Thursday, June 30, 2011

So how's the marketing going?

Since my book launch and signing just after my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, was released in early May, I’ve spent the month of June on a blog tour, coordinated and managed by WOW-Women on Writing. I decided to embark on this tour because I had hosted two other WOW blog tour authors in the last couple of years, and it seemed like a great idea.

I’m sure I’ve said before that I’m a me-too kind of person, so there I was again, letting the WOW folks know that I wanted a tour too when my book came out.
And actually making that happen was quite easy. All it took was a decision about dates, blog post ideas that included the subject-matter of my book and general writing-related subjects, and $350.00, to cover their advice and counsel about post topics and their picking out and communicating (almost continually) with the blog owners where I would guest post.  The big bucks kind of took my by surprise, but very quickly I decided it would be worth it.
Also in June, my publisher and I shared the expense of a part-time publicist, one of my dear friends with a great background in PR who worked way more than she was paid. And she has worked out tremendously. She has scheduled two radio interviews during July and a review just posted on the "100 Memoirs" website. She also got a commitment to have me be the over 60 expert on a popular health and fitness website. She is continually pitching. Hopefully we can come to an agreement continue her services for another month, at least.
Because our budget is so limited I have had to jump in as well, and now that I’ve finished writing blog posts to fulfill my WOW blog tour commitments I have plenty of time.

First thing every morning I post all over Facebook – my friend and fan pages and other groups that are of interest – about what’s going on with my book. Then like now, I write a blog post, or a poem, or a journal entry. I must keep up with my writing or everything will fall apart, including me. 

Also, since the book came out, I’ve arranged to participate in two book signings as part of the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society, I’ve gotten friends to post reviews on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites that sell my book, I’ve submitted a book for review to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention in hopes that they’ll add my book to its bibliography, and I’ve given permission to a woman who is presenting a workshop on resources available for grieving parents and other family members at this summer’s national The Compassionate Friends convention to list my book as a resource and pass out information. 

That’s another thing. I’ve gotten bookmarks, flyers, and posters made. Everywhere I go from now on, I need to have something to give away.

Okay, then, has all this effort and not a small amount of money sold any books? Since there haven’t been a lot of comments on my guest posts, I have little indication that people who visit the blogs on my tour are interested in buying my book. And though I see great online rank fluctuations daily, my publisher thinks my online book sales are excellent. I just wish there was a place I could go everyday to find out the number sold everywhere.   Of course the evidence is the total of money I’ve earned. So far my expenses are way ahead of sales. But, it’s not even two months yet. I have a long way to go – at least that’s what I keep telling myself.


ShirleyHS said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences in marketing, Madeline. All authors are trying to learn how to navigate marketing and writing these days, and your honest, open approach to how the marketing is going benefits everyone. I was happy to host an excellent review of your book on my site. I hope interested readers will find it and comment.

All best!

madeline40 said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Shirley. I loved Jason's review of my book. I tried to leave a comment there, but it doesn't seem to be going through.
I love your site.
All best.