January Promotional Activities
I must admit that I have really let the ball drop on promotional activities for Dancing in Heaven over the past several months. Thank goodness for the journal I keep otherwise I would be completely clueless at this point about where my promotional efforts stand. This is no way to run a business.
Reviews and Interviews: In January two interviews and a book review were posted by bloggers. I continued to contact reviewers who blog and sent a few books or coupons for ebooks out. I need to follow-up with some of these.
Bookstores: Even though I know bricks and mortar stores don’t stock self-published books, I had reason to believe that B&N might be open to hosting an author event. When I checked with the sales associate, he said they do hold book-signings but I would have to bring my own books. He gave me the name of the person to contact. I was disappointed to find out from her that she could not do it because my books are not “returnable.” This exact same thing happened at the independent bookseller, Joseph Beth. The sales associate gave me hope; the person in charge dashed it, even after I explained that I would deliver the books and they were returnable to me.
I delivered 16 books to the bookstore at the College of Mount St. Joseph to be sold on consignment. This is a required text for Prof. Jeff Hillard’s “Cincinnati Authors” class that I will be speaking at in April. Jeff has been a tremendous supporter.
Marketing Materials: I continue to lag behind on putting together a one-sheet. This would be helpful to have to send out to places I would like to contact about my book. I hope I can get motivated to do this soon. I did manage to put together a little postcard for Dancing in Heaven. The postcard paper I got from Office Depot is disappointingly thin. I may look into buying heavier card stock or pricing having someone else print them. I’m really trying to keep down the costs of promotion.
Contests: I entered the National Indie Excellence Awards contest. Winners will be announced in May. I’m hoping for an honorable mention of some sort to be able to use in my promotional efforts.
I may not have mentioned that in November I entered the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing contest. I don’t think I’ll hear anything from that until October.
Miscellaneous: I think I mentioned that a friend gave my book to the person in charge of the Resource Room at a local children’s hospital where they will provide purchase information to anyone who wants to buy it. Another friend gave a copy to nurse from Toledo who plans to take it to her hospital’s Resource Room. This may be another good avenue to pursue with time.
Future Promotional Activities
When the dust settles from Mark’s surgery and recovery, I hope to go back through all my posts and harvest the suggestions you generous readers have offered and then make a detailed plan with goals. This step is long overdue. I know there are organizations I want to contact about Dancing in Heaven. And many things I can be doing to promote this memoir. I have to decide for myself how much time and effort I am willing to commit and then start doing it.
I need to learn more and think about the KDP Select program where your book becomes part of a Kindle library and it can be borrowed for free, but you get some percentage of the fund. This program requires an exclusivity that concerns me. I cannot have my book available on other e-formats for some period of time. The other formats haven’t really sold very many of my books, but something about this bothers me. I need to find out more about it.
My sales for January are lower, as would be expected considering my lack of promotional activities. In fact, sometimes I wonder how I am selling any books at all. Who is buying them? How did they learn about Dancing in Heaven? I see now that I need to be the motor behind getting the book out there so that people who are interested will know of it.
“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s level of aspiration and expectation.” Jack Nicklaus, American Golfer