Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Is there a Marketing/Promotion Silver Bullet?

I am constantly looking for new ways to market/promote my work and yet I'm not sure anything I do is right or enough. That's largely due to the fact that feedback is almost non-existent, no matter what I try.

For example, five-and-a-half years ago I started podcasting. I decided to do a podcast about writing, since that's what I am interested in. I thought I could talk about different writing issues and perhaps learn a little something while I podcast.

Well, the show has been nominated for a podcasting award every single year I have worked on it. In all that time I have received less than two dozen comments and questions. That's two dozen over 138 episodes of content. There are days when I wonder if anyone is listening.

I've also got my blog. A little more success there. I average a comment per post (over 500 posts thus far).

Then there is Twitter, Facebook, Wattpad, Google+ and Goodreads.

With all those various venues my following has grown...a tiny bit. That following hasn't really translated into many sales or even interactions but I'm still hopeful. AND, I'm looking for that next different method to interact with potential readers.

It is a slow process that is a lot of work, but my books deserve all the effort I can afford to put into them for promotion.

I keep hoping one will be the silver bullet; after all this time I'm not sure one exists. I know my YA audience is out there though. I just have to find a way to connect with them.

Do you have trouble connecting with your audience? Have you done anything special that works well for you? I would love to hear your ideas.

-Michell Plested


Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I think a whole lot more people listen to and read your work than comment. I think mostly it's other writers who comment because, well, they're writers ;)
Don't let it discourage you.

Unknown said...

Yes, establishing the return on investment for promo efforts is tough. I've conducted two dozen experiments to evaluate the benefit of promo activities and unfortunately most have little return, yet I keep testing the waters. Three years back I documented "What works/what doesn't" for me across four years and it was published in two E-magazines. You can read on my website ( by going down home page and clicking on the cover for "So you want to write a novel?" A bunch of "What works/what doesn't" activities are there and the quantitative results still ring true. One new avenue that isn't there are festivals which have been very position for me, provided you pick the right ones. I'll have a post in the fall detailing one I'm doing with two other authors. Point is, just keep trying and remember, it's not just you, we all share the same difficulty.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Liz Fountain said...

It is tough and Lynda's comment gives me hope, too!

My latest is presenting workshops at smaller regional writing and book conferences. Too early to say if it will boost sales, but it helps me feel connected to the writing life in a way that goes beyond virtual interactions. And I'm going to try an arts festival later this summer.

I imagine a YA audience is on different sites than adult readers but I don't know that for sure. One author I know who's having a lot of success with her YA books did workshops for teen writers for years before her first book came out. That work connected her to her potential readers in lots of good ways.

Persistence is key, as Big Mike says. Recently a local bookstore owner who's a great supporter of local authors told me he never reads fiction, but he's reading my first novel and loves it, b/c it makes him laugh. That single interaction was worth a lot to my slightly fragile new author ego!

Hang in there!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

At a recent promotional seminar, the speaker made the point that when we are interviewed or writing blogs, etc., WE must be interesting. The book is secondary.

If the listeners/readers think you are witty, exotic or intriguing, they will be more likely to at least comment, and at best, buy your book.

Stephanie Joyce Cole said...

I suggest making a comprehensive list of all the organizations that you are or have ever been associated with, including the alumni association at your college, any hobby classes, etc. Then either contact those members via listservs or via a mention in the organizational newsletter, to announce your book. People love to read books by people they know--(after my book was announced in my alumni newsletter update section, a classmate I hadn't seen in over 30 years wrote to tell me how much he liked it!)