Saturday, August 18, 2012

Promo dreams....

I have a really reactive promo style. I feel like I just run around putting out promo fires. Like, I have a book coming out – quick, put it on my site! Tweet it! Somebody said something on facebook – go reply! Somebody tweeted. Tweet back! I’m going to a con. OMG get postcards or something to hand out!  I haven’t put up a blog post in forever. Tap tap tap tap! My Annika site sucks. Run run and fix it!

I’m reactive instead of strategic. I know it’s bad, but I can’t get out of that rut. I long to be more thoughtful about promo. I’m too time-stressed right now to do this, but my dream is:

This bird represents my elusive promo dreams.
Plus, I like bird pictures. 
1. Read all the articles I’ve been collecting on promo.
2. Sit down with a pen and paper and ruminate on what I have coming out, what are my strengths with promo, and what is smart for me to do in a year. Like, think about it!
3. Make a plan that isn’t reactive.
4. Make priorities.

I think this is what smart writers do. It’s certainly what smart companies do. Apple makes great products, but they don’t go, Shit! We have a new ipad coming out! Quick, get some advertising or something!!

I mean, all promo comes down to positive interactions of some sort, anything from actual interactions to fleeting impressions, or just a cover somewhere that reminds a reader you’re out there. And not being fake about the whole thing. So, there’s no one way to have an interaction. I think the key is doing what is meaningful for you and your readers in some smart order. Hence, the thinking ahead.

I honestly don’t know what works. I tend to be a big blog tourer and poster, though that’s something I am comfortable with, having come up in blogging, so it tends to be a default with me. I did my first ad this summer for an Annika Martin book. I thought it went well. I want to be more on Goodreads, because I think it’s cool – I have these visions of being more active there because I love talking about books, but I’ve never made a plan where I budget that Goodreads time in instead of reacting to the latest whatever.

I think nobody really knows what works, but there are good guesses out there, and I think authors have an innate sense of things that suit them. But none of that knowledge is useful unless you sift though it and think about it. 

Get a plan, Stan! Er... Get a plan, Carolyn Crane!

Image: Red-faced Liocichla by JJ Harrison from Wikimedia


  1. "Apple makes great products, but they don’t go, Shit! We have a new ipad coming out! Quick, get some advertising or something!!"

    You crack me up! I love this "plan" concept. Hmmm...

  2. I don't even remember how I found your books, Carolyn, but you must've done something right because I did find them, loved them, and got my daughter hooked on them, too. And I'm not all that hooked up to marketing sites, reviewers or tweeters (tweeps? twits? :shrug:).

    1. Hey, thanks!! :) Maybe it was the magic marketing leprechaun!

  3. I have ump-teen websites bookmarked about how to make your blog better, but can't find the time to read them. Blog tours are a great way to promote, but they do take planning because the top ones book months in advanced. Best free promo is to utilize your fan base. Send some of them free copies in exchange for posting reviews. I know a way to get some cheap small promo through Vista print. You just have to be creative with it you can get 250 business cards for $10 instead of making a business card you put your book cover on it and you have something to give out. The rack cards can be used the same way and you can get 50 free, if you can fit 5 images onto one card then cut them when they come. That gives you 250 small cards. Then there is the 25 flyers you can get for can fit 20 or more images on those!

    1. You are so right about free books in exchange for reviews. Because those are so key. Also, the little biz card idea is sweet!!