Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Little of What You Fancy... Sells Your Books

I often see writers asking whether doing [X] online helps sells books. Where [X] might be visiting forums, myspace, bookmarks, blogs, chats, yahoogroups, banner ads, getting reviews, youtube trailers etc etc. How do you get the readers out their hooked on your stuff?

The short answer is, heck if I know. So of course I won't be even attempting a long answer. But there is one thing I will say. If you happen to like doing any of these things, why not?

I like forums and I like Livejournal, I like blogs, I like websites and I like book reviews. I like other people's and I like doing my own. It seems to me that if you like doing it you will learn how to do it easily, have fun and--not matter who profficient you are--do it with some enthusiasm and sincerity. And because I was already hanging out in these places well before I had books to sell, I am not going to come off as a spam-and-runner (well, most of the time).

And if you don't like doing it--well, maybe not. Some authors love myspace and make it work really well for them. I never really got it. I don't like the interface much and I can't get most of the graphics-heavy pages to even load over my dial-up. Oh, and it gave me malware... twice. So I finally started my own page and it looks like I get a visit about once a week, and I figure that's me.

So, start with what you know and will have fun with... and it will probably work out for the best. Or at least I hope so. Of course if any of you have tricks and tips about how to reel in hundreds of strangers and make them buy your books, please do let me know!

p.s. the bribes and prizes. We now have the minimum three cat pet meme entries so looky: a prize. Stuff for a cat, and stuff for a person too. I'll ship it anywhere in the world :)


Rebecca said...

Hey Emily - I'm a fellow Samhain author and have just started my own blog - so have started checking out other people's blogs as well.
I think you're right when you say that a blog, if you're using it in any way for promotion, will work a lot better if you enjoy doing it. The energy and sincerity will just not be there otherwise.

I'll be dropping in here more often.

Anne D said...

I know that the yahoo group format for readers loops is wildly popular, and live chats are out there too, but I am beginning to severely doubt their viability.

And I am heartily sick of the same thing over and over again from these loops - I can't help but think that people are thinking the same thing about me.

'Free' advertising is good to a certain extent, but I'm of the mind now that I need to get out there in alternative advertising venues that may or may not have anything to do with the romance community in general. Not that I'm in the dropping $3k for an ad category, but I can afford to pay for a certain amount of advertising - I know many can't. I see more effect in blog/website stats from the paid advertising I've done - I'll just have to wait and see how that translates through into sales.

eBooks don't have the mass market 'appeal' that paper does at present - I firmly believe a lot of that has to do with making people aware that electronic is just as good as paper, we, as eBook authors need to be careful we don't insulate our marketing and close ourselves off to other possibilities.

Assuming other readers are like me, I know exactly when my favourite publishers release new books, and if I want to know more, I hit the authors website or blog, I don't hit the chat loops.

I believe my blog to be moderately successful, and I enjoy it. Hopefully the readers I do have enjoy it too.

Anonymous said...

You are right, the key resides in doing what you enjoy doing. It's worth checking out new options once in a while and see if that works for you, but it's also even more worthwhile to develop your presence within a community you really enjoy (be it a forum, or a community of bloggers etc).

IMHO, touching a few people deeply is more important than touching a lot of people superficially. It is more important both on a personal level obviously, and also to generate book sales (or whatever it is you do).

Food for your mind blog