Thursday, February 21, 2013 you deal with it

So, once upon a time there was a woman that had an idea about a contest. Woohoo, right? Yeah, not so much. My organizing skills..they suck!

I have a new release coming sometime next month. I'm in the midst of revisions as we speak. (OKay, not quite that literally, obviously I'm writing this blog post right now.)  I wanted to find a fun way to get my book noticed, to get the hype up BEFORE the release.  Then I thought, why not have other authors involved and make it a bigger event?

Needless to say, I had to make a decision today to postpone that contest, because I'll admit, I got in way over my head. I had the best of intentions, really. I just wanted to find a good way to make myself known (or at least, my book) I'm a self published author, so I don't have the backing of a publisher. I love, love love the freedom of self publishing, but it certainly has its drawbacks.

So my question: How do YOU do it? It's not as if I can afford an assistant, because I'm not really bringing in that much with my writing as a debut author.  Would that make my life simpler? Maybe. In some ways, anyway. But that's not happening at the moment. I'm knee deep in revisions, at a loss as how to easily and successfully run a contest to get the word out about a new book, and make it fun.

What has worked for you to gain the hype before a release? What's helped you when the book is out that isn't crazy time consuming, or uuber expensive?

And if anyone sees the smoke coming out of my ears with a new idea, before I jump the gun, just slap me and make sure I've got ALL the bases covered so I don't run around freaking out going "How the hell am I going to do this?"

I promise, as long as you don't leave any permanent marks, really, feel free to smack me. :)


  1. I don't. I use my blog - other people's blogs and blog hops. It's about staying sane and having time to - write - live a life - enjoy family etc.
    If I don't sell a lot - I accept that - because I've spent time with family and friends.

  2. I agree with Daryl. I do use my writing friends to help promote. They put me on their blog and I'm always happy to have people on mine. Triberr is good for promotions. I have a group of wonderful tribe mates who post my links for cross promotion.

    I want you to know that we have all been there. I'm backed by a small publisher and still promote until I can't do it anymore. I feel like I'm just shooting at the stars but maybe I'll hit something.

  3. I have 3 publishers and still handle 90% of my own promotions so there is not a whole lot of difference unless you are with a traditional NY publishing company. I do a tour during the week OF release. NEVER Before... you never ever ever want to promote a book that readers can't buy, think about it a minute. If you are hyped up over a book you WANT to buy it not "wait."

    good luck!

  4. I do weekly memes to garner interest in soon to be released books. Plus blog hops and blog tours. I do blog posts linking back to my books. I send out swag. I tweet and facebook but not a lot (time suck). I've done small contests on my blog and group promos (12 books of Xmas). And I'm still not sure what works. My historicals sell, my erotic stuff not as much. Who knows? Try a variety and see if you can pinpoint what works. Good luck!

  5. I pretty much do what everybody else has mentioned - and just try to get my name out there.

  6. I'm still finding my feet with promo. So far, I've seen Twitter work best for me. When I have a link up, it gets RTed and gets lots of exposure. I've always noticed a peak in sales around the 24 hours when a tweet has gone out.

    But basically, I'm taking it easy. Slowly building my fan base, which you can afford to do when you're in this for the long haul. :)

  7. Wow! Great post and comments. I didn't realize that we all share similar woes. I hate promoting myself, but that's a necessary part of publishing. One thing is true if we don't. Our work will not be noticed. I like your idea of a contest, but like you, I'm self-pubbed with too many hats and too little time (of which I sometimes squander on checking sales), which is totally counter-productive and can be a downer, which then leads to more procrastination.

  8. I'm just now starting to plan for my book releases, but I've built up my twitter, FB base and I post an excerpt a week. Fortunately, I'm with a large publisher and will be working with a marketing person as well.

  9. I tried my first book "Immortal Relations" free on Kindle and got a single, yet wonderful comment that the book is his "holy grail of vampire novels" but got nothing much as far as sales. I did a few "Blogs" on other's sites - answering questions about the book, my writing style, etc. and gave away $5 Amazon Gift Cards (won't do that again - they used the cards to buy other's books). If I did another Blog, I'd give one of MY BOOKS (the second in my series, "Immortal Relations, Love and War" is now available). The BEST RESULTS I'VE HAD IS "BOOK SIGNINGS AT A LOCAL HASTINGS BOOKS. They are the only "major" bookstore that currently will sell local author's books. I sold five of my first book shortly after it was released at my first signing and six more of my first book along with five of my second book at the second signing. I'm working on my third book now for release this Summer - Good Lord Willing! And I'll have a third signing at the Hastings on Halloween (I have the perfect vampire costumn to wear). Posts on writer/author/publisher sites have said, "the way to sell books is to write more books." I think it is especially true for a series, which my stories clearly are. I enjoy writing the stories so much, I'll continue doing it as long as my health holds out reguardless of sales. My books are a totally new "twist" on the vampire genre' with Guardian Vampires protecting humans, (often from themselves & power-mad politicians) as well as enemy vampires and ecological dangers. Plus they love and protect dogs and cats and I have to tell the story of anyone, vampire or not, who does that! LOL

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