Monday, January 23, 2012

The Secret Promo Tip Is…

question marksI’ve been busy the past 21 months. In that span, I’ve published three books with Midnight Ink (DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD, KILLER ROUTINE, and DEADLY CAMPAIGN). I’ve also published two ebook originals, writing as Zak Allen: THE TASTE and FIRST TIME KILLER.

Along the way, I’ve done a fair amount of promotion and marketing. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you which methods work best and which are not worth the time or money.

Yes, I’d like to, but I can’t. Because I don’t have a frickin’ clue.

We’ve all heard the witticism, “Fifty percent of marketing is effective, you just don’t know which fifty percent it is.” I think I’d settle for twenty-five percent.

For each book, I had bookmarks made. Lots of bookmarks. (Did you know that ordering 2000 is only a little more expensive than 1000? And that 5000 is only marginally more expensive than 2000? I do.) I even got bookmarks for my two ebooks, irony be damned. But do those bookmarks translate into sales? Beats me. People seem to like getting them, and they’re pretty, and they describe my books, so on the off chance they don’t end up in the trash…

What about book signings? I’ve done them and sold some books. But there’s a limit to how many you can do. Radio interviews? Did a couple, unclear results. Blog tours? Yes to those, too. They seemed to be good for gaining exposure, but again, did they move the proverbial needle? Who knows?

Postcard mailing? Cable TV interview? Book club visits? Google AdWords? Tried them all. Data inconclusive.

What about conferences, book festivals, library panels, and the rest of those personal appearances? They too, seemed to broaden my exposure, but I certainly couldn’t justify the expense based on the sales at the events.

Facebook? Twitter? Yes and yes. Do I think they’re a good way to get your name out there and connect with other readers and writers? Absolutely. Do I think it all translates into sales? Murky.

If only Oprah were still on the air.

Oh well. Maybe writing another good book is the key.

(This entry is “simul-posted” on InkSpot.)


1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't do a lot of physical appearances, so most of my marketing is online. Blogging has produced the best results for me so far. Between two blogfests and launching the Insecure Writer's Support Group last September, the efforts spiked my first book into Amazon's Best Seller charts where it hung for about three months. (At least, that's what my publisher thinks happened.) Otherwise, I have no clue what else really works.