Friday, December 4, 2009

Are You Wallowing in Promo Hell?

It’s never ending, isn’t it? Like you don’t have enough to do, right?

Book Promotion and Author Promotion is what I’m getting to.

Our time constraints don’t allow for us to do what professionals in the field can do, because it’s their job. Honestly, who can afford to not only sit down with someone and explain what we do and what we need, but pay for the service that may or may not bring in the readership we need. This is especially important for e-authors, since so much of the marketing is still geared toward traditional print.

I receive a newsletter and sometimes there is nothing that peaks my interest, other times, it’s like, oh, yeah, perfect timing. If you don’t subscribe to The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter, I recommend it. You can subscribe by emailing: Their website is:
In their November 27, 2009 issue #208 – my mind was set afloat with excitement. 10 Ways to Rock on Social Media and Still Have a Life and further down is The Publishing Insiders Show contains a link Insider Tips for Publishing Success – this goes to http://www.blogtalkradio which I will discuss in an upcoming post.
10 Ways to Rock on Social Media and Still Have a Life gives tips on how to not spend all day on the internet hitting all the various groups, blogs and websites to not only promote yourself, but your books.

Skim is the first order of business – don’t read every single thing posted. By skimming, you’ll save time. If you see something of interest, then stop and read. I do this with digests, twitter and group messages.

Do you subscribe to every blog or website that has a RSS feed? Stop it. Seriously, do you read all of them? Probably not, so only subscribe to those you do read religiously. I bookmark blogs I love to check in with, I list them on my blog. Some are author sites, some are agent/editor sites.

Have you ever gotten caught up with reading blogs, sending emails and posting promos to the extent you look up at the clock and realize you’d been at for four hours? I know I have. Facebook alone can eat your day away. I used to spend two hours every morning, hitting every single yahoo group that allowed excerpt posts – guess what, it didn’t bring in a lot of sales. Not with hundreds of other authors doing the same thing. Seriously, most of the members belong to all the same groups, or a few of the same groups. It’s a case of, if you’ve seen it once, you’re not going to look again. On the other hand, I’ve had better success with posting fewer, more timely excerpts. I post them three times a week, promos twice a week. I don’t often hit the larger groups, but I’ll hit smaller groups. With these smaller groups, their digests might take a day to appear in email accounts. This is when I see the most sale activity. And holidays – not many get online and post on holidays, so there is fewer choices which gives your book a better chance to sale. And don’t forget most of the US are just getting online when it’s seven in the evening central time. Save some of your posts for evening. It’s those that will more often then not be read before the mornings posts.

Luckily, there are people who know how addictive the internet can be. To help us, they’ve set up ways to minimize our time wasting. – is a place I recently learned about and started using. You simply sign up, add the places you need to keep updated and it becomes your one-stop-shop type of thing. You post your message once – just once and it will appear on all of the post sites you’ve set up. There are so many ways to do this. Twitterfeed is one they mentioned as well as Constant Contact.

And this should probably be the first thing you do – set up a daily schedule, a routine that works for you. Use a timer for things that you get lost in doing such as socializing on the internet. I know I need it. I get lost in Facebook, research. I get lost with animal entertainment.

A couple things mentioned and I think very wise. Know what you’re going to do when you get online. Don’t do things because everyone else is doing them. Look at yourself, what you need, your time constraints. Socializing is a great way to win over or lose a reader base. Less is more – the quality of yourself is what will attract. Set that schedule and keep it as much as you can. If you blog, you don’t need to do several, when two or three will suffice. Build your base, stay there and they will come to you.

What have you done that works for you?



Jane Richardson, writer said...

Bekki, this is so useful. I've never heard of Ping till you mentioned it, so I must follow that up. Like you, I've found the big groups of little use, and the smaller ones best. I've noticed an increase in sales since I started blogging on groups like this lovely HEA blog and others, but you do have to pick and choose how and when you do it for sure. There is a danger in becoming part of a big group of the same people, so your ideas for moving beyond that are really helpful.

Jane x

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Jane.

It was actually author Koko Brown who turned me on to ping - she did a series of blogs on how to effectively use our resouces.

I'm so thrilled sales have picked up for you. That's wonderful to hear.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Bekki - highly useful!
Jane - great to know about your sales.

I find promoing on Sunday seems to work - Novelsisterhood and Castles in the Air. Perhaps people have a bit more time or mood to browse?

Do you do talks? I used to but stopped when I found it seemed to bring me a lot of grief and little benefit.

Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, lots of good advice.
I hit what I consider to be the high points on all the loops... actually, only what I can manage... and that ain't much.
Then, I do the type of promo-ing that's fun for me, like this blog, Lindsay's blog and Shapeshifter Seductions.
I figure I don't really know what is effective, so I'll do what I enjoy.
I'm also posting every Wednesday at ~ I started with their Dorchester contest and now I'm adding Flashes to my Flash Fiction Collection, with a bit of success.
This is a free reads' site that's used by those who read electronically, a lot of them the new generation of readers.

Savanna Kougar said...

Oops, I forgot to mention the blog tours a lot of us Liquid Silver authors have been doing.
I don't know how they've affected my sales, but I think they're darn fun.
We're having a Holiday Blog Tour on the December 11th. The deal is we put up man candy pics or some sexy theme. Those who take the tour leave comments on each blog to be entered for ebook prizes.
For a better look at what we do check out Serena Shay's blog today, ~ ~

Bekki Lynn said...

I agree, Lindsay - posting on
Sunday often results in a sell or two for me as well. I think it's a day of sitting back and taking it easy for most people, so they have time to browse.

Bekki Lynn said...

Hi Savanna,

I'll have to check out Dorchester and the blog tour. I love your flash fiction posts here.

I'm glad to hear the tour is so much fun for you.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks for this, Bekki. I signed up with, and now I have to connect everything to it.

I have no idea what works, and I'm drowning in promotion to the extent that I'm not writing. The best advertisement any author has is her books. The more of them you have out there, the better your sales will be.

But we still have to do some promo.

Donna B said...

Wow is this true or what! Who has the time to work & write & have a normal life...and oh by the way - your in charge of promoting yourself! Good luck! Bring them in....hmmm

And ping is new to me too...

Bekki Lynn said...

Don't I know it, Linda.

Writing seems to take a backseat before you realize it.

I think we have to be strong and be choosy about where we promo. Give it a chance to work, if it doesn't then try another.

Tell ourselves, a little is enough, turn off the promotional side of ourselves and shut ourselves in that tunnel where all we see is the next book until the clock rolls around again and we do a bit more promo work.

Schedule, discipline and breathe.

Bekki Lynn said...

Hi, Donna. Thanks for stopping by.

Maybe we should start a promo support group.

There are so many avenues available, I think instead of trying them all at once, maybe try a couple and see how it goes -- if they don't seem to doing the job, move onto something else. You can come back and try them again. The timing could be off - it could be a matter of everyone doing the same thing at the same time.

I hung out at Love Romances Cafe Friday doing a free-for-all excerpt day -- Dawn had contests and kept things moving. It was fun. I ended up winning a book and sold three. Now, I think the key is that I don't promo there, so many of these people saw something out of the norm. That's what I'm guessing.

So, maybe change up your groups -- lay off some for a bit, go back to them and lay off others. It might help relieve some of the pressure.

Maybe even go a week without doing any. Sometimes I do this out of necessity and find I actually do sell more books doing this time frame. It's not so much that I'm invisible, but it's all about when people get around to looking at the digests that come into their accounts.

Well, this is becoming a post all its own. lol