The Wise Novelist

A Good Run – For Starters

So we’ve hit our first sustained lull, where FJM dropped out of the #1 New Release spot yesterday evening and hasn’t immediately rebounded. It was bound to happen after 3 weeks. Always the next new flavor coming down the pike. It was a blessing while it lasted. I greatly appreciate the run.

The rest of TCT remains floating solidly in the top 10, while FJM hangs in at #20. I’ll take that as a fine opening for my latest book. And as more readers burn through TCT, as a meal, they’ll be looking for the dessert. Something else with Claire in it. Hopefully that will bring FJM closer to the top with the Trilogy.

I know my books are not going to change the world. But I do want to give people the opportunity to put the world on pause for a bit. Escape.

I write because I like to make people laugh and cry. Both experiences are cathartic.

But then you need to get people to read the books you write.

That’s where marketing comes in.

It’s a lot of work marketing your books. You have to be shameless. You constantly run the risk of turning into Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo talking about his son:

People start to cross the street when you are coming down the block.

You hear the whispers in the diner, “don’t look him in the eye or he’ll try to get you to buy his book.”

Freebees are another major marketing tool. A marketing expense, but well worth it. I know that if someone is walking around with a copy of one of my books in their hands, or it’s sitting on their coffee table, or it’s on their desk at work, that is free advertisement.

Truth is, I’ve personally given away far more books than I ever expect to personally sell.

Seriously, hundreds of copies of each one.

I also donate them to libraries.

Drives my wife crazy. She’s understanding but she’s ready to kill me.

I personally hate to take money directly in exchange for my books.

Luckily, I’ve been blessed by a really supportive Indie Publisher, Black Rose Writing. Thanks Reagan Rothe.

I leave actual sales to my publisher and Amazon, B&N, Walmart and other on-line distributors.

Let them deal with sales. And they do marketing as well. Nicely.

But I will talk to anyone and everyone about my books, the same way parents love to talk about their children. (I know, parents can be annoying as well. I love to talk about my children and now grandchildren.)

My youngest brother – who is a genuis at sales – always tells me that you are not selling your product, you are selling you. If the prospective buyer likes you they’ll try your product. Sounds simple enough.

But that means you have to get out there. Be seen. Meet new people. Establish your brand.

Get on social media. In 2020, I had an email. That’s it.

In the last few years it’s been learning a lot of new tricks for this old dog. I literally just got on Face Book 3 weeks ago.

Still learning. It’s not easy. But I don’t run with the big boys. Not yet anyway. So the world is not coming to find me.

And this blog has been a huge help in getting me used to putting myself out there.

It’s like leaving your diary open on an empty table in the high school cafeteria.

But then again, there is already a lot of me in the books.

Luckily, I also love to visit book clubs, do readings, anything that gets me in the room with potential readers. Personal connections are the best.

People assess others by what they read. Whenever I enter someone’s office, or the first time I’m in someone’s home, I always scan the room to see what books are around.

When you watch many TV pundits reporting from outside their studios, you’ll always see their bookshelves behind them.

And all of this personal marketing eats up time. Time when I could be writing my next book. But if I don’t market the ones I have no one is going to give a shit about the next one.

So it’s part of the whole writer deal. And so far, the results have been worth it.

On that note, I want to thank each and every one of my fine, five readers for doing their part and supporting my books. I so appreciate how you helped get me here.

But now I need to get to my day.

A kitty cuddle, my rounds, the dreadmill.

And also recycling.

But it is Thursday, which means Friday is one more wake-up away.

So get out there and make today a great one.

2 Responses

  1. My wife is off travelling somewhere, and I am alone in the house. I felt like an idiot when I laughed out loud when I read the line about hearing the “whispers in the diner, ‘don’t look him in the eye or he’ll try to get you to buy his book.’” Okay, my laugh was more like a snort and a snicker rolled into one, as if I was nodding off in church. I looked around to see if anyone noticed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this Post:  

Sign up for blog updates!
Join my email list to receive updates and information.