Book Marketing Update

This afternoon, a blogger I had not heard of commented on a post I wrote some time ago about marketing self-published books. It brought me back to where I was last year with this question and all I could do was laugh (to myself? No, wait, I LOLed)


No, seriously.

A couple of things in the past month — did a presentation at my friends’ church study group on the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, and, incidentally, about The Brothers Path. Met, through Google Hangouts, with the book club of a high school friend in a tiny Texas town to talk about Martin of Gfenn. In January, my Aunt Dickie’s book group at the Methodist church read The Brothers Path and liked it very much. These were all wonderful experiences, personally meaningful as well as meaningful to Martha the Famous Author.

Personal connections count the most, it seems. OH! and Mastof Books in Pennsylvania sold all three copies of The Brothers Path but have not ordered more. This leads me to think it’s better to have books on the shelf than in a catalog, but they were/are great to work with.

Marilyn Armstrong of Serendipity and Lisl Zlitni of Before the Second Sleep have been wonderful blogging my books, giving me interviews and reviews. My books and I owe them a lot.

I have been selling about $13/mo worth on Kindle and Createspace.

And then…

I was warned by a blog tour director (Teddy Rose, awesome blog tour director, who did a good job for me last fall) not to get on the bad side of book bloggers because they would get revenge. What if they get on MY bad side? It’s still my problem. A pretty rum deal, IMO. Without the rum. And one of them is rounding the corner to my bad side…

Last fall I signed up with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for a tour that I paid for but that never happened. Worst of all, the tour organizer was silent. I had no idea what was going on, why it wasn’t happening, if there was anything I could do. I asked. Nothing. Finally I asked for my money back (6 weeks after the tour was supposed to — but didn’t — start). I learned through the book-blogger grape vine that the tour organizer was having personal problems, so I emailed, “Keep my money; let’s do it in the spring.” Then she revealed some of her situation. Well, I was young once and life slammed me pretty hard several times. I understood. Well, the tour that was supposed to start on April 17 and end on May 5 has still not begun (and I have no idea why…but she has my money). I have Tweeted and asked, and emailed and asked, emailed and chided, Tweeted and chided, but… I suppose it’s more difficult to say, “I can’t fill the tour” than it is to keep silent? More difficult to say, “No one likes your book”? More difficult to say, “My life is still a mess, I’m sorry?” More difficult to say, “Things are not going well and I don’t have your money anymore?” It’s easier just to let the dates pass (they are well on their way…) and never tell the poor woman who paid you (that’s me) what the fuck is going on. As this is the second chance, if something doesn’t happen soon, scorched earth, I tell you, scorched earth (naw, I’ll just chalk it up to  an overwhelmed child with poor skills lying to me and stealing my $140. Sad). I honestly consider the money lost. I think the silence is rude and unprofessional.

But not unusual.

In other news, I sold a couple copies at the bookstore in the closest city (10k people) but have not been paid for them even though one of the sales was six months ago (to a neighbor so I know about it). My efforts to get my novels into the largest independent bookstore in Colorado have yielded no fruit, either. She said, “I need three weeks to read the book, and I’ll let you know.” That was February. I emailed a couple of weeks ago and was told by the woman in charge that she’s been under the weather and will DEFINITELY let me know at the end of the week (two weeks ago).

I’m so done.


9 thoughts on “Book Marketing Update

    • Looking for an agent is where this whole stupid ass rodeo started. 😀

      There needs to be an agency that specializes in serious yet compelling novels on difficult subjects set in faraway places and distant times, stories especially loved by literate older women in sparsely populated states (or something like that).

  1. Words fail me, it is so not fair. And I still think if you could get them translated into German they would have a good chance on the Swiss book market.

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