Book Marketing Update

I know you are all on pins and needles, so here’s what’s going on.

I sent 3 copies of The Brothers Path to Mastof Books. I’m excited that I’ll be included in their catalog in October!

Summoned up the courage to call the local independent bookstore. I’m going there on Monday with my three novels to see if they want to stock them.

My first blog tour keeps attracting tour hosts which is great for me. Got another one today and that makes 12!!

Got an interview for Savior that will be on IndieBRAG at some point soon.

I finally realized I had to do bookkeeping for this “business” and spent six hours today setting that up. There’s so much going on that it should probably be kept on several different spreadsheets, but I have it on one (in various colors). The most depressing part (besides it being difficult) so far I’m into this $1000 for comp-copies of books, advertising (including virtual book tours), and giveaways.

I know that’s not much when it comes to advertising — but YIKES!!! For that money I’ve gotten copies of my books to sell (like to Mastof Books and, hopefully, Narrow Gauge Newstand) and give aways (as on Goodreads) and for reviewers (the virtual book tours) and advertising on Goodreads — ads linked to the give aways. So far that has motivated people to add my books to their “to read” lists and I’ve gotten a review from that.

I was very happy when things added up on my very out-there spreadsheet; that the number of books I’ve bought equates to the number I have + the number I’ve given away + the number I’ve “sold.”

After that, with a splitting headache, I road the Bike to Nowhere for 10 “miles.” Exercise, even that, is a great relaxer and attitude adjuster. And, you know, I got to listen to Eminem, who reminded me once more not to give up.

And tomorrow I can to to the Potato Festival with a clear conscience and free mind.



23 thoughts on “Book Marketing Update

  1. Thanks for sharing.

    I am currently debating what to do with my first book when it’s done. Want to start planning early. I’m close to finishing my first draft and am considering a few avenues.

    It’s nice to hear of someone succeeding in self-publishing.

    Keep up the good work!

    • I haven’t succeeded…or maybe I have. Depends who’s looking I guess! 😉 But…I’ve shared everything I’ve experienced as far as self and other publishing on this blog if you look under “Publishing” you’ll find it all. The most important thing is getting a professional editor when you think you’re finished. It vastly improves your chances of success in any avenue you choose to follow. I wish you all the best! Most important, don’t let anyone get you down or push you around. Stay true to your work. In that respect, even I think I’ve succeeded. If you have questions I can help with, just ask.

      • To me, success is a transient wellness that one unlocks when you have accomplished the essence of what you set out to achieve. Which is rarely exactly how you envisioned it playing out. Haha.

        To me, having a book in the public sphere for others to enjoy, or even detest, is success.

        In this light, you have succeeded 🙂

        I will endeavour to stay true to my work and be sure to be in touch with any questions I have.

        Many thanks for the kind offer of support.


      • For me, honestly, success is writing well. The rest of this? I wouldn’t even be doing it if it hadn’t been that some people have loved my books and have found something personally meaningful in them. When my neighbor came to my front gate holding one of my novels to her heart and said, “I love it,” that was my orders to learn how to market — and market — my books. There was the moment that the story was no longer just mine to do justice to. Later on, going hiking with a couple of friends, one of them said, “Why do you write your books?” and I said, “It’s all I have to give.” That was the truth. 🙂

      • What a wonderful story. You are giving authentically and people are really engaging with that. It’s startling how similar my outlook is on these matters.

        The initial premise for my book was to create a personal reminder to myself of how far I’ve come, then with time I realised I was writing it for the children I may have one day to explain why gratitude is so important and now, amongst the incredible support I have from friends, I’m realising that this is something that could really help people.

        Your comment that your book is all you have to give is so beautifully correct.

        (Sidenote : I actually work in marketing, I’m a director at a marketing technology firm. More than happy to help out with anything I can. Not that I’m sure I can).

      • It’s funny — at another turning point in my life, I almost went to work in Marketing for Head Ski. That would have been incredible but I didn’t “get” what that could mean down the road, not the least of which would have been free skis. 🙂 I thought I was an intellectual.

        SO as I go into this bit of new experience I’ve just relied on what I’ve learned from reliable (but very conventional) sources about marketing a self-published book. I do not know if that is also the most effective direction or not — only that I do know that I need two things: reviews and certification that my work isn’t the common schlock that people expect of self-published fiction.

        I personally think that we’re on the edge of a revolution in writing and publishing. I’m glad I’m in it right now.

      • It’s funny how you say you ‘thought you were an intellectual’.. I’ve thought I was a lot of things over the years – I was largely wrong. Ha

        The term I ascribe to myself, lovingly taken from a great TED talk, is that I am a multipotentialite. It’s my way of saying that I am in love with the world and I want to learn everything I can from it. I refuse to tie myself down to a career, specific passion or even country.

        But then, as a 26 year old, I’m certain this this outlook will change with time.

        Completely agree about reviews and certification! Two crucial facets of good publicity. That, and a marketing strategy that outlines your winning aspiration, where you need to play to achieve this aspiration, how to win within that choice and ultimately the daily steps that can take you there.

        I must admit I do love strategising in the marketing space.

      • Yep. I think we might be very similar types. I’ve also always been in love with the world — I believe that’s the essence of art. It’s a love relationship.

        I am going to ponder “…marketing strategy that outlines your winning aspiration…” That’s the nexus of the whole problem and I see that’s where I need to go once the groundwork (what I’m doing now) is in place. That’s it. That’s the big picture and I have not envisioned that yet. Thank you.

      • I think it takes a pretty bold, but liberating, move to really love the world and to let it guide you to where you need to be.

        The winning aspiration concept is the primary tier of a five tiered marketing strategy, outlined best in a book called ‘Playing to Win’.

        That book comes with a recommendation from me, in that it really helped me focus my creative process into a place where I can now develop strategies that works.

      • I think loving the world is the only sane choice since we’re here… And it’s just pretty awesome. Amazing things happen all the time (not all good) but I think the willingness to surrender to wonder, to being amazed, is necessary to life. I’ve known so many people who have attempted to protect themselves behind a curtain wall of dread, or cynicism, or jadedness unaware that they’ve put themselves in danger of unyielding sorrow, hopelessness, ennui. I don’t know. Sad choices.

        I will look into the book — I really appreciate the idea. I’m definitely going to think about what it would mean to me to “win” at this. Until now, as I’ve said, it’s just meant writing well. But now there is something else. I haven’t focused that and that’s what’s missing.

      • The tragedy of ennui is something I have seemed acted out in the generations of men on my fathers side of the family. All successful people, all artists, all lost in the darkness. I’m my musical days I used to thrive creatively within the darker, miserable pit I had built for myself. I wrote some tragically beautiful music. But then, I had a suicide attempt. So that’s not exactly heathy.

        Since opening my eyes to the world with the appropriate sense of wonder – which is a HUGE amount – I’ve found a creative drive that doesn’t involve misery, alcohol and depression. Who knew?

        You have achieved your winning aspiration to write well, it’s time to set another.

        One tip for setting a winning aspirations.. The best ones involve serving a community, offering them value and then becoming the best at offering that value.

        In the process you’ll have to really knuckle down to understand who your market are, why they need your work and how you will offer them value. Here’s the workflow:

        As mentioned, should you want any help with this then please let me know. I enjoy strategy.

      • Thank you for the chart — that’s useful and gives me something to think about. The obvious community is people who read historical fiction. But I know there is another one within that one… And I really have to figure out what it means to me to “win” at this juncture. I don’t know.

        I think there is a cult of, a romanticization of, depression, misery, darkness among young people and I don’t mean your generation or any generation in particular — I think it’s a province of youth throughout time. Now that I’m older, I see that it’s a way to deal with the complexity of adulthood while appearing (to the self, anyway) to be masterful. I say this after teaching more than 10,000 post adolescents how to write, something that began for me when I was a post-adolescent myself.

        It’s harsh but true that a lot of young people in the midst of this attempt suicide, a lot of them too young to know that it’s real, death is real. I’m glad yours failed.

        I had my post-adolescent angst in my early 40s. I had too much real responsibility when I was 19 – 23 to BE in that stage of life. Now I think we all have to go through all the stages in order to be who we are, if that makes sense. Fortunately, I didn’t die, and I got a really funny title for a book I’ll never write. 🙂 Now I look back on that as my revolution. Henry Miller wrote about that, “don’t be afraid of falling backward into a bottomless pit. There is nothing to fall into. You’re in it and of it.”

        But I think a good writer has to be unafraid of the dark, sort of “Yeah, it’s there, I know what it is, I’m not glossing over it, it matters, but it is not everything.” Just as there’s a cult of darkness, there’s a cult of “light” and that’s just as phony, just as frightened and deluded.

        My “teacher” has been Goethe. His first novel, Sorrows of Young Werther, was the first novel (early days for novels in the West) to “glorify” suicide, or romanticize it. He wrote it in his early 20s and it made him a “super star.” It immediately led to what’s been described as an epidemic of romantic suicides. Goethe felt tremendous remorse for this all his life. And, he outgrew the darkness himself — that’s what I grew to know and love about him.

      • You have lived a life of real meaning and I can only strive along my own path to find such truth.

        I entirely agree with regards to the romanticising of suicide and I feel I’ve experienced this journey first hand. I was once of the cult of darkness, within all of its festering fetid allure, but now find myself bringing joy and light to all I meet (not that I exist within the puerile religious masses) . I used to think hatred was the most powerful force on the planet but realise now that beyond the murder, suffering and pain (and suicide) exists a plane of existence that one cannot access unless one has had the the gift of darkness.

        The lower you fall, the harder you may bounce back, should you survive.

        Out of interest, and if you are willing to share, what was the title of the book you will never write?

        I promise not to steal it 😉

      • “Throw the Knives on the Roof and Wear a Helmet in the House.” It was pretty interesting years later when I got a new roof and the roofer said, “Hey Martha, why is there a bread knife on your roof?”

        Someday I may write a dark comedy about the whole experience. One chapter would be “Double-Prozac Cap.” (Cappuccino… I may be the only person in the world who has been GIVEN money by a homeless guy)

      • That’s brilliant. I would have that as the tagline of your book on the front cover..

        ‘I may be the only person in the world who has been given money by a homeless man’

        Dark comedy is a delightful idea. I do love those.

  2. I think most people believe authors get copies of their books for free. I gave away hundreds of books. I probably sold a few more than I gave away 🙂 12 is a very good tour. If you get more, even better! I will still need an interview from you. It’s just a month away. Time sure is flying!!

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