Monday, August 16, 2010

Winners and More Thoughts on Promotion

Out of the totally confusing and sometimes depressing tangle of PAN workshops at this years national conference I have taken one kernel of truth - and again, it totally supports my previous theory about promotion. Here goes: while there is nothing we can do that in any way can compare to what publisher support can do in terms of promotion - what we can do and what we SHOULD do is work on building our community of readers. Postcards and bookmarks aren't going to bring us new readers, great reviews in important places will. Publisher placed ads in magazines will have a better return than author placed ads in RWR or Romantic Times. So, that's nice - I can stop worrying about all those postcards I don't make.

But that community thing... Teresa Mederios is the queen of Facebook and Twitter. She has built a community. Readers have found her and like to talk with her via those two channels. She is a beloved author and she makes the effort to build the community. Kelley Armstrong does this too - when her first hard bound book came out she felt a little guilty for her long time readers so she posted on her website that if people sent in the receipt after buying her books - she'd send them a care package. She thought she'd get a couple of takers - she got HUNDREDS.

I'm doing a ridiculous blog tour for the next three months - giving away books and critiques - will it work? Will it bring me any more community? Any more readers? No idea. But I feel good about doing it - and that's what Maureen always says about promotion - you have to do what makes you feel good. So, I'll let you know.

Now! Winners -- Ceceila! I would LOVE to send you a book! Kwana and Sue Mason - you guys too! Please email me your addresses!

7 comments:

Stephanie Doyle said...

Molly - that workshop was one of my favorites. It really showcased different ideas and different methods of promotion.

And so now I'm on board.

I'm on "My Face"...(as facebook will forever be known to me as...). I'm accepting friend requests, making friend requests the whole enchilada.

But you know what I noticed...there are an awful lot of romance writers on facebook.

And I wonder have we all been duped? Have we been told that we must have these pages, and maintain these sites only to find out that the people we're making friends with are just other writers trying to do the same thing we are... sell books.

It kind of made me sad... but then Jade Lee wanted to "friend" me and I was like cool... I'm friends with Jade Lee.

Maureen McGowan said...

Steph, I think 99% of my FB "friends" are other writers... Right now, I'm not sure it will help me promote my books, at all. But as someone on that panel said... (or maybe it was the agent panel)... publishers can be impressed by lots of followers and therefore maybe up their (more effective) efforts for you. Plus, if bookstores do start to disappear... I think these things might become more important and I figure it can't hurt to have a leg up.

That said, I wouldn't do FB if I didn't enjoy it. I HATED myspace, rarely went to my page, and only ended up with 20 or so friends there as a result. But FB, I've got something like 2200 right now. And I am WAY behind on accepting or rejecting friend requests. I almost never look at invitations to various things. (But it does take a bit of time to find the legit invites from actual friends amongst the flurry of crap. Does crap flurry?) And it took at while to hide all the games, (I've hidden them all except the ones my Aunt Shirley plays, because I like seeing her new high scores on various things -- makes me feel somewhat connected) but now that I have it under control, and the people I really want to follow on lists, I think it's fun.

FB for me, is what Blogging used to be. A way to connect with other writers and feel like I'm not alone. I used to cruise around the blogs for an hour or so every day. Now, I spend that time on FB and Twitter.

And at least 5 or so people I don't know came up to me at the conference and said they enjoyed following me on FB or Twitter. That's got to be worth something, even if it was only a tiny boost to my self esteem.

Eileen said...

I'm trying the Twitter thing. I had signed up originally just to follow my now very famous cousin and would occasionally tweet about this blog or other news like that.

I'm trying to tweet a couple of times a day and am replying to and retweeting other people's tweets. I don't see it helping. I might just not have the knack.

Hey! I should tweet about this post! Let's see if anyone pops over to see it!

Sinead M said...

Maureen is smart... do the promotion you enjoy, otherwise you'll never keep up with it...

Cecilia Grant said...

Yay! I won! I am so thrilled.

Stephanie, I've had the exact same thought about Facebook. I think when you get to the level of Julia Quinn or Eloisa James, then you get actual readers following you. But the rest of us are all just kind of talking to each other.

And I, too, pitched my reservations out the window when I got a friend request from Jade Lee! And Julie Anne Long! Even though I secretly suspect they've got some kind of computer program that just grabs anyone who's a friend of a friend of a friend.

So I don't know about the promotional effectiveness of FB. Blog tours, though! I always follow favorite authors around on blog tours, and Molly, I bet this will be an excellent format for you. When will you post the dates & sites?

Stephanie Doyle said...

Cecilia - wait - I don't understand. You mean Jade and Julie didn't just see my name on facebook and decided they HAD to be friends with me because I'm like... cool?

Wow. I'm so disheartened.

(Just kidding of course - I knew it was programming - but still. I felt really popular for 5 seconds.)

Simone said...

There's a blog tour?

I'll bet one of Kelley's secrets to online success is actually putting the dates and links up on her website. The power of the internetz, Molly! lol!

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