Other marketing ploys I’ve utilized:
Library events: Several around the area. Oskaloosa, Pella, Knoxville, Keosauqua, Centerville, Grinnell, Winterset. Many didn’t respond and most didn’t garner any sales or much attendance. After I moved to Carlisle, I approached the small library in town, but they were looking more for authors who had material geared for children. I walked out not understanding how an author who lived in town was rejected by the town library. I have done the Ankeny library but for a writers group and that was a good one. Not in the sales, but in attendance and discussion.
Book and other craft fairs: Countless. Ankeny, Des Moines, Boone, Carlisle, Cedar Rapids, Burlington. It’s a hit or miss on those with mostly misses. There are good and bad things about each of them, but I think the major issue is the event promotion. If nobody knows about it, nobody is going to show.
Bookstores: Been to a few. Burlington By The Book was a nice store because the owner is a cool guy. Not sure how many sales I had, but I enjoyed being there. The Oskaloosa bookstore was a bust the two times I was there. Nobody showed up for the book discussion (the reasoning was that many came to the one held at the library) and the second time I was shoved at the head of an aisle with a display table a foot high. No sign, no promotion. I’ll add the coffee shop next door who scheduled me for a discussion but didn’t promote it and on the date scheduled, somebody forgot that Iowa Public Television was there filming a show and I was going to be an interruption. The next week, again, wasn’t promoted and I sat there for a while feeling crappy that I had patrons move off the stage and ended up going home without saying a word.
Asking for Reviews: Not too successful. I mentioned in the last blog that someone suggested asking friends for reviews from friends. So, I asked him and he refused. I asked other friends who also refused. When Alpha was republished, I asked other authors and they turned me down. Really? I reviewed some of their books and talk with them during events, and buy their books, but they can’t help me? What’s the deal? That disappointed me a lot. In the same vein, when Alpha was published with Oak Tree, I had a list of book reviewers. I’m not sure of the actual number, but there were only a couple acceptances but no follow up or else if they did review it I don’t know where the review was posted. Waste of time.
I want to help authors as much as I can. I conduct interviews and promote them. I accept books for review. I’ll support other authors by attending their events when I can, buying their books when I find one I think I might enjoy. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a reciprocal action.
Anyway, those are some of the marketing things I’ve tried. I know it’s a bit disheartening to see that most of them weren’t very successful, but I keep trying.