Promoting in the world wide jungle

Tuesday, November 15th.

I thought it was just me, but today I started to put together a list of all the self-publication/marketing resources I’ve printed out, bookmarked on my browser, or are presently in my email inbox that I sent to myself or received from a friend.

Uncle.

It’s no wonder I’m stalling out on putting together a promotion plan. Where do I begin? I’m drowning in the helpful advice I’ve collected. You cannot imagine how many blogs are out there telling people what to do to be a successful author. And I’ve saved all of them in one form or another to read when I get the time.

I can’t continue on this path of destruction. This grab-n-go approach is not working for me.

When all else fails, make lists.

Here’s my plan. I’m going to make organized lists of the following:

Author pages or all sites where I have profile information. They include but may not be limited to: My blog, Facebook, Website, Author page on Createspace, Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N (I think. Will have to check), Goodreads, Kindle Boards, LinkedIn, and I will have to see if I can remember where else. The information should be consistent across these sites and right now I couldn’t tell you. Oh, don’t forget about Twitter. (These lists should be complete with user names and passwords. I’m going to type it up and leave a copy on my computer desktop. If somebody hacks my accounts, good riddance.)

Communities I’m signed up in. That would include She Writes, Goodreads boards, Writer’s Digest, I know I’ve signed up for some Indie communities. Will have to track those down.

Blogs with helpful information on promotion. This may take some time.

Reviewers. Probably should focus on this one.

Lists. I think I’ll start with a list of all the lists I need. I’m sure there are more things I need to organize.

Why do I feel like I just spent a lot of time counting the pages I have left to read in my history text book, instead of reading the book?

I think when I’m done figuring all of this out, I will be well on my way to my next non-fiction book: “Finding Readers when you’re over Fifty,” or “Going it alone for Grandmas: a guide to self-publishing for those too old to keep up.”

Thursday, November 17th.

Good news. I finally started to get myself organized after the information feeding frenzy. I’m all over it. Yesterday I bought a little three-section spiral notebook that I’m going to keep as a book promotion journal. The first section I’m listing by date all my promotional activities.Β  (I had started jotting things down on sticky notes here and there. After I bought the journal, I collected them all there.) So for example, my entries for November 15th:

-Stephanie at Goodreads requested a book for review. I packaged it to mail.

-Sent excerpts to Hospice of Dayton per their request for their website

-Attended free Webinar from Writer’s Digest on the seven secrets to success of self-publishing

-Filled out a contact form at cerebralpalsy.org

The second section of my new journal I am devoting to the publicity my book receives. So far I have five entries:

10-24 Blogger dogear review

11-5Β  Cynthia Robertson review

11-7 Listed on Goodreads giveaways (Five books to be given away after Dec. 7th. So far 201 people have requested it.)

11-8 William Lambers interview

11-15 Lisa Kramer review

I haven’t decided what I will use the third section of my promotion journal for. Yesterday I also created a file of promotion ideas where I placed all the information I’ve printed out. I still need to go through my e-mail and bookmarks and decide the fate of all the information I’ve saved there. I will either print it out, organize it into files, or delete it.

In some ways using the internet is like riding a wild bronco. If you don’t take the reigns and take control, you won’t be able to keep up and you will find yourself on a wild ride and eventually airborne, only to land face down in the dusty soil. Maybe I should switch to the old gray mare.

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28 thoughts on “Promoting in the world wide jungle”

  1. Sounds like you have a great plan! I think section 3 should be “tips to keep me sane”!!! Gee whiz! There is a lot to think about, isn’t there?? I have full confidence that you are going to tame this monster and be well on your way to being a self publishing genius that we all can learn from!!!

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Beth Ann. I am my own worse enemy. My style of research has always been, cast a wide net and then sort back through. That worked in a library full of hard bound books. I could only carry so many at a time. But here on the internet, oh my goodness. What information there is. And who to trust?

  2. H Christine – getting organised is the most difficult thing isn’t it – and as you say so much wonderful information out there .. Good luck – and I know where to come when I want to search for something! Cheers Hilary

  3. I like the community stuff. Builds a base from which to expand. I will be interested in seeing how helpful the reviews are as you report. I have read very few that had any relevance to my thoughts on the matter, don’t put much stock in them, but I suppose any publicity is good publicity. The reviewers have followers if their reviews in various print media.

    1. I’m kind of with you on this right now, Carl. Start with the center of people who know us and places close by and then work out from there. I actually think the reviews are quite helpful. At first, when I didn’t have any reviews on Amazon, my little book looked pretty lost and alone.

      Now if only someone would leave a review or too at Barnes and Noble. No pressure. πŸ™‚

  4. I can empathize with where you’re coming from on this. There is too much to keep track of. Even as I start to get organized I still find that there is something new and I’m still behind. The internet is wonderful and gives us access to all kinds of information and allows to interact in so many ways. But I mean, the internet is great and all, but what did we do before there was an internet. Maybe I’ll go google that right now…

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    1. It’s easy to get off track or run in circles on the internet especially if our memory has lost some of its capacity and we can’t recall what we had for breakfast. How are we ever going to remember who we already approached for reviews, or what sites we joined?

      It’s a challenge.

  5. I love the notebook idea and breaking the big task into smaller more manageable-sized tasks — I know that’s what books about organizing and cleaning suggest you do (believe me, I’ve read my share!). Seems like a great approach!

    1. I had the very same thought about breaking the task into smaller ones, but first I need to clearly identify what the tasks are that I should be focusing on. I’m getting closer.

  6. great analogy Christine – riding a bucking bronco – I suspect that most of us feel the same way when it comes to promoting our work. Then again, we could all just duck our heads and hope the “sales fairy” sprinkles a little gold dust over our efforts.
    John Locke wrote an interesting ebook called “How I Sold 1 Million ebooks In 5 Months” – some good advice there too.
    Good Luck

  7. I like the possible titles of your next nonfiction works! lol I’m glad to see you still have your sense of humor. It is easy to bookmark things, save and file emails in special little folders, but I think they multiply once they get in there! I’m sure you’ll get it all sorted out, and you’ll tame that wild bronco in style!

  8. I just read your guest post on Mark’s site and mentioned that I have co-authored two print-on-demand books about life after 50. We’ve been a whirlwind of self-promoting (read: hard work), and have now sold over 9000 books, mostly by speaking to women’s groups and leading workshops. But we have never taken advantage of the social media outlets. It’s just always seemed so overwhelming. I think your blog is giving me a needed kick in the butt. I’m going to start following your blog closely and hoping that something penetrates!

    1. Welcome. I need to follow your blog. It sounds like you’ve figured it out for yourself. I don’t know if I have it in me to be a public speaker. . .Wish I did. I’m still trying to figure it all out and will be posting my promotion plan in bits and pieces I think. Are you on Twitter?

    1. Welcome. Good luck with your blog. I had a bit of trouble with two of my siblings – just a little head’s-up. In fact, when I asked for release forms they refused to sign them, so I had to re-write them out of the book. It was devastating at the time. (And my book wasn’t even about organized crime πŸ™‚ ). You can read my initial reaction here: http://wp.me/p1j9dv-Gu
      I did decide to go ahead with the project, and am glad I did.

    1. I really appreciate all your encouragement, William. Can you tell me about your publishing history? How many books? How many years?

      When I get discouraged, I remember your “marathon” comment.

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