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kayelle_allen
June 1st, 2007, 08:41 PM
What's the purpose of a chat or author day? In fact, what is the purpose of any marketing you do? Unless you're a writer who just likes to write for fun - then your answer is likely "to increase sales."

Let's say you have a new book coming out June 31st. When is the best time to hold a chat and give away a copy of that book?

**Before** June 31st. Surprised? Here's why. With ebooks, the first month after release is the peak time to sell books. In fact, most sales will occur within the first two weeks, then slowly reduce in number. Holding a contest, chat, author day, or what have you right after that time -- and offering your book as a prize -- will negate that effect. People love to win things, and they love bargains. If you offer for free what they would otherwise have to buy, most people will do the smart thing and wait, thereby reducing your sales.

So, the best time to offer your book for free is **before** it's released. After it's released, if you have another book already out, use that one as the freebie. Especially if it's a series - since this will get readers started on the series if they haven't already become fans.

If the purpose of a chat or author day is to increase sales, and you hold them right before your book comes out, how do you give away a copy? Your publisher may provide you with a pdf file ahead of time if you ask. I always ask and always get one. You can also promise readers that they will get the first one off the press -- the day/night of release. If you use Microsoft Word, you can download the MS Reader program at http://www.microsoft.com/reader/developers/downloads/rmr.asp - which allows you to create your own MS Reader (.lit) documents. Or, create your own pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader) files here: http://www.pdfonline.com/ at no cost.

That said, how do you get everything ready for the chat in the first place?

This class is interactive, so I want to hear your opinions and thoughts. Please share what steps you personally take to prepare for a chat or an author day. We'll talk about those in a little bit.

Karenne
June 1st, 2007, 09:17 PM
(raises hand) What about getting things together and in one place that you can copy and paste into the chat room?

You know, like excerpts, contest prizes that you are going to give away, future release information, links to your books.

That way it is right at your finger tips to help with the flow of the chat so you can concentrate more on what the readers are asking and have these things ready.:detective:

kayelle_allen
June 1st, 2007, 09:44 PM
(raises hand) What about getting things together and in one place that you can copy and paste into the chat room?

You know, like excerpts, contest prizes that you are going to give away, future release information, links to your books.

That way it is right at your finger tips to help with the flow of the chat so you can concentrate more on what the readers are asking and have these things ready.

Very good! This is one that should be obvious - yet it's often overlooked. In the flurry of activity during a chat, who has time to dig through folders trying to find that excerpt? Or worse, looking through the manuscript! :baffled:

What else?

Karenne
June 1st, 2007, 10:50 PM
I have one that may be obvious, but what about going into the chat room in advance (a day or two) and getting familiar with how it works? That way you are comfortable with the working/technical aspect of the chat room.

(Karenne who isn't lurking like she said she was going to..snicker):rawrrrrr:

Jude Mason
June 1st, 2007, 11:38 PM
I have a program called PrimoPDF that's extremely easy to use and free online. You create your document in word and convert it. The URL is:

http://www.primopdf.com/

For chats and promotions, I put together a folder for each book, with blurbs, two or three excerpts per book and the major info about it, such as where you can buy it, the cost, contents, that kind of thing. I keep it all on my desktop in a folder marked 'For Chats'.

I never thought about offering a book early as a prize. I did know the sales are best in the first month, and it makes sense to hype it prior to release.

Here's one I ask all the time. And one I'm never sure of. How much promo is too much? I don't want to become a pain in anyone's butt. I want them to want the book, not be fed up with my blurbs or promotions.

Taking notes here.

kayelle_allen
June 2nd, 2007, 12:59 AM
How much promo is too much? That question haunts me too.

I spent a year writing and rewriting a book that I just couldn't get a handle on. In the meantime, I had two books that needed to be promoted. How do you promo the same two books for two years in a row? Talk about tired of plugging... I finally realized I had to set aside the book I was stuck on and write something completely different. I needed something new to do!

What a joy to be writing again - the next book took only two months to write and has been my best seller so far. But even having another book since then, it can be tricky to *not* promote too much.

So what is the nature of promotion, anyway? Definition: A message issued in behalf of some product, cause, idea, person, or institution; Encouragement of the progress, growth or acceptance of something; The advancement of some enterprise; Furtherance.

With that in mind, what are some ways to accomplish good promotion? We all know the easy answers. We do them every day. We create an email with the subject X-PROMO and a line we hope will get attention. Unfortunately, so do a thousand other authors. Ours gets lost in the shuffle.

One trick I do is promote in the opposite direction. If you can't go to the mountain, bring it to you. How?

My personal Yahoo group is Romance Lives Forever (http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/romancelivesforever). I've made it a haven for other authors. I host chats and author days regularly. Not for me, but for other authors. Everyone is welcome to come and promote, add their book covers to the files, and announce new releases and contests. When I first started doing that, I got a few emails asking me if I knew what I was doing. Why would I promote other authors? Wasn't I afraid of losing somehow?

The truth is, my group nearly doubled last year and my sales are way up. The authors I invite bring members of their own groups for the chats, we both promote on other groups, and both of us end up winning. (Just an FYI - seeking a win-win solution is one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.)

This may not work for you, but something out there does. What are you really good at? What is your passion? My friend, author Rae Monet (http://raemonet.com), is passionate about wolves, and she uses her website to help Wolf Mountain, a sanctuary for them. Imagine the casual encounters she gains through that! Anyone interested in wolves can find her site, and discover her series about wolf warriors. A real WOW factor for her, and a painless promo for something she cares deeply about.

Promotion doesn't have to be repetitious or painful (although it can be). Switch up ways to promote that are passive (posting a notice on a blog or website), active (holding a contest, going to a convention, holding a book-signing), or a combination of the two. Perhaps it means inviting another author to join you in a contest, holding a survey on your blog which triggers something that you will do - such as writing a particular character into a bit of flash fiction for your readers. This month, the authors of Liquid Silver Books are doing just that on the publisher's SEx Blog (http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/blog/).

We hear "think outside the box" so often that we are immune to what the phrase really means. Consider what the limits are and then push a step past them. Next to my computer is a little note that reminds me, "There is no box." Limits are what I place on myself. If I refuse to have any, how far can I go?

Oh, and if you're looking for a new place to promote, come on over to my group. :) We're wide open.

Jude Mason
June 2nd, 2007, 10:37 AM
I've thought of opening up my yahoo group to other authors for promo chats or whatever, but just haven't done it yet. Had a little of a catastrophe not too long ago, someone got into my yahoo ID and changed the password and security things so I'm just in the process of rebuilding, which has been a pain, but I know those who are with me are there because they want to be. I shall do some serious thinking about that though.

I love your suggetion of promoting something you're very interested in. My passion is anything to do with wildlife. Right now it's deer, and particularly people who pick up fawns when they shouldn't. It's that time of year. Great idea.

Here's something I just discovered and am looking into more. There was a blurb through one of my publishers yahoo groups about one of the review sites looking for promotional stuff. I'd never done it, but thought what the heck, I'd give it a try. This particular review site does a 'book a day give away' I offered one free download of my next 3 ebooks. The first one, Stage Fright, was last week, and I was flabbergasted at the size of the list of those who'd entered to win the book. There were well over 150 people, 52 of whom asked to be put on my mailing list. That's 52 more people I will be sending out my newsletter to.

Okay, get them to come to me, for whatever reason. Thinking cap is on. Possibly postcards or greeting cards made up of the fawns who are 'rescued' when they shouldn't be. We're very close with an ex-game warden who takes in these orphaned fawns and my hubby is an amateur photographer. Oh, I like this.

Am I on the right track?

Karenne
June 2nd, 2007, 01:48 PM
That is awesome Jude! Yes, I like the Romance Studio. They are some nifty people. And 52! WOW!

One of the reasons that we are doing the June Jubilee (I swear..not a plug) was to give authors a 'different' way to promote themselves by sharing their hobbies.

I know how important it is to promote, but it is hard work! And anything new and different usually catches readers eyes.

PS...sorry about your Yahoo thing! Some people are just yuck!:nah:

Jude Mason
June 2nd, 2007, 02:10 PM
Karenne,

The yahoo thing came just after Venus Press closed. I was shell shocked from that. VP was, at the time, my main publisher. I've learned not to put all my eggs in one basket from that, although right now Phaze has a good portion of my works, I'm branching out. It's tough though, as I'm sure you know, to find just the right publisher who will be a good fit.

Now I gotta go find out what new stuff I can use. This is a great class lady. Thank you both so much.

Jude

Mia Romano
June 2nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Thanks for doing this! I have always found an author day to be a bit overwhelming and this is easing some of the stress of it all. I also downloaded the free PDF file and can't wait to try it! I look forward to learning more.

Mia
www.miaromano.com (http://www.miaromano.com)

Liadan
June 2nd, 2007, 03:29 PM
Wow! I never knew all of this and honestly, have never thought about it. This is some great information and thank you Kayelle for sharing with us and being here.

gincat61
June 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM
Oh, man, these ideas are really fantastic. My e-book "Loki Unbound," Torrid Division, Whiskey creek Press is scheduled for release Mar 1, 2008, and I've been keeping a notebook on promo ideas. It's so cool when other authors are willing to share their ideas and experiences. My question is how do you evaluate whether your marketing plan is working or not.

HH Self
June 2nd, 2007, 04:00 PM
I am enjoying the discussion and ideas, thank you.
How far in advance is too far? I usually start hinting about new releases three months before they come out. Bringing the new release a little more into the forefront until it becomes the main topic the month before release. Is three months too far in advance giving the excitement of a pending release time to become too familiar? Or should it start even earlier?

As for things to do before a chat, I try and stop by a week or so in advance of my chat, setting in on another author. (I have found some great new authors that way.) Like Karenne said to know how the room works. But also to get a feel for the room's personality and the kind of questions that seem to come up. Of course it changes some with the people that show up my night, but it helps me having a general feel for the room.

www.hhself.net

kayelle_allen
June 2nd, 2007, 09:05 PM
Oh, man, these ideas are really fantastic. My e-book "Loki Unbound," Torrid Division, Whiskey creek Press is scheduled for release Mar 1, 2008, and I've been keeping a notebook on promo ideas. It's so cool when other authors are willing to share their ideas and experiences. My question is how do you evaluate whether your marketing plan is working or not.

One of the most obvious ways is to see if your sales are increasing. Is your group (if you have one) growing? Are you getting invitations to do chats, etc? It's more a combination of things than any one thing.

Here's one you'll find helpful and it's easy to use. :) Google your name. How many hits are there? write down the number and the date. Do this once a month and see if the hits are increasing. That means there is buzz and recognition. Also, how many times do you come up on the first page? Are you the first hit? If your name is Jane Smith, you might not be. Kayelle Allen is a little different, so that helps me. It's one of the benefits of picking your author name. You can afford to be unique there.

While there are surely lots of ways to tell, these give you immediate feedback.

kayelle_allen
June 2nd, 2007, 09:11 PM
I am enjoying the discussion and ideas, thank you.
How far in advance is too far? I usually start hinting about new releases three months before they come out. Bringing the new release a little more into the forefront until it becomes the main topic the month before release. Is three months too far in advance giving the excitement of a pending release time to become too familiar? Or should it start even earlier?

As for things to do before a chat, I try and stop by a week or so in advance of my chat, setting in on another author. (I have found some great new authors that way.) Like Karenne said to know how the room works. But also to get a feel for the room's personality and the kind of questions that seem to come up. Of course it changes some with the people that show up my night, but it helps me having a general feel for the room.

www.hhself.net

That's another tricky balance kind of question. Too far ahead and you run the risk of people forgetting. Not soon enough and people are unaware.

I generally don't read those sneak previews of a next book in the back of a novel. Why? When the book comes out, I pick it up and read a bit - realize it sounds familiar and being forgetful - think I've already read it. Oops! I've missed out too many times that way. So I don't read them. Well, unless it's from a favorite author with a series that I'm dying for... :err: and I dan't help myself. Raven Hart's the Vampire's Secret is book 2 of a series and you can believe I read the preview of Vampire's Kiss in the back! Gotta get my fix of Jack and William!

But yeah, too far ahead can backfire - to avoid that use the date of release as often as possible so people have that date etched in their heads along with your title.

Your idea of attending another chat at the same venue is brilliant. That is an excellent way to guage responses and how things are run. Then you're not fumbling all over the place. Thanks for sharing that.

Shayla Kersten
June 2nd, 2007, 09:18 PM
Very good! This is one that should be obvious - yet it's often overlooked. In the flurry of activity during a chat, who has time to dig through folders trying to find that excerpt? Or worse, looking through the manuscript! :baffled:

What else?

Hiya, Kayelle!

I usually set up all my excerpts, contests, etc, as draft emails. When I need to post, I go to my drafts folder, pick my email and send. Keeps me sane. *cackle* Well, as sane as possible. (No comments, Kayelle!)

Karenne
June 2nd, 2007, 09:19 PM
snort...what fun is there in sane? :nah:

Shayla Kersten
June 2nd, 2007, 09:19 PM
Great class, by the way! I'm always looking for an easier way to promo!

kayelle_allen
June 2nd, 2007, 11:27 PM
Hiya, Kayelle!

I usually set up all my excerpts, contests, etc, as draft emails. When I need to post, I go to my drafts folder, pick my email and send. Keeps me sane. *cackle* Well, as sane as possible. (No comments, Kayelle!)

Comments? Comments? Would I say anything about you, Shayla? :angel:

Great idea on the draft emails! That way they are already loaded and ready to go. *makes note to self: try this* Thanks for sharing that!

deniserossetti
June 3rd, 2007, 10:01 AM
Google has a service called Google Alerts. Enter your search and it will be saved and run automatically. I have one on my name (of course) set up to email me whenever Google finds something new.

Easy peasy. :biggrin:

And while I'm at it. www.dogpile.com (http://www.dogpile.com) is a search engine you might like to try. It runs your search on a number of other search engines (including Google) all in one go. Sometimes finds things Google misses!

Denise



Here's one you'll find helpful and it's easy to use. :) Google your name. How many hits are there? write down the number and the date. Do this once a month and see if the hits are increasing. That means there is buzz and recognition. Also, how many times do you come up on the first page? Are you the first hit? If your name is Jane Smith, you might not be. Kayelle Allen is a little different, so that helps me. It's one of the benefits of picking your author name. You can afford to be unique there.

While there are surely lots of ways to tell, these give you immediate feedback.

catherinestang
June 3rd, 2007, 11:04 AM
I've done a number of author days, but I never thought of putting the blurb, and excerpts in a file on your desk top. (head thump) What a great idea. I usually have go searching around through my different files to find them.

I have a fews questions. How do you space out your excerpts and blurbs to last all day? I tend to run out of them and then I'm lost for something to say the rest of day. Any good ideas for ways to keep the conversation going? Or do you think readers just want to read excerpts and don't expect you to chit chat? I'm never quite sure. I suppose it depends on the loop, huh?

Thanks for this interesting discussion!
Cathy

Liadan
June 3rd, 2007, 12:15 PM
I've done a number of author days, but I never thought of putting the blurb, and excerpts in a file on your desk top. (head thump) What a great idea. I usually have go searching around through my different files to find them.

I have a fews questions. How do you space out your excerpts and blurbs to last all day? I tend to run out of them and then I'm lost for something to say the rest of day. Any good ideas for ways to keep the conversation going? Or do you think readers just want to read excerpts and don't expect you to chit chat? I'm never quite sure. I suppose it depends on the loop, huh?

Thanks for this interesting discussion!
Cathy

Catherine - I'd like to say that as a reader and reviewer, I love when authors chit chat. It gives me a better insight into who that author is and how they feel about the characters they write. For me it's a bonus to read excerpts.

Karenne
June 3rd, 2007, 02:03 PM
I agree with Liadan. Even if I have never looked at abook by an author doing one of the Author Days or Chats....if I enjoy the author and their conversation/personality/sense of humor...I will go and check them out just because I enjoyed the author.

I have found and bought some great books just because of that. Maybe I am shallow, but...shrug...its true:wub:

catherinestang
June 3rd, 2007, 02:18 PM
Hi Jude:
Why do you have to convert it? Why don't you just copy and paste it? I'm a little confused about what this program is for.

Cathy

catherinestang
June 3rd, 2007, 02:24 PM
That's nice to know. I like to chit chat, too. I like feeling that connection with other people out there who like to read. I always like when people jump and chat, so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself. LOL.

Is there anything special you like to know about an author? I'm not always sure what to talk about.

Cathy

HH Self
June 3rd, 2007, 02:44 PM
I find it most interesting to get to know the person that conceived the story, and their thoughts on the process of writing. For me it adds a little extra flavor to the story. Making the adventure the writer will take me on a little more personal.

www.hhself.net

Jude Mason
June 3rd, 2007, 02:53 PM
Hi Jude:
Why do you have to convert it? Why don't you just copy and paste it? I'm a little confused about what this program is for.

Cathy

Hi Cathy,

PrimoPDF, is a prgram that will convert word documents into PDF format. E-books are sold in that format. It's a more secure format to keep works from being copied or changed. You can set your security so that whoever you send it to can't do anything but read the text. Or, you can set it so they can copy it or do a few things with it.



Jude

kayelle_allen
June 3rd, 2007, 04:38 PM
Denise, thanks for sharing that! I will definitely be using both of those. You already know you're one of my favorite authors - I've practically fangirled you into coming to do a chat on my group :notworthy: But gotta say it here so everyone else knows!

Go read Tailspin and Gift of the Goddess - OMG - so hot your toenails will curl. Teriffic writing!


Ok. *ahem. gathers small amount of dignity still left* Thanks for posting. :rockon:

kayelle_allen
June 3rd, 2007, 04:45 PM
I agree with Liadan. Even if I have never looked at abook by an author doing one of the Author Days or Chats....if I enjoy the author and their conversation/personality/sense of humor...I will go and check them out just because I enjoyed the author.

I have found and bought some great books just because of that. Maybe I am shallow, but...shrug...its true

Not shallow a bit. This is a very helpful discussion because I think every author struggles with this issue.

Some people are wonderful at making small talk. I'm not. If you put me in front of 1000 people and ask me to give a speech I'm perfectly fine. Put me in a room of 20 and tell me to mingle and I practically break out in hives. :P:

I do know it helps to have an agenda that you want to cover. I focus on that and it keeps me on track. I don't tell people that I have one, I just use it.

kayelle_allen
June 3rd, 2007, 05:12 PM
I have a fews questions. How do you space out your excerpts and blurbs to last all day? I tend to run out of them and then I'm lost for something to say the rest of day. Any good ideas for ways to keep the conversation going? Or do you think readers just want to read excerpts and don't expect you to chit chat? I'm never quite sure. I suppose it depends on the loop, huh?

Thanks for this interesting discussion!
Cathy


I plan on at least 3 excerpts per book, and right now, since I have 4 books, that's a total of 12. Most author day/loop chats are 3-4 hours. I figure out how many I can post in an hour and keep to that. In the time that's left, I ask questions.

I try to have some things prepared, just in case there is a lag. It's great when you have people jumping in to talk. I think most readers want to know us better. That's an advantage of being an ebook author - we have that instant connection possibility.

Jude Mason
June 3rd, 2007, 06:20 PM
There's also a huge difference between loop chats and chat room chats. The ones in a chat room move faster, usually, hopefully. Those in a chat room can feel REALLY lonely.

pixie158
June 3rd, 2007, 06:32 PM
I've thought of opening up my yahoo group to other authors for promo chats or whatever, but just haven't done it yet. Had a little of a catastrophe not too long ago, someone got into my yahoo ID and changed the password and security things so I'm just in the process of rebuilding, which has been a pain, but I know those who are with me are there because they want to be. I shall do some serious thinking about that though.

I love your suggetion of promoting something you're very interested in. My passion is anything to do with wildlife. Right now it's deer, and particularly people who pick up fawns when they shouldn't. It's that time of year. Great idea.

Here's something I just discovered and am looking into more. There was a blurb through one of my publishers yahoo groups about one of the review sites looking for promotional stuff. I'd never done it, but thought what the heck, I'd give it a try. This particular review site does a 'book a day give away' I offered one free download of my next 3 ebooks. The first one, Stage Fright, was last week, and I was flabbergasted at the size of the list of those who'd entered to win the book. There were well over 150 people, 52 of whom asked to be put on my mailing list. That's 52 more people I will be sending out my newsletter to.

Okay, get them to come to me, for whatever reason. Thinking cap is on. Possibly postcards or greeting cards made up of the fawns who are 'rescued' when they shouldn't be. We're very close with an ex-game warden who takes in these orphaned fawns and my hubby is an amateur photographer. Oh, I like this.

Am I on the right track?
I had the opposite effect. I offered a free copy of my book on a site of ebook readers and very few entered my contest. All they had to do was answer a question from an excerpt. The one that won was excited though. Pixie

HH Self
June 3rd, 2007, 08:08 PM
I had the opposite effect. I offered a free copy of my book on a site of ebook readers and very few entered my contest. All they had to do was answer a question from an excerpt. The one that won was excited though. Pixie
Timing is everything Pixie. Pick the wrong sunny weekend and no one seems to be around. I have done contests were only a few signed up but from those I have gotten some of my steadfast fans. It takes numbers to make us an income but only one great email from someone that loves our work to make the month. Well at least for me.
www.hhself.net

Jude Mason
June 3rd, 2007, 09:00 PM
Another thing I've tried, successfully, is to have a contest run over a few days. Some people only get online for short periods of time, or are on digest so don't see your contest if you have it run for only an hour or two. If I have a chat on say Tuesday, I'll let it run until the weekend, or even a full week. I post the contest rules and such every day where possible, and so far I've had good results.

My problem is I don't want to do too many contests where I offer free books. I know there are people who do them every week, or for every newsletter. They get the same people entering, the same comments from those same people and you see them all over the groups, after free reads. I'm also not in the US whereas most of my readers are, so doing promo package type contests can get expensive. Just a few bookmarks and business cards mailed to the US costs about $2, which isn't huge, but add in a CD, a packet of bath chrystals, or a candle or two and the price goes up fast.

I guess that's another question, how much are we willing to spend on promotion? Should we spend a lot?

deniserossetti
June 3rd, 2007, 09:59 PM
Eeep! :errrr: Thanks Kayelle. *blushing*

Denise


Denise, thanks for sharing that! I will definitely be using both of those. You already know you're one of my favorite authors - I've practically fangirled you into coming to do a chat on my group :notworthy: But gotta say it here so everyone else knows!

Go read Tailspin and Gift of the Goddess - OMG - so hot your toenails will curl. Teriffic writing!


Ok. *ahem. gathers small amount of dignity still left* Thanks for posting. :rockon:

deniserossetti
June 3rd, 2007, 10:15 PM
Some people are wonderful at making small talk. I'm not. If you put me in front of 1000 people and ask me to give a speech I'm perfectly fine. Put me in a room of 20 and tell me to mingle and I practically break out in hives. :P:


I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I have writer friends who are brilliant at small talk, but I just can't do it. Part of it is that I always feel pressed for writing time and resent too much idle chit-chat. But for many people, it's a hugely important connection in their lives, so I don't denigrate it - I just wish I was more comfortable with it.

And honestly, sometimes I feel no one gets my sense of humour. *sniffle* Guess I'm just weird. :alien: or maybe it's being an Aussie - nah, don't think so.

Denise

Keziah Hill
June 4th, 2007, 04:57 AM
And honestly, sometimes I feel no one gets my sense of humour. *sniffle* Guess I'm just weird. :alien: or maybe it's being an Aussie - nah, don't think so.
I dunno Denise, being Aussie has something to do with it. We are dry, dry, dry after all and lots of non Aussie's dont get it. :tt2:

Karenne
June 4th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Well I love your sense of humor!:winkiss:

ValerieEverhart
June 4th, 2007, 12:18 PM
I have taken so many notes:notworthy:

It is incredible the information y'all have shared. To be real honest, I was dreading both..having to learn to market, and network, but also having to do the actual work, :unsure:


But, this sounds like it's going to be soooooo much fun!

Thanks to everyone for your ideas.
I've downloaded the free pdf thingy... and joined a couple of groups! look forward to reading some more!!!

Jude Mason
June 4th, 2007, 12:21 PM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I have writer friends who are brilliant at small talk, but I just can't do it. Part of it is that I always feel pressed for writing time and resent too much idle chit-chat. But for many people, it's a hugely important connection in their lives, so I don't denigrate it - I just wish I was more comfortable with it.

And honestly, sometimes I feel no one gets my sense of humour. *sniffle* Guess I'm just weird. :alien: or maybe it's being an Aussie - nah, don't think so.

Denise

Denise,

Add me to the 'I don't do small talk' group. I'm not a social person at the best of times, so trying to chit chat is beyond me. This might sound horrible, but after you've answered the same questions a dozen times, I get bored with it. I know it's part of promoting, but I find it incredibly difficult to do.

Jude

Keziah Hill
June 4th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Denise,

Add me to the 'I don't do small talk' group. I'm not a social person at the best of times, so trying to chit chat is beyond me. This might sound horrible, but after you've answered the same questions a dozen times, I get bored with it. I know it's part of promoting, but I find it incredibly difficult to do.

Jude
Frankly, it feels like it sucks the soul out of me. I don't know if I'm made to do promotion on readers lists. The format is so alien. That said, there must be a happy medium. But (and this sound pathetic) I get so confused by all the lists. Trying to work out when you can promote, when you can't, what time chats are (particularly like me if you're in the southern hemisphere) makes my head hurt. I'm thinking I need to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. But does any of it work?
Keziah (feeling very negative today)

kayelle_allen
June 4th, 2007, 08:24 PM
But, this sounds like it's going to be soooooo much fun!

Thanks to everyone for your ideas.
I've downloaded the free pdf thingy... and joined a couple of groups! look forward to reading some more!!!



Fun is what you make it! That's why there are so many radio and television stations, so many different book publishers and so on. We all have our own idea of what's fun. So if you decide it's going to be fun (vs a chore) then it *will* be fun.

Nice to see a can do attitude. :) When you get to feeling low, it can be hard to get cheerful again, so make the most of the up days. They will carry you though the lower ones.

MarieNicoleRyan
June 5th, 2007, 08:48 AM
Yes, that's one of the things I do before a live or chat loop chat. I've organized my blurbs and excerpts in a special folder and all I have to do is have them open and ready to copy/paste when it's time.

deniserossetti
June 5th, 2007, 08:55 AM
Trying to work out when you can promote, when you can't, what time chats are (particularly like me if you're in the southern hemisphere) makes my head hurt. I'm thinking I need to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. But does any of it work?
Keziah (feeling very negative today)

Oh, Keziah, don't be down, though I totally sympathise with the aching head. The time thing is a real pest, but Google to the rescue again. If you type in this ... time: name of big city eg time:new york and hit enter, you get the current time over there. :)

Very useful. And I did create a spreadsheet and then the so-and-sos went to daylight saving and I was late for a chat. :censored: Major grumping.

Denise

nefertiti
June 5th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Frankly, it feels like it sucks the soul out of me. I don't know if I'm made to do promotion on readers lists. The format is so alien. That said, there must be a happy medium. But (and this sound pathetic) I get so confused by all the lists. Trying to work out when you can promote, when you can't, what time chats are (particularly like me if you're in the southern hemisphere) makes my head hurt. I'm thinking I need to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. But does any of it work?
Keziah (feeling very negative today)

They are hard to keep up with. I belong to about 16 groups, but I have the ones that I frequent more often. Usually it's the smaller ones, or the ones with easier to follow conversations. I don't drop in everyday, but I try to make a habit of visiting every couple days just to see if there's anything new posted. Perhaps somebody has found a new technique for promoting and they have posted it.

I'm not a chatterbox by nature...more so for when I don't know people. Groups can sometimes feel like high school in that everybody seems to already have the people they know and like to respond to. But, they're worth dropping into, even if it's only a couple groups every now and then.

Capri Montgomery
http://www.haremnights.net

Jude Mason
June 5th, 2007, 02:10 PM
Frankly, it feels like it sucks the soul out of me. I don't know if I'm made to do promotion on readers lists. The format is so alien. That said, there must be a happy medium. But (and this sound pathetic) I get so confused by all the lists. Trying to work out when you can promote, when you can't, what time chats are (particularly like me if you're in the southern hemisphere) makes my head hurt. I'm thinking I need to keep a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. But does any of it work?
Keziah (feeling very negative today)

Keziah,

I could hug you. I belong to dozens of yahoo groups, most of them are review or PR groups of some kind, and I hate them. Yes, that's a negative thing and I honestly try not to let it get me down. Let's see, there's the review groups, there's 15 of them, other promotion type groups, another 14, and then there's the 'how to' groups which add another 5, and the publishers have their own groups, both for promotions and news stuff. I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

When I add the Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Newsletter, and all the rest of it, I sometimes wonder where I could possibly find time to actually write, which is all I really wanted to do.

I've paired down, only to have a publisher say, 'try to be at this chat, it's important.' So there's another group. I really feel overwhelmed and confused and if I'd known it was going to be so frustrating, I'm not sure I'd have gone this route at all.

Sigh. End of rant. Can you tell it's been a tough week already?

Hugs
Jude

Karenne
June 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Poor Jude (here is some of my special ...hick..coffee for you)

:smartass:

kayelle_allen
June 5th, 2007, 09:24 PM
Keeping up with groups is like trying to keep a dozen ping-pong balls under water at the same time. :baffled:

I cut **down** to 80 groups - most of which I belong to so that if/when the time comes I have a place to promo, do an author day, chat, request reviews, etc. In other words - there are some that I am in solely for professional reasons. And of course there are the critique groups (2) and the marketing groups (4), the newsletter groups (many) and the groups belonging to author friends.

I do have fun groups - and belong to a few that are useful in my private life (health oriented, a local yard sale type announcement group).

Anyone care to recommend a few good groups for promos?

rgraham666
June 6th, 2007, 07:33 AM
Keziah,

I could hug you. I belong to dozens of yahoo groups, most of them are review or PR groups of some kind, and I hate them. Yes, that's a negative thing and I honestly try not to let it get me down. Let's see, there's the review groups, there's 15 of them, other promotion type groups, another 14, and then there's the 'how to' groups which add another 5, and the publishers have their own groups, both for promotions and news stuff. I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

When I add the Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Newsletter, and all the rest of it, I sometimes wonder where I could possibly find time to actually write, which is all I really wanted to do.

I've paired down, only to have a publisher say, 'try to be at this chat, it's important.' So there's another group. I really feel overwhelmed and confused and if I'd known it was going to be so frustrating, I'm not sure I'd have gone this route at all.

Sigh. End of rant. Can you tell it's been a tough week already?

Hugs
Jude

*HUGS* Jude. I burned myself out for about three weeks when I first started promoting. As I too often do, I tried too hard.

I'm probably somewhere in the eighty group range myself. I'm going to pare it down soon. I make sure I go to chats that my publishers want though. Wise to stay on their good side. ;)

I'm still really new at this and so am still feeling my way. But I'll find a way that works for me. :)

AdelleLaudan
June 6th, 2007, 08:47 AM
Hey everyone

I've been reading all of the posts and am very pleased with the new info I've found. What I am especially happy to see, is other authors anxieties over the very things I stress about. (Not happy you are stressed lol just happy I am not losing my mind )

Jude, I so hear you on the postage expense. It sure adds up fast when you are dealing with a primarily US based readership and live in Canada.

I have to admit to feeling a little disillusioned at times with the whole promotional end of being a published author.

Fabulous chat, thanks!

Karenne
June 6th, 2007, 11:41 AM
You know...with postage going up...again (sneers) why don't you do a gift certificate? Or a ebook ARC or Galley? Lots of publishers (ebook and paperbacks) do give their authors an ARC in an e format..such as .html, .pdf, .wpd...

I have suggested that to many authors because it does save on postage and hassles. What is even worse, is when you send something out and the 'winner' contacts you to say they didn't get it. Then you have to replace the item and the postage again because we always have to worry about offending the reader or having them think we do not care.

We have had this happen several times. :huh: As a solution to that problem, we have gift certificates that we award as prizes to our book store. No not a self plug..honest! Just sharing what we have found works.

But the 'e' item has a way to be tracked and to know that they have received it and it saves time, postage, heart ache, and gives the winner instant gratification and it is crossed off my list of To Do's instantly.

Jude Mason
June 6th, 2007, 12:20 PM
Poor Jude (here is some of my special ...hick..coffee for you)

:smartass:

Karenne, Ohhh my aching head. LOL

Sorry for the rant yesterday. I was frustrated and it obviously showed. It is good to know that I'm not alone though.

At the moment, I have 73 groups on my list, and that's paired down from just short of 100 before I lost my yahoo ID. I thought I'd be smart and keep it under 50, but that flew out the window didn't it? LOL

The comment about blogs and keeping them up touched a cord in me. I work on my website whenever something new comes in, whether it's a review or just some news to share. I don't work on the blogs nearly as much, and I know I either need to do it or get rid of them. Possibly just have one, rather than the MySpace, blogger, 360 and whatever else I have going. Too much is just plain too much.

Hey Rob, great to see you here mister. I totally identify with you on the burned out from promoting. Ugh! I'm not so new and I still struggle with how much time it can take.

Kayelle, a list of promo spots, might be an idea to see what everyone has. I'll try to get a list put together and post here.

I just read your message on the postage cost thing and why don't I do e-book or a gift certificates as prizes. I've done the e-book give away and they work, but have found that readers really like that special something from a snail mail package. Things like bookmarks or cover, signed of course, along with fake tattoos or bath chrystals are Hugely popular. I don't know if it adds to sales, but it makes the readers join in contests more.

I don't do many contests, I'm not sure giving books away is the best way to promote. There are a number of readers/fans/people who seem to enter all the contests and are always at the chats, waiting for the prizes to be chosen and then they vanish. They're after the freebies and that's all. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying I'm not sure it's the best way to go. I'd love to hear what anyone else thinks on this.

The gift certificate option, I haven't done yet, but it's definitely a thought.

Hugs
Jude

rgraham666
June 6th, 2007, 02:19 PM
I'd like to do giveaways that include real items. But I'm on a disability and the money I have available for stuff beyond absolute necessities is quite limited.

Perhaps if I make some royalties in the triple digits to the left of the decimal point that might change. ;)

So it has to be free for me which is why so far I've been limited to giving away free copies of my e-books.

That idea mentioned earlier, of not giving away such freebies after the book goes on sale is a good one. I'll stick to that in the future.

kayelle_allen
June 6th, 2007, 09:37 PM
Too much is just plain too much.

Hugs
Jude


You said a mouthful there! I'm the midst of a huge promo on my personal group that will cost me a bundle by the time it's over. But people truly love getting real gifts as you said, and since I only do this once a year, it's worth it.

I spent more on postage the first year than I spent on the prizes - that was a sobering thing to discover. I rarely offer a shipped prize overseas - but if I'm doing a big contest I make sure to offer a special download prize to my readers out of the country, and ONLY to them. It gives them a better chance to win and saves me expense as well.

Sascha_Illyvich
June 7th, 2007, 02:51 PM
I had the opposite effect. I offered a free copy of my book on a site of ebook readers and very few entered my contest. All they had to do was answer a question from an excerpt. The one that won was excited though. Pixie

It's funny because my personality seems a little "brash" and crde but I have a few readers who are just hardcore for me. Somehow they are picking up on something others are not lol!

I've found that partnering with other authors, especially better known ones helps. So, Jude, since you're more well known than me...*snicker*


S

Sascha_Illyvich
June 7th, 2007, 02:55 PM
Jude,

Most of us feel that way. I don't have the internet access I would require to simply hit up all 45 groups I'm a member of, but hit the smaller ones where the readers are. Hell with the reviewers I say lol! (No offense to reviewers here lol!)

How about a little coffee in your canadian whiskey instead, Jude...


Sascha

I could hug you. I belong to dozens of yahoo groups, most of them are review or PR groups of some kind, and I hate them. Yes, that's a negative thing and I honestly try not to let it get me down. Let's see, there's the review groups, there's 15 of them, other promotion type groups, another 14, and then there's the 'how to' groups which add another 5, and the publishers have their own groups, both for promotions and news stuff. I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

When I add the Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Newsletter, and all the rest of it, I sometimes wonder where I could possibly find time to actually write, which is all I really wanted to do.

I've paired down, only to have a publisher say, 'try to be at this chat, it's important.' So there's another group. I really feel overwhelmed and confused and if I'd known it was going to be so frustrating, I'm not sure I'd have gone this route at all.

Sigh. End of rant. Can you tell it's been a tough week already?

Hugs
Jude[/quote]

kayelle_allen
June 7th, 2007, 08:29 PM
I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

When I add the Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, Newsletter, and all the rest of it, I sometimes wonder where I could possibly find time to actually write, which is all I really wanted to do.

I've paired down, only to have a publisher say, 'try to be at this chat, it's important.' So there's another group. I really feel overwhelmed and confused and if I'd known it was going to be so frustrating, I'm not sure I'd have gone this route at all.

Sigh. End of rant. Can you tell it's been a tough week already?

Hugs
Jude


I feel your pain! You start feeling like this guy: :dots: when you think about how you could have been writing.

I'm on digest on everything except a group where I need to be highly interactive (interfacing with my webmistress and two other authors on an upcoming project). Sure, I miss things on digest like pasted-in photos - but I honestly don't have time for that.

You have the right idea here. Priorities will help. How do you figure out those? Answer some questions and be honest with yourself.

Do you have a marketing plan? Not an idea of what you think would be cool to do, but a written plan?
How about a mission statement?
What are you trying to accomplish with your writing career?
Where do you want to be in five years?


The answers to questions like these will provide guidelines for determining your priorities.

When something comes up that you think you should do, weigh it against where it fits in your priorities. If it doesn't take you in the right direction, think long and hard before doing it. Be flexible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, but be wary of taking on more than you can handle.

If you're brand new and cranking up a career, then you have different priorities from the writer who already has a career and wants to take it in a different direction this year. What works for one won't always for another.

I realized pretty early that I had to give up [I]something if I was going to write. After all, there are only so many hours in a day. I had to eat, sleep, bathe, and hold down a day job. And of course, watch "24." :rockon: [Go Jack!] You know, the basics of life.

Figuring out what was important to my career and balancing that against what was important in my personal life was a struggle. Thankfully, my husband is ultra supportive, to the point of picking up the slack on taking care of our home, and budgeting to let us eat out more often so I don't have to cook. I don't have small kids or pets to take care of, so that gave me a lot more time than many of you have. But figuring out what is most important is something you shouldn't hesitate to do. At one point I was working/writing 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every week for a year. A serious illness blindsided me and made me rethink my priorities. Now I'm more focused than ever, but also more balanced and more healthy.

Think: Where will this take me? If the answer isn't somewhere you want to go, don't do it. And keep this in mind, which will come in handy when you simply can't decide between two or more high priority items: If they are all equally important, then it doesn't matter which one you do.

Don't sweat the small stuff, all right? And it's really true - it's all small stuff.

catherinestang
June 7th, 2007, 09:06 PM
Boy, Jude and everyone,

I hear you. I write all day and find myself slipping upstairs in the evening to do my promo stuff. I sometimes realize that I go to bed without hardly talking to my husband:swoon: NOt that he probably misses it. :lol: He spends his whole day talking and wants to veg out in front of the TV when he gets home. Keeping up with blogs, myspace, lopps and email is sometimes overwhelming. I do contests, but run out ideas for things to send to any money to send it. I make these cute goodie bags, but now that's hot the stuff wil melt I'm afraid.

Great questions. But how do you figure out a marketing plan? I just sort of float. I need to sit down and answer your questions. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I don't feel so all along knowing I'm in the same boat.

Cathy

HH Self
June 7th, 2007, 09:22 PM
I would enjoy seeing more. Always interesting to see how others deal with the temporal limitations we all face, and the uniqueness of our desires, as writers.
www.hhself.net (http://www.hhself.net)

rgraham666
June 7th, 2007, 09:28 PM
No major plans or goals for me.

I never liked them much. And the ones I did make years ago blew up in my face.

I lost nearly everything; a marriage, a career, my sanity and damn near my life.

I'm not placing that sort of pressure on myself again. Maybe it won't do much for my writing career. But I'll still be alive and healthy.

kayelle_allen
June 7th, 2007, 11:01 PM
No major plans or goals for me.

I never liked them much. And the ones I did make years ago blew up in my face.

I lost nearly everything; a marriage, a career, my sanity and damn near my life.

I'm not placing that sort of pressure on myself again. Maybe it won't do much for my writing career. But I'll still be alive and healthy.

Ouch! It sounds like things went downhill for you - I'm sorry to hear that, but glad you have resorted your priorities to ones that make you happy.

That's why I found I needed structure and goals - I had nearly killed myself by working too hard. When I talk about goals and priorities now, it's with a lot more sanity. Having a goal for a career is like a deadline for a book - by a certain time, I'll have done this, this, and this, and will get that.

I'll share some of mine so you can see what I mean. This is what I put together for revamping my website this fall:

Goal 1: Hire a marketing assistant for six weeks of promos. Sep 15th
Goal 2: Co-create a marketing blitz for my newly revamped website by Oct 15th
Goal 3: Launch the marketing blitz no later than Oct 25th
Goal Success: Marketing blitz kick off Halloween 2007

A well written and planned goal should be our guide as we work to enhance and strengthen our careers. A goal should serve us, not the other way around. Everyone talks about balance - but what does that mean, anyway? Have you ever watched a tightrope walker? They carry a long pole that helps them balance as they cross that tiny walkway. The pole is constantly moving. If they stiffened, they'd fall off in no time.

Our lives are the same way. As we step out onto the tightrope of our writing careers, we need the balance of goals to keep us from veering too far off the right track.

For goal setting, I'll put together some info I have and post it here tomorrow night. This weekend, I'll host a quick coaching session on how to make the most of MS Word.

rgraham666
June 8th, 2007, 09:25 AM
:sorry: for my rant. Wasn't in the best of moods last night and I let it out here. I do apologize.

I do understand what you mean about balance. It's something I lost and am working hard to get back.

Not to say I don't have goals. I do intend to be as good a writer as I can and to enjoy it.

Whether it takes me anywhere is something out of my control. I'm not going to sweat any more over that fact.

Jude Mason
June 9th, 2007, 10:18 AM
First off, a hug for Rob. I've watched you grow over the past few months and am very impressed with how much you've learned and how well you're doing. Don't ever put yourself down.

Kayelle,

You ask some tough questions and I had to walk away for awhile. Honestly, I don't have a written down marketing plan, mission statement or know where I want to be in 5 years other than still writing. I've been writing all my life, but there's times I still feel like I can't believe I've actually made it as far as I have. Your organization amazes me. I know I need to become more organized as I sign more contracts, have more deadlines and more things I want to try. This class is helping tremendously.

Just setting down things like 'I'll promote two mornings a week' and seeing that helps. A spreadsheet to remind me what's due when is something I've begun and find extremely helpful, but I'm not good, yet, at checking it or adding to it. That's something I have to leave on my desktop, dead center in big shiny letters. LOL I'll be using this stuff for months to come, I can see that.

Hugs
Jude

Karenne
June 9th, 2007, 12:55 PM
You can rant all you want rgraham666! We are not judgmental here. This is where you want to come and 'talk' with friends. If you can't rant with friends...then it is not as much fun!

(hands you coffee and a hug):cowboy:

rgraham666
June 9th, 2007, 03:02 PM
Thanks Jude, Karenne.

I'm not comfortable with goals. Never have been.

Unless it's getting to 'The End'. ;)

I'm a firmly committed pantster, in writing and in life.

kayelle_allen
June 9th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Kayelle,

You ask some tough questions and I had to walk away for awhile. Honestly, I don't have a written down marketing plan, mission statement or know where I want to be in 5 years other than still writing. I've been writing all my life, but there's times I still feel like I can't believe I've actually made it as far as I have. Your organization amazes me. I know I need to become more organized as I sign more contracts, have more deadlines and more things I want to try. This class is helping tremendously.

I'll be using this stuff for months to come, I can see that.

Hugs
Jude

I was asked these same tough questions about two years ago and they made me squirm, too Jude! I'm still working thru them. Writing as a career requires treating your writing like a business as well as a passion. The two can coexist.

That's where more of that balance comes in. Tough stuff!

Sascha_Illyvich
June 11th, 2007, 05:05 PM
anything worth doing like this requires intense and emotional thought. Jude, do you really want it? My Love, you've surpassed my talent...so hit those questions like a redheaded step child!

S