Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Promotion Anxiety

So how do y'all deal with that pervasive sense that you should be doing more to promote your books (when you don't like doing promotion much at all)? The catch is that there's always something more you could be doing (like posting on blogs), but the more you do, the more time it takes away from actual writing, which is the whole reason you got into this gig in the first place. It's the endless hamster wheel of capitalism.

If anyone wants to chime in on what sort of promotion they feel is worthwhile, or how you go about balancing your promotion/writer life, I'd love to hear it. The hard part here is that to even get shelf space now at the big chain bookstores, your publisher either needs to pay for it (that's a dirty secret that I think many customers are unaware of) or your book needs to be selling like crazy. But if your book isn't in bookstores, how do you get it to sell? This part of the business drives me crazy. It makes me want to just go bury my head in a book, and well, write something.

BTW --I love the book trailer, Amy. I'd like to hear more about how you created that.



  1. I just used my handy dandy MacBook to create the trailer. It took me a day's work. I don't know if it was worth it. At this point, I'm trying lots of things to see if they help raise my profile: Blogging, YouTube Videos, Commenting on other's blogs... I may eventually tackle the scary bugaboo of school visits. For me, it's easier to be behind the scenes, using the internet, than up in front of a bunch of people.

  2. School visits are fun because they put you face to face with your readers. Which can be alternately scary and inspiring. And let's face it, kids are brutally honest. But also hilarious!

  3. Thanks Amy, and Catherine. Personally, I love doing school visits (I love working face to face with people), but the idea of creating a video and posting it online gives me the hebee geebees (I've never in my life written or said that word). If ever you want to talk about school visits, Amy, I'd be happy to share with you some things I've picked up.

    Cheers, T.

  4. I'm constantly paranoid that I'm not doing enough to promote my books...this alternates with paranoia that I'm not writing enough (sigh). I did some events when my second book was released last year, and since then I've been blogging/guest blogging, etc. Still, there is SO much more that I could/should be doing.


  5. Maybe the key here is to recognize the importance of that line between what we could and should be doing. We could promote all day, but perhaps we should just write.

    What if all writers called a truce and said I won't promote if you won't. Then we could all get back to creating books (until John Green comes along and shows us how to be master of the internet, and then we'll feel foolish for only scribbling books. Damn, he's good).

  6. One thing I found really worthwhile was to stop in at bookstores and library branches (in your home town and also when you travel) and introduce myself, talk about my book a little, etc. These are the people who are hand selling your book to eager readers and they're happy to meet an author.

  7. Good idea. Thanks for passing this on, Carolyn. I love working with the indies. In fact, I'm going to call one to set up a visit right now. Cheers!