Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not to talk about marketing, but . . .

by Sean Chercover

Okay, we don't really talk about marketing around here. Just not really our thing, and it's very well-covered by other people like this guy.

But this is really funny (thanks to Guyot for sharing):

Not only is it funny, and perhaps a bit painful, but it also motivated me to search for the author's website. Dennis Cass. Well, his blog. His Blogger blog. He doesn't have a website. Of course.

So he's a smart guy and produced a funny video that will at least attract other writers to his blog, where they will learn about his book. His video probably won't appeal to anyone outside the publishing industry, but a lot of people work in publishing, and they are the kind of people who talk a lot, and spread - for want of a better term - buzz.

I'm think about all this because Trigger City comes out in October and now is the time to start planning the tour and other promotional efforts.

Yes, I have a MySpace. And my first book has its own MySpace. I'm not linking to them here - this is not an attempt to get you to "be my friend." I frankly suspect that MySpace is a waste of time, but I'm there and have many friends. And I'm on facebook. No, I don't want to "forward and see what happens." I know what happens. What happens is, I spam all my "friends" with a picture of a puppy dog and the message "forward and see what happens."

God, is there any more complete waste of time than forwarding pictures of puppy dogs on facebook? Time's running out, folks. You only got another (insert estimate of your remaining days here) days left before you become worm-food. This is your life. And it is not, as they say, a dress rehearsal. Jo-Jo Dancer, your life is calling! Do you really want to spend it FORWARDING PICTURES OF PUPPIES TO YOUR "FRIENDS" ON FACEBOOK!!???

Ahem. Excuse the outburst. But you must know what I mean.

So . . .

. . . anybody care to share? Which marketing efforts (either online or off-) do you swear by? And which do you swear at?


Dana King said...

How about going door-to-door in high crime areas, offering valuable prizes to anyone who can identify who any of the characters were based on? Kind of a walking tour. Well, maybe a running tour, considering the areas you'd have to go to.

Sara Paretsky said...

I have tried many different marketing ideas, from tours to buying ads to hiring a savvy publicist to pimp me to radio stations. I'm not skilled with New Media, so I've stayed away from FaceBook, YouTube--also, I think of them as time consuming. I still think the best way to sell books is word of mouth, and the best way to create word of mouth is to work with the == admittedly--dwindling independent bookstores, and to do what some people have already suggested--guest blog, guest review. I don't think jacket blurbs help as much as we wish they did. When I was starting out, I would speak anywhere and I cultivated the libraries in the Chicago area that offered programs. Now I have less energy I'm more selective. I don't know if it helps to send books to important people and reviewers--I have never once had a response from anyone I've sent books to, at magazines or in other places, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work for you. Check out sisters in crime's "Shameless Promotion for Brazen Hussies."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has thrown Hillary Clinton at you. And an easter egg. And a chocolate cake. Superpoke!!!!!!

Suburban Kamikaze said...

I wish I could tell you something really useful about how I found this site, grew curious and started writing the names of books on Post-It notes to put in my purse for my next book-buying binge... which is certain to lead to a few great discoveries and long talks about books over wine with my friends... but none of this would probably constitute "marketing" as such.

It is just what readers do. We stumble (in the sense of the verb, not the website) from book to book making discoveries and drinking lots of wine.

Does this help?

Can't wait to put a few of you on the nightstand. I feel a crime spree coming on.


Sara Paretsky said...

For another take on self-promotion, the SIC blog has a good cold shower for t hose of us who toot o ur own horns too loudly!

Maryann said...

Sara, don't discount the booksellers at the chain stores...we love to talk about books and handsell our favorites every chance we get. I can't count the number of times I've put a mass market mystery or thriller back on the shelf and made a note to read it. If I like it, I recommend it. Conferences are fun for me as well. I'm an aspiring writer and I come home from them with my luggage bulging with new authors to read and recommend. I'm a fan of indie bookstores as well, especially for regional authors. And, I just hit on a new series that I discovered at the library. They don't have the second in the series, I go to buy it.