Monday, 13 June 2011

An old problem...

It's my 24th birthday today, so in this brief spell between breakfast and inebriation I thought I'd ruminate a little bit on getting older.

Well, I thought I would, but then I got an email this morning from my second beta reader, the lovely Anne-Mhairi Simpson, telling me that 'Heaven Can Wait' is great and only needs a few tweaks. Apart from being a great way to kick off a birthday, she mentioned something that gave me pause. Launch promotion.

At present, I have none planned at all, except for vague ideas about blog tours. It's getting harder and harder to deny (or at least dissemble) that I have a very strong book here. As such, I'm fairly confident I can get some good reviews coming in once I've got some people to buy it. It's that first step I'm worried about.

I've got a cover on the way courtesy of Dustin Ashe, and the first rough he sent me last week was pretty cool, and I plan on releasing the book at $2.99/£2.12. I'm dithering over whether to do the formatting myself (which I can do - I have a fair amount of experience with various kinds of mark-up) or pay someone to do it; it will depend on how much it'll cost and how fiddly the required mark-up is.

But I have nothing planned for launching. I know I should, because I know that it doesn't take many sales in a single day to push a book - however briefly - up through the thousands of ebooks on Amazon's lists, and a strong launch day might still be enough, if well-enough coordinated, to break onto some charts somewhere. I haven't even looked into the numbers well enough to know what my targets should be.

Anyway, any ideas you can offer about promotion are most welcome. I'm fighting the temptation to see if the book can stand on its own without me doing much more than telling my friends and badgering them for reviews, but that feels a) exploitative and b) lazy. It feels like I'd be letting the book down to not do a better job of promoting it. Besides, if the book is as good as I'm being told it is (and, as per my last post, I'm still having trouble taking that praise on board), I've got a lot more praise to look forward.

My first one-star review is going to be a hell of a shock, that's for a sure. I thoroughly expect to get a few, and it'll probably do me good, but that doesn't make it pleasant. I just hope I get some reviews to match my beta feedback...

This is a horribly unfocussed blog post, but it's my birthday, so bah. You get good writing other days. Today, rambling!

I should possibly lay off the Dr. Pepper...

1 comment:

  1. I cannot emphasize enough that launching well is important. Telling friends and badgering for reviews is not enough at all.

    First off, you need to talk about the book, about the theme, about the worldview, etc. long in advance. This is not bragging, but you do have to be careful to weave it into other things, rather than just saying the words. Inside the story, you need to grab the readers and make them care about what happens to the main character(s), right? Well, outside the book, you are the main character, and you need people to care about you and about the book.

    Second, you need to find a meme or way of tying the mentions, reviews, blog posts, interviews together. The two authors of Liar Society hated the proposed cover because the model's hair was bright pink, but then they got tons of people on Twitter (including me) to color the hair on their profile pics a garish pink. Soon, there was pink everywhere. Nothing really to do with the story, but it hooked people into the fun of promoting the book.