Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Promo Pushes - The Good, The Bad and The Serendipitous

by @JeffeKennedy

Because I ended up with an extra guest post on tracking sales, I gave up my regular Sunday spot to that. And, to save KAK another post on how she's not at the point of dealing with this week's topic - Our Best Planned & Best Serendipitous Promo Pushes - I offered to take her Tuesday post.

The thing about promo pushes is that most writers hate doing it. Worse, I think the marketers or the ones who do love that kind of thing make us feel worse about hating it. They remind me of my extrovert friends who simply can't understand how I can stay home - or sit by a lonely lake, as above - when there's a party to be had. More than that, they *worry* about me, that I'm somehow secretly unhappy and messed up that I don't want what they do.

OF COURSE I should want to sell books! What the hell is wrong with me??

The thing is, most writers want to write books and hope the selling will take care of itself. I just got off the phone with an amazing writer I feel lucky to count as a friend, talking her out of her tree about hating promo. No matter how we try to distance ourselves and treat our books as products, marketing our books continues to feel like dancing naked for the crowd, hoping they'll love you. Hell, I had to jump on James in the comments yesterday, to point out that he's doing more promo than he thinks he is.

Not many of us are good at this.

Thus, the serendipitous promo success - the one you didn't sweat and bleed for - is like manna from heaven. Having a planned promo push actually work in an identifiable way is the second best.

The best planned promo event I've done was a Facebook party and quiz that I did with my much more famous friend Darynda Jones. It took all bleeding day, was a ton of work, but we had fun - very important - and, thanks to her copious and enthusiastic fans, it garnered a lot of attention for me and my books. It worked way better than I hoped. And I have been unable to replicate it.

As for serendipitous promo, I'd have to pick those glorious occasions when a reader gloms onto my book and shouts their love to everyone in hearing distance. These come out of the blue and feel equally miraculous. They are also, I suspect, far more effective than anything else.This can't be planned or extorted - never mind that many authors try to - and that's part of why it works better than anything. It's sincere, real and true - and everyone who hears the message knows that.

All we can do is give our best and be grateful when serendipity bestows her blessings.