I know we've talked about promotion before, but my experience has changed so radically with CAN'T BUY ME LOVE, that I thought it was worth revisiting.
I still think that if you're writing category romance, there's not much you can do that will change your sales in terms of promotion. For the vast majority of category readers - the author's are less important than the line they buy. But if you are interested in elevating your name into one that people seek out, here are some ideas:
1. Goodreads giveaways are free except for the price of shipping. I firmly believe in giving your book away to readers as a form of promotion. If you have some loyal readers, send them a copy. If you're proud of your book, it's the best publicity you've got.
2. Reviews. A good review on an influential and well-read site, absolutely sells books. Dear Author and Wendy the SuperLibrarian I think are responsible for nearly a thousand e-book sales of my book HIS WIFE FOR ONE NIGHT. A good review on a site that isn't influential or is known for handing out soft reviews - might make you feel good (and that's always worth something) but it won't sell books. It takes guts to query those big sites for a review and more often then not, you'll get shot down. But if they like it - it's worth it.
3. Blog tours. I think blog tours are more about fostering relationships with the people who have the blogs. Will you sell books? Maybe. Will you make connections. Absolutely. And those connections matter. Again, be pointed in who you approach, do a giveaway. Return the favor.
Now, for Can't Buy Me Love - I don't have anything concrete yet. The book isn't out for another week, but there are some things that my publisher and yes, the publicist/marketing guru that I hired, have been doing that are great.
1. It's still about giving away books - Bantam put together what seems like a gazillion arc's and they are giving them away left, right and center. Creating word of mouth requires a lot of ground work and I think that's what the books do. By now people have seen the cover a bunch, heard the title, and they know about it. They've read some bad reviews but they've also read some good ones.
2. Facebook. Facebook feels more and more like ground zero for romance readers. Instead of worrying about postcards and bookmarks, or ads in magazines, I am throwing my attention and money into facebook. Ads. Fan page revamp. But the biggest boost I've gotten so far has been from the brilliant and generous Susan Andersen, who has posted regularly on her fan page about me - and sent her fans my way. My connection to Susan came through my publisher, but there are all kinds of ways to use facebook. And it's really about connection. With readers and other writers.
3. Writerspace. Go check them out. I pay a hundred something a month for them to run my contest, manage my mailing list, include me on all sorts of promotional events - they're amazing. Honestly, check them out.
4. The review thing still matters. And while my blog tour is still to come, I think that it too matters, more about connection than selling books, but we'll see.