Wow. I have almost no time for the internet anymore


Yesterday, I went to the gym, wrote up to my goal but no farther, when home to catch up on emails and such (I’m reviewing the cover copy for Circle of Enemies today with the idea of making little little improvements) and helped my wife move furniture away from the baseboard heaters so we could fight Seattle mold through the power or low relative humidity.

I barely had any online time at all. Today will be much the same, except I’m goofing off before doing my pages.

But here’s a quote and a link I found interesting:

But it strikes me that the real problem comes from the fact that no one adequately prepares an author for what to expect. Often, they are kept completely in the dark about print runs, marketing plans, co-op, etc. Authors who don’t come with a major platform need to be enlightened about what the publisher will reasonably do to support their books and then, if they are so inclined, pick up the slack. Too often, this huge disconnect leaves both sides disappointed. [1]

The article is called “Should I Tweet?” but don’t let that title fool you. It’s really a call to arms for writers to market their work.

Now, I know a lot of people will groan at the idea, I know. I groan at it, too. But in between eye-rolls, I do some of my own marketing as well. For one thing, some small percentage of the reviews I link to are prompted by me. I contact reviewers and ask them if they’d like a copy of the book. For another, I sometimes contact well-known writers (but only if they’re someone I’ve interacted with for a long while) and offer it to them, too.

Occasionally, it doesn’t do any good. Often the reviewers never post anything. Sometimes they post negative reviews. Recently a writer responded with “Sorry, I don’t read bad books.”

That last one? My own fault. I phrased the request badly.

Additionally, I’d hoped to get a review on for quite a while. They don’t do a lot of book reviews, but they do some, and they get a lot of traffic. I had no idea how to ask, though.

Until they posted the NYCC fantasy panel, the one I linked to last week or so. I took that as an opportunity, and sent an email saying (basically) “That video on your site, where Jim Butcher recommends a new writer? Well that’s me. Would you like to review one or both of the books he’s talking about?”

What did it get me? A request to have Del Rey (not me) send a copy. I’m pretty sure Del Rey was happy with that, but there’s no review and one isn’t likely to turn up soon. But maybe. Who knows?

Now, this isn’t like I’m throwing myself in front of Robert Pattinson’s Ferrari while my wife runs the camcorder. It’s just sending emails and mailing books. Is it doing any good? I don’t know, but probably not on a noticeable scale. Still, it’s marketing, little by little, and it’s doable even by an introvert like me.

Anyway, it’s an interesting article. Check it out.

[1] I should note that Del Rey did not keep me in the dark about their co-op and other marketing plans. I didn’t know what my print run was–which is probably a good thing since I would have obsessed about it a little–but I did know about the co-op, etc. Not all of it, but enough that I sorta knew what was going on.

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