences is by going on book tours, at blogs, or however you may have available to you. And really, if I had a wad of money, I'd be advertizing my own, but I don't have that sort of cash flow. Not yet, anyway.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Agenda This Spring/Summer

Even though I've sent in my third book to the publisher, and feel a great relief, I still have many projects waiting for me. My only deadline right now is for a short story I'm doing for an anthology. It's deadline isn't until June something, and so I'm almost done with this, which is great!

We've been having perfect days this spring. They feel more normal than not, to me. We aren't supposed to get to the 80's in May! So, when they show a row of 70's all week, that's great. I've been getting out, and moving. I've used my interest in nature and birdwatching to get out there. Plus, we live on prairie/wetlands, and it is great out here.  Nice to be able to walk out the door and have it all to yourself some mornings. I've lost 4 pounds this last week by both watching my calories, and getting out nearly every day and walking. I hope to loose 10 pounds by end of this month and maybe 20 all together, if I can keep at it.

My plans are to work on a few projects I have not been able to work on because I wanted to get the first three books in my Sabrina Strong Series out in the first three years. Which looks like I'm able to accomplish. I already have the fourth book in a third draft, so I can put it on hold for now and turn to some other things.

I realize I have been writing for more than 3 decades and it has not been until this 4th decade that I had been able to publish a novel (I'm flabbergasted I've got two out with a third pending!) My first self-published novel, Spell of the Black Unicorn is now in my hands and out of the publisher's hands. I am going to be working on it this summer, release it as an ebook and also give it a new title. Maybe "Spell of the Vampire" might work?

Along the way, I've made a lot of great friends in the virtual world. Many of you have stuck with me, become my fans and friends, and we have found a common bond: writing. Whenever I figure out something new I do try and reveal it, once I'm sure that it's something important. While a lot of us have been working on our novels, we have to understand that people who do not know you will not buy the book just because it's out there. What will help them decide? I mean besides the reviews you may get, or the guest posts you may also be able to stack up when your book is released. You have to realize that money is tight right now, to take a chance on a new author--even one that has two or three novels out there--there has to be something a reader can find written by you that is short and cheep--or free. There have been a few authors I've gotten to know, and those I see around me, who write a short story that might be a sort of prequel to the book itself. They offer it for free, and sometimes they place a couple of chapters from the novel they want you to buy at the end of it, so that further sells the book.

Also, you might want to get yourself into a few anthologies. It is a good way to get name recognition, should someone who read a short piece by you comes across your name again. On your main blog you need to have these posted somewhere. A "page" below your banner is a very good way of doing this. I get hits on my pages daily. It's a way for people to get to know you and what you've done. If you have writing credits you want to get them there on another page, and be sure to up-date all your pages regularly.

The above suggestions are ones I'm going to be working on this spring and summer. Now that I don't have a novel to try and write and get out there in a year, I have time to work on these other projects. Hopefully these things will help sales of the books. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile... I think I might step out and feel the sunshine on my face.