We’re terrible at promoting our work and that’s why our own sales figures are so dismal. (Yes, that IS what we tell ourselves on a regular basis.) We mention this today because we recently picked up a free Kindle book, courtesy of eReaderIQ, that promised to help us correct that problem. In this ebook bestseller, the author shares her secret behind tens of thousands of paid downloads.
What specifically does she do? She promotes her work endlessly. Specifically, she tweets. On the hour, every hour, and sometimes twice an hour. Every tweet includes a pitch to buy one of her books.
Her tweets go something like this: You know what's great? My book GUN-JITSU: ENTER THE FIST! Also, powdered milk! It's so handy!
I bought my mother a copy of my book GUN-JITSU: ENTER THE FIST! She says it's the best thing since powdered milk!
My kitty is named GUN-JITSU: ENTER THE FIST! Just like my book! Uh-oh, I think I'm allergic to powdered milk!
Personally, we hate the hard sell but not everyone agrees with us. Twitter is so happy with the idea, they’ve developed an auto-tweet, allowing the Twitter-pated to queue up their messages and send them night and day. If you’d like to use the auto-tweet, you’ll need to find it yourself. We think it’s the devil’s work and we refuse to help.
We complained to a writing buddy but he told us that all of the shouting is worthwhile. He admits he’s been a little obnoxious, pushing his first novel on Facebook, and we’d agree. His self-promotion has resulted in a low two digit sale number (as in, less than 20 buys) but he counts it as a win. We count it as a reason to avoid his Facebook page.
It was right about then that we wandered over to Absolute White and found a voice of calm restraint. Specifically, we discovered Jane Wallace-Knight. In a forum devoted to book promotion, she wrote, "I have my first book coming out next week and as I'm British I hate bigging myself up and am full of self-deprecation."
We liked her immediately. We also liked the phrase "bigging myself up" and, since we're the best in the world at self-deprecation, we felt we could relate to her feelings. Also, on alternate Thursdays, Renee proclaims that she’s British, too. We immediately went over to Jane's blog site, only to discover that her posts were as modest and polite as she is. She's joined Twitter but we aren't following her. Without even meeting the woman, we suspect she hates being in the Twittersphere and her tweets will reflect those emotions.
Jane will blog, because she must, and she'll tweet, because she should, but she'd much rather be writing. We've been in her shoes so we know she feels obligated to do some kind of promotion. Since her novel -- The Holy Trinity (The Wolves of Gardwich) -- is about to be released into the world, we thought we'd lend a promotional hand. A sister-to-sister (and one brother) kind of thing.
How did a nice lady like you decide to start writing m/m erotica?
Jane: I started reading fanfiction when I was about nineteen and I found that there was so much more m/m fiction than there was m/f. I also found the quality of writing to be better and less self-indulgent. At first I would skip over the sex scenes, just wanting to immerse myself in the written world, but eventually the love stories written there would pull me in. I decided to start writing some myself and by then m/m just seemed to come more naturally to me, which is perhaps a little strange in hindsight as I am a straight female.
Does your mother know?
Jane: No. She knows that I write and that I have a book series coming out, but she doesn't know what it's about, much to her frustration. The sex scenes in the book are pretty explicit and the thought of my mother ever getting hold of it and reading it is enough to give me nightmares.
What's the storyline to your story and, since we're on the subject, why is it the best novel ever written by anyone anywhere ever? If you deny it's the best novel ever written, we'll just know you're being modest.
Jane: It is by no means the best novel ever written. I didn't set out to write a life-changing book that tops best seller lists. My book is a love story that will only appeal to a select group of people. However, if you are the sort of person who likes the idea of a werewolf, a vampire, and an angel falling in love then you might want to give it a read.
Jane's novel comes out in June from Siren Publishing. Tell 'em "Renée Harrell sent me" and they'll look at you oddly.
Reading: Bill Fitzhugh's Pest Control. Such fun.
Quote of the day: “The less you have to sell, the harder you sell it” – Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical