Publicity Fail

I’m going to make a confession: publicizing my work isn’t going terribly well.

Sales are slow, and even free downloads are a bit on the poky side. I sell 16 books a month on average, and give away about a hundred times that, but only Cthulhu knows how many of those are ever actually read.

So, I’m obviously keen to revamp how I go about it. Previously, I’ve advertised on sites like Mobileread and Kindleboards, and contacted whichever random book bloggers I’ve managed to drunkenly stumble across. I also sent emails off to minor internet celebrities in hopes of catching someone’s eye, but pretty much all of that ended up being a massive waste of time. After months of getting little in reply but silence, my efforts tapered off.

The single most effective thing I’ve done in the past few months was make a comment at Slashdot that got modded insightful, and it just so happened to have a bit of advertising artfully tucked inside. Sadly, that’s not the sort of thing I can do regularly, and the mystique would surely wear off if I tried.

So, what next?

Seems I have to aim lower and wider. I’ve previously been targeting folks who have readerships in the thousands (or tens of thousands) who likely receive enough random mail every day to find it annoying. What I need are people with readerships in the hundreds who are still delighted whenever someone contacts them. Prime targets would be creatives in connected fields (comics and indie games should be strong candidates), and science-fiction/fantasy book bloggers.

The other strong possibility is to start marketing locally, looking for sci-fi and fantasy clubs in my area who I could possibly invade. The problem with that is that I’m effectively a recluse who hasn’t met a soul since moving up here, and I have no bleeding clue how or where to start.

I’m not too proud to say that I need help, so here’s my plea: if you happen to know (or just know of) a book-blogger, a comic creator, a mildly successful writer, an indie game studio, or anyone with some kind of audience who might be receptive to helping out a writer in need, please let me know.

Thanks for listening.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Publicity Fail

  1. Hey, stumbled on your blog from the Kindle site and wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed reading your work. Not a big fantasy fan personally, but I loved Stars Rain Down and would love to read a followup.

    As far as publicity goes, my single suggestion would be to submit some short stories/novellas to Escape Pod or Pod Castle. Really big audience, and fantastic people. I know its been a huge boon to several authors, especially Jeffrey DeRego. It could be worth your while.

    • Really glad you liked Stars, Joshua! Not to sound like too much of a huckster, but I think you should take a look at Arcana Universalis even if you’re not much into fantasy. I’m clearly a bit biased on the matter, but I think it’s fantasy with an unusually high appeal for sci-fi readers, and it costs you nothing to give it a chance.

      As for your suggestions, I’ll give ’em a shot. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of either before, which is a good thing; it means they’re places I definitely haven’t tried yet. 😉

      Cheers, and thanks a ton for dropping by!
      ~Chris

  2. Recent Reader

    Like the previous poster, I stumbled across this site from Amazon and wanted to say I just read and thoroughly enjoyed Stars Rain Down. Any follow ups to that I’ll be reading myself. I was actually just on Amazon looking around to see if there was a sequel to purchase.

    I have no experience or ideas to help with publicity. I just came across your book while poking around looking for “space operas” and settled on purchasing it after reading the sample. I really like your writing style and plot lines, hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some more in the future!

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