Monday, March 10, 2014

Quiet Promotion

Good morning. In the last few weeks, I have been crazy nuts trying to do several "big" projects at the same time, as well as keep up with the blogs, and writing. I guess I've been focused elsewhere because I forgot to mention that the next book in my Regency series -- THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE is about to be published. Oops. How could I have forgotten to mention that?

Well, it's kind of easy. See, I don't market, promote, do blog tours, or any of that stuff. Yes, some of you may think I'm stupid not to, but I don't think it gets me anywhere. For the last several years, I've held a strictly "quiet promotion" stance. I may Tweet once or twice, I post it once on my Anne Gallagher blog, and then let it go. I refuse to ram my book down your throat at every opportunity.

Now I've been blogging for four and a half years. (I actually did check this. It was a surprise to me it's been that long.) And in all this time blogging, I've seen all kinds of promotion -- blog tours, interviews, cover reveals, "splashes" (whatever those are), Twitter spamming, give-aways, you name it, it's been done. And what I've found, is that, the more I see the same book being promoted, the more it annoys me.

And if it annoys ME, then I'm sure it must annoy some of you as well. Which is why I don't do any of that. I hate to annoy people. Yes, I used to. Sort of. I'd mention the book more than once. Yes, I did do a couple of interviews. Once I even Tweet/spammed for a whole weekend. Did any of that work? No, not really. Which is why I don't do it anymore.

I will now share with you the two secrets I've learned to promotional success...Ready?

Secret #1) Word of Mouth. Oh yes, we all know it's no secret, but it's one of the best marketing/promotional tools in our arsenal. If two of your "fans/readers" tell two of their friends what a great book they've just read, they will tell two friends, and those readers will tell two friends. And so on and so forth. And it doesn't matter when they read the book, or when they tell their friends. This new e-publishing thing is all about the "long tail". We've heard that mentioned time and again. Ten years from now, if someone reads one of my books and tells their mother, aunt, bff, or sister-in-law, and they buy my book, it's a win.

And I'm going to tell you another secret that relates to the above -- if you write more than one book, and the reader likes it, they will usually always buy another one. If you write a series, they will most often read the whole thing. The first time this happened to me I was floored. I got a letter from a "fan" once, who told me she enjoyed one of my novellas so much, she bought the whole rest of my series in one buying session. (And this phenomena has happened again and again in the US. And now I've found it's global. It's happened in Germany, in New Zealand, France, and even in the UK.) I still can't believe it.

Secret #2) Write the next book. Yup. It's just that simple. I feel it would better serve my readers if I spent all my time writing and not bothering with promotion. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. There are several "big name" authors and guru-bloggers who say this as well. If you've written a compelling story, have a couple of decent reviews, then your job for that book is done. Just write the next one. Rinse, Repeat.

Yes, it really is just that simple.

Okay, so here's my one bit of promotion for THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE.

Decorated war hero, Captain Richard Gaines has given up his commission in the Royal Navy. He stalks the docks at night seeking relief from the nightmares of Trafalgar. One night, he happens upon a woman who captures his attention, and his heart. In a series of random coincidences, Richard is compelled toward Mrs. Wood, just as circumstantial evidence suggests that Mr. Wood may be a seditionist.

Returning to England after a decade away, Amanda Wood is on a mission to save herself and her daughter from the prison of her marriage. Meeting the Captain seems heaven sent when he reveals an acquaintance with her only friend and brings an invitation for a visit – and a chance to escape. Her joy is short-lived when her husband insists on going with her.

The situation takes a grievous turn when Amanda’s husband kidnaps their daughter. Richard must save her, but to do that he must engage the enemy at sea. And it appears Amanda’s husband may be a nefarious pirate. With limited armaments and a damaged vessel, Richard knows he has only one chance to rescue the little girl.

When the battle is over, to the victor, go the spoils. Yet, Richard must overcome his tormented past, in order to begin a future with the woman he loves. However, Amanda holds a secret that could destroy that very same future.

Release date -- March 15th. It's available for pre-order on Smashwords and itunes (so far). Look for it everywhere else on the 15th.

Tell me -- What do you do for promotion? Does it work? Do blog tours annoy you? What about cover reveals? Would you rather write the next book than promote?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2014


JeffO said...

I know that when I see my blog feed filled with Cover Release Blitz! and Book Release Day! for the same book, my eyes glaze and I skip most of those posts.

Right now, my publication credits are basically two short stories in anthologies. The extent of my promotion has largely been a note on Facebook, one on my blog--and that's about it. And yes, I'd much rather be writing The Next Book.

J.B. Chicoine said...

I loathe the whole promotion thing, as you well know. A judicious amount of marketing may provide some 'discoverability,' but when I've tried promotion in moderation, I can't say I've noticed any spike in sales. So, I just work on my next novel and hope someone likes it well enough to tell someone else.

Bish Denham said...

I'm with you, Anne. I did a small splash for Anansi and Company, but I'm not sure it did anything. Like Jeff, my eyes sort of glaze over when there's a blog blitz of a book cover/book release.

Time to get my next story out there.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Congrats on the new title.

I have 22 out there now. One day I might consider thinking about promotion.

(I thought books sold by majic)

Sarah Ahiers said...

i do like giveaways, because i like winning stuff and i like giving stuff away, but i don't like giveaways who force you to do all this extra tweeting and junk.

Anne Gallagher said...

Jeff -- Nice to see you. Thanks for stopping by. And yes, the eye glaze. It's just sooo tedious to see all that. I wish one of these big name bloggers would just say "quit it" and maybe it would stop.

Bridget -- Yes, my point exactly. We do all this stuff, and nothing happens. I think people will buy when they're ready and not a minute sooner.

Bish -- It's all about the NEXT book, and the next and the next as far as I'm concerned. Why bother with promotion if it's not going to work. Just keep writing.

Mac -- Ha! By majic! Although I have to say, some days it feels like it.

Sarah -- I like winning stuff too, but like you said, not when you have to Tweet and tag and like and jump through hoops. Why bother. If I wanted the prize badly enough, I'd just go out and buy it. Right?

Stacy McKitrick said...

I haven't done too much promotion. I also get sick of seeing the same book over and over, so I'm kind of a slow trickle. I've guest-blogged a couple of times and have some more up ahead, but it's all spread out. How does that affect my sales? I don't have a clue. I'm still waiting for my first royalty statement!

Maria Zannini said...

I don't mind blog tours as long as the articles are interesting and engaging. Posts that are all about selling don't sell a thing.

Those who were going to buy you anyway don't need the spiel and those on the fence won't be wooed by an advert.

Blog tours (imo) should be about connecting with the reader.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Promotion is a curse. I force myself to do more than I want but I'm more like you than not.

Anne Gallagher said...

Stacey -- I probably should have stated this is more for self-publishers, because we get to see our sales in almost real time. Believe me when I say, none of that stuff works, it really doesn't.

Maria -- For the most part, I've only read one or two articles from a blog tour that were interesting. Unfortunately, they're usually just the same information over and over again. And the funny thing is, most "readers" aren't bloggers, so we're only advertising to "writers".

Susan -- It gets easier with more books out. The first couple are about building a fan base, and that's where the dreaded promotion comes in. Once you've built up a base, then it gets easier and you get to be quiet. I've found your fans will wait.

Shelley Sly said...

Congrats on your newest release!

I don't tend to run out and buy books that are over-promoted. If I like something, I'll buy it, regardless of how many times it's advertised. Word of mouth is definitely useful, though.

Linda G. said...

Congrats on another book coming out! :)

What do I do for promotion? Whatever I'm told by the powers that be. ;)

Yvonne Osborne said...

I think the self-promotion part of being a writer is the hardest part for most. I know it is for me. I don't like to talk about it. I hate it when someone asks me about a work-in-progress, or simply, "are you writing?" The implication being that I'm wasting my time. Yet I want to be read and not ignored. The push-me, pull-me of the writing life. You've done quite well for yourself Ms. Gallagher and the advice is well repeated.

notesfromnadir said...

Good common sense advice and thank you for sharing it. I'll also share this article on Pinterest.

I can vouch for the fact that blog tours don't work for me. I spent time writing posts and helping to promote the tour that could have been spent working on my next book.

Keep on writing!

All the best,