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.  (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

11-5  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.