I had a good week. It wasn’t phenomenal, but good in general. I hope you can say the same.
Writing-wise, it felt really good to get back into some of my old work. It’s been too long for some, but reading through it again, it reminded me of why I love to write. It’s discovering those little moments of truth that strike deep at an emotion. It’s not superficial. It doesn’t feel forced. It’s a genuine human emotion being felt by people, not characters. And that’s a powerful thing to be able to relate. We know what it is when we come across it, but to be able to put it into words is something else.
Another thing that happened this week was that I realized why I’d lost the fire to write. The irony is that it was something I’d warned others of and it’s, “Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of self-publishing.” It’s so easily done because you are responsible for everything. The problem is, you can spend a lot of time on all the little things, and forget to do the most important thing of all; write. I was so obsessed with what I thought I had to do, I didn’t bother doing what I needed to do. And, the whole process just stopped being fun. And that’s no bueno.
So, I’m going back at it with the intention of simply writing good stories and publishing them in their own time. Sure, I’ll post here (once weekly if I can) and on Twitter, but I’m not going to bother with a lot of the other things I used to do. The story and the writing are the most important parts. It’s what I fell in love with so long ago.
Thanks for swinging by. I hope you have a fantastic week.
So, while I have no standard ads scheduled for my books in the coming months, I have a couple of events that might fall under the category of “irregular marketing.”
The first is part of an interview series that is being conducted by my company. It’s a network-wide initiative to identify employees who have aspirations outside of their career (don’t we all?). It’ll be a short interview and photo (with me holding my book very prominantly). Now, if I worked for a small company, this might not get my hopes up, but the network is close to 11,000 people worldwide. Not too shabby.
The next two events are somewhat similar. I was invited back (apparently by popular demand) to my alma mater (The Richard Stockton College of NJ) to appear on a career exploration panel for Literature majors in February. While I never see this as an opportunity to sell books, I’ll be taking along a copy of Danny Dirks to at least show it off a bit. 😉
Then, in April, I ‘ll be part of a panel at the same venue to discuss Publishing in the 21st Century. My first paid speaking gig! At that event, the organizer said I’ll have a chance to read and sell books afterwards.
These types of events aren’t the kind you can simply sign up for, which I guess is why I call it irregular marketing. But, these are exactly the kinds of things that can surprise you with results. I probably won’t sell hundreds of books, but I may make a personal connection with someone who becomes a fan. These types of opportunities are priceless. so, when you’ve reached a point, where you just can’t handle the disappointment of a mediocre advertisement, take a good look at local resources. Does your alma mater have a newsletter that highlights alumni achievements? What about the local newspaper (if your town still has one of those archaic beasts)? Maybe the library has a discussion panel you could be a part of?
Anyway, I hope maybe these little tidbits help spur your own irregular marketing ideas. I’ll definitely follow up with results (if any!) as the events come.
Any irregular events of your own on the horizon? Please share in the comments! 😀
I’ve signed up with the lovely ladies from Goddess Fish Promotions (Note: because they run erotica promotions, the link causes blogger to pop up an adult content warning; however, I’ve never seen anything on the site to make me regret opening the link at work) to run a review blog tour for Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon (which also happens to be on sale this week). This 4-stop tour begins today over at Word Menagerie and continues weekly until the 7th of January. Check out the full schedule below. I hope you’ll help out by stopping by these sites and checking out their reviews (whether it’s my book or someone else’s).
December 10: Word Menagerie
December 17: Queen of All She Reads
December 31: Unabridged Andra’s
January 7: Writer Wonderland
When all is said and done, I’ll be posting my thoughts on this review tour. As this is my first time doing something like this, I have no expectations at this point.
Do you have experience with blog tours? Let us know in the comments and thanks for stopping by! 😀
Many moons ago (ok, over the summer), I wrote a piece denouncing Facebook as a valid platform for investing your advertising dollars. Well, with the recent news of impending change, I’d say that piece is even more justified. Essentially, Facebook wants you, as an entrepreneur, to pay for 99.9% of your interactions. So, remember when you could reach a few of your followers just by posting a link to your book on Amazon? Well, not anymore. My recommendation? Keep your Facebook page. Post updates on occasion. But, put your marketing dollars and your social media energies elsewhere.
And it’s pretty much useless. No, seriously. I’m not really sure what to say about Nook Press Book Publishing. “What were you thinking?” comes to mind. You see, a print-on-demand (POD) service exists, primarily, for two reasons. The first is to be able to create paper copies of your book. Simple. The second is where the real potential for value comes into play for a self-published author. Where can your POD service distribute your book to?
CreateSpace, Lightning Source, and most major POD services will distribute your book to Amazon and B&N so that it’s available for customers to purchase. They also make it available to bookstores and libraries if you can convince them to pick up copies. Do I sell a lot of paperbacks online? No, but it’s nice to know that they’re there. So, you would think that B&N’s new service would at least distribute to bn.com, right? Nope. They don’t distribute anywhere, not even to themselves. Go ahead, go back and read that and make sure you’ve got it. THEY’RE A POD SERVICE THAT DOESN’T EVEN SERVICE ITSELF! That sounds wrong on a variety of levels, but you get what I mean.
While they do offer the ability to produce a hardcover option (something CreateSpace doesn’t do), this whole concept is a bit of a head scratcher. There’s just no incentive to use this service! Why would I even bother? Is it possible that this service might change in the future? Sure, but it’s barely worth a second look at the moment. There are better, established, POD services that actually provide you with… you know, a service.
Self-publishing needs stronger competition. As happy as I am with Amazon, there needs to be a company of equal quality and value for authors to turn to. B&N could be that competition, but it seems like every time they have a chance to get in the game, they fall well short. Nook Press is a poor alternative to Kindle Direct Publishing, and this new addition almost feels like the punchline to a bad joke.
I use CreateSpace for my POD books. Who do you use? What’s been your experience with POD? Let us know in the comments and thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Let’s face it, everyone pretty much knows about BookBub (if you don’t, feel free to read up on my own personal case study). But, the ‘Bub can be a tough nut to crack and they won’t just keep running the same books over and over. And, while free works, occasionally we’d like to get paid for our writing. 😉 So, what are the second-tier options for my discounted, but still paid book? Check out some of the options below. In no particular order.
Pixel of Ink
Daily Cheap Reads
Digital Book Today
Now, while I’d like to say that the ROI is as solid for these as BookBub, that just isn’t the case. Make sure you do your homework before running an ad with ANY site. Some genres do better than others. They might have a big mailing list, but unless it’s segmented by genre, you could be sending your high fantasy novel to romance readers. Remember to temper your expectations. Be comfortable in the amount you’re investing, as you may not see a dollar for dollar return. Judge success on your own scale and understand that what works for one may not work for another.
Do you have experience with these or other advertising sites? Share with us in the comments and thanks for stopping by!
Been a while since I’ve posted this feature, so figured I’d dust it off with a fresh look. These are some of the more interesting things I’ve shared over on Twitter in the last week. Enjoy!
As always, you can get these links first hand by following me over on Twitter. 🙂