Tuesday, 10 August 2010

PROMOTION : Selling yourself

I've been thinking about this for a while now.

How to promote oneself without ticking people off with excessive crap that you yourself get ticked off with other authors about?!!

I blog; I tweet. I have a facebook page, and my website is undergoing a renovation to be more 'kid friendly' in time for either my COVER REVEAL (WHEE) *or* 1.1.2011, whichever I decide it to be. I do guest posts, I do school talks, I'll have swag. I'm networking but only under my rules: no fake 'friends' just to have posts, no connections that I wouldn't also want if I didn't have a book coming out. Not being fake. I hates it, preshus.

In short, I'm doing everything that they tell you to do when you've got a book coming out.

But here is my most important question for you all out there:

What is the piece that makes an author stick out from the crowd for you?

In a GOOD way?

I know reviews are important. (I've got those lined up). I know bookstore support is SO important (and I'm working on something to do with that, it just takes time...because NO FAKERY, you know?)

What's made you buy a book lately? Say your last couple or so?

Here are mine:

The Sea of Trolls (Trilogy): A Northman's MG fantasy. Heard about it from friends.
The Whale Road (Trilogy): Stumbled across it on Amazon, and read the guy's blog. He seems a keeper so ... ordered.

Of course there is one that is an automatic buy as soon as it comes out on the 24th: Mockingjay.

For me, most of that is word of mouth in some way. But all my big buddies are writers; I'd hear about a good book from four or five different people.

What about those folks that don't haunt Twitter or Blogs, just nice regular mums and dads and kids that don't live in front of their computers and want to read about an ADORABLE POSSUM and a choice that might kill?

THAT'S what I'm struggling with right now. Any ideas you have (or thoughts, I know a lot of you are mums and dads!) would be so highly welcome! What do you like? Not like? How do you discover new books?


Heidi Willis said...

I'm struggling with this myself right now.

As a writer, it's hard to figure out how I come by books that would have happened if I hadn't been an author. I read about things on the internet, through blogs and such, and sometimes that's how. Word of mouth is probably my hugest way to pick up books for my kids.

Problem is word of mouth can be slow and very inefficient. I have a love/frustration level with all those people who say they "love love loved" my book, and so "pass it around" to their friends instead of buying them copies for birthdays and such. Sigh.

astrid said...

Hmm, I'm speaking from a point of view of someone who doesn't have kids. When I bought a book for my friend's kids, I browse the bookstore. I look for interesting covers, titles, and synopsis (in that order). That was also (as far as I remember) what I did when I was in MG.

So, for me, how I discover books are through a bookstore :)! I was just thinking if it would actually be possible for them to put your book in the recommended section?

Suzanne said...

Ack. What a good question!! My book isn't due out till 2012, but publisher says "build a platform." And what's even more annoying than someone always online trying to pimp their book? Someone trying to pimp themself because their book isn't out! *sigh* If you find an answer, let me know :-)

aspiring_x said...

Sorry! I have NO idea!
I choose books based on recommendations mostly... sometimes cover (i know- terrible!), and often the back blurb.

Medeia Sharif said...

Most of the books I read I found through blogs. I see the same cover and positive buzz, so I add the books to my wish list. Other times I discover books through Amazon and Goodreads lists. I also stumble on authors on their Twitter or blogs; if I love their online voice, I buy their books.

Matthew Rush said...

I think it works the same with kids. I have 2 daughters (14 and 9) and the little one essentially just borrows books from her sister or her teacher. Of course if there is a movie then she'll hear of it too but I think the number one way to reach kids about a book is through their teachers. I'm not sure how that could be accomplished exactly, but it is food for thought.

Jemi Fraser said...

Word of mouth is the biggie for me. That's the way I buy almost all my books.

ChristaCarol said...

The library!