Promoting, or marketing, is a big topic that’s been coming out at the two science fiction conventions I’ve attended this year (Marscon and Ravencon). In just about every other field, marketing’s a science. The advertiser knows that a camper against a pristine campground will get people to buy the product because they’re looking for that experience (I’m currently reading a magazine called Trailer Life. That was a comment in a letter to the editor from one of the readers).
If publishers could figure out how to market books and turn them into best sellers, they would. Books are very subjective. Plenty of bad books — Twilight comes to mind — hit the best seller lists, while great books don’t even sell all of their first run.
What we do know is that the standard marketing techniques don’t work. I get a lot of authors on Twitter, and a day doesn’t go by without a dozen or more Tweeting “Buy my book!” Usually over and over. Writers have sent me direct messages asking me to help promote their book, and all I can think is that I can’t even figure out how to blog properly to draw people in. Exactly what am I supposed to do that this writer isn’t doing?
It’s a crazy environment with people acting is they were bumper cars, all bumping into each other and backing into each other, and no one really knowing where they are going.
What’s been your experience with trying to figure out how to promote a book? What have you tried?
And with this post, I’m ending my participation in the A to Z Challenge. It’s been too draining, and I’ve been having to push aside other things to keep up with the number of posts.