Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Promotions & More RWA Dirt


All right, I know, I had promised to have a real blog this time. And believe me, I will but I just wanted to pass along a little more on the RWA front. Mainly in the form of links and the like because it’s time for everyone to form their own opinion.

You all should read every one of the links posted on Dear Author because they contain relevant information to anyone epublished. Yes, there is some rehashing over the whole problem but since last week, RWA’s President Diane Pershing has given us a rebuttal. Oh, joy. Look at the links and discussion here: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/06/23/the-case-for-rwachange/ as well as here: http://espan-rwa.com/ Lots of good information on both sites.

Also, if you are serious about challenging RWA’s stance on ebooks, epublishers and epublishing, you might want to join the RWAchange group. It is planning to change the name here shortly to reflect what the group is as a whole and to not get RWA any more upset than they probably will be. They just don’t want to be sued…but then…who does? You can join the yahoogroup at RWAchange-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and just to give you a few stats, this group was formed on June 20. It already is planning an election of officers and has a membership of 527 as of this writing. Pretty impressive if I say so myself.

Still, like I said, this is the time for individuals to decide just which side of the fence they are going to stand on. This is much bigger than just the local chapters loving the epublished authors and national not. It looks to the future and as we all know, time waits for no one.

Moving on…what I really wanted to talk about this week is…promotion.

Now, personally I have a promo group who does a lot for me. I don’t usually post any excerpts, they do but I do send out notices for things like this blog. I also have to prepare exactly what the promo group is sending out so I know what’s being posted. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll even have someone do that for me but right now, I like the control.

I belong to many yahoo promo groups as does my promotions manager, so she gets to post things about me in over a hundred different groups. Recently, I caught the tail end of an email, which stated that many of the promotions groups were changing their rules because so many authors didn’t know or understand promotion etiquette and they were tired of the blatant disregard of those rules.

That bothered me because I know I go out of my way to make sure I and my promotions group does everything correctly. What is correctly you might ask? Here are a few tips on how to promote yourself well.

1. Make sure you follow the rules of the group perfectly. This means, if they want a certain thing in the subject line, put it there. For example, if you must label your excerpt as PROMO, then do it exactly as their example shows. This would include making sure you post on the correct day and their requested way. Don’t be surprised if your promotional item doesn’t show up if you haven’t followed the loop rules.

2. Make sure you don’t inundate the loop with the same promotion repeatedly. Between me and my promotions group, we belong to roughly 200 lists. We have a set schedule of who posts what where and how many times for that month. A good rule of thumb would be to promote heavily on release week, up to once a day on the loops for the first week, then only once a week thereafter. If the book is from your backlist, then once to twice a month is sufficient unless it has a tie in to your current book. Example: I have a Christmas elf series. About 2-3 weeks before release day, I start promoting book 1 of the series all the way up to the current book. The items on the current book are usually little teasers with a full excerpt on release day. Then I promo the heck out of it the first week dwindling down to just a couple times a month for as long as I want to promote that particular book. And yes, I promote all my books, even those published in 2004.

3. Do one to four guest blog spots a month in addition to your own blog. Not every blog is the same and you will not necessarily find the same people on all the same blogs. This means, you can recycle material if you need to. Most of the time, the owner of the blog will send you a set of questions to answer. They post them and you need to check for comments several times during the day. Make sure you answer everyone who comments. This goes a long way with the readers. Everyone wants to be recognized for something they did or for stopping by. By doing this, you are exposing yourself to a new group of readers at least once monthly.

4. Try to participate in one loop chat a month but never do more than four. Reason, being there more than once a week can really make readers annoyed. At least that’s what I’m hearing from many of the promotion groups. You need to keep your content fresh and interesting. If you’re there every day, it can be hard to bring readers back again and again because they’ve heard your spiel before.

5. Don’t overstaturate the market. Exposure is good, overexposure is bad. I’ve taken many marketing classes before and have been told it takes about 10 times before someone remembers your name. Another 10 to remember your product and then another 10 to associate said product to you. This means a minimum of 30 times before you start getting name recognition. With the digital age, it’s not hard to do at all. The trick is doing it in such a way people look forward to your excerpts, blogs and chats not gloss over them because they’ve had too much. If you only have one book, this is hard as readers do get bored with having the same item over and over again.

6. Last, join promotion groups and loops to see what promotional opportunities are available to you. Here’s a couple of links to get you started.

http://1stturningpoint.com/
This is a website/group started by authors to teach about promotion. They have good articles and are extremely good at helping a beginning author.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Promotion_Loop_Schedule/?yguid=266457368
This is a yahoogroup that gives you a daily message regarding where you can post your promotion. It is very good as you will get reminders in your mailbox. To subscribe to this loop, use this link Promotion_Loop_Schedule-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Happy promoting! See you all next week!

Lynn

18 comments:

C.R. Moss said...

thanks for the re-fresher on promo.
=)
C.

Sara Thacker said...

Wow, that's a lot of information. Thanks for the links. I think I need to work up a promo plan for my two books that will be out next year.

Ari Thatcher Erotic Romance Author said...

Wow, great info, thanks!

Tanya Curtis said...

Great information, thanks for sharing!

Lynn Crain said...

You're welcome, C.R.!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Sara,

You're very welcome. And yes, promo plans are always a good thing to have for every book.

When I got my current promotional group, we did a plan for each of the books I had out now and talked about what we would do for future books.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

You're welcome, Ari.

Glad I could help!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Tanya,

Glad I could help.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Great info, Lynn. Thanks

Lynn Crain said...

Gwynlyn,

You are very, very welcome. Hope it helps.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Julie Robinson said...

Wow, Lynn! What valuable information. I shall be printing this out to put in a binder. I'd wondered about the length and number of times to do a promo.

I saw the huge fiasco about epublishing, but did not comment. The comments are just as valid and interesting as Deidre's original post and Diane's reply.

Thanks for all this helpful information.
Julie

Roxanne Rhoads said...

nice post, thanks for the info. I am exploring and working promo into my writing schedule now that I understand how important it is.

I was previously one of those authors who thought "If I write it they will buy it." Hah, how can anyone buyyour book if they haven't heard of it.

I definitely got to check out the promo loop. Great idea and very helpful.

Thanks!

~Roxanne Rhoads
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

Lynn Crain said...

You're welcome, Julie...glad it was a help.

I so understand what you mean about the latest RWA thing. It's hard to talk dispassionately about something one believes in. I feel confident it will work out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

I'm glad it helped, Roxanne.

Promotion is always important but a new author is so blindsided by things they don't know what to do first. I know I was...LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

tatt3r said...

When I decided to give a try at writing a romance novel, I never considered the business and promotion side of things. Articles like this are invaluable to me, and I learn more with every blog I read. Thanks for the information and insight!

Lynn Crain said...

Tatt3r,

You are so very welcome. Glad it helped!

And yeah, most of us never thought about the business side. Years ago, I made the conscious decision to learn everything I could about the ugly parts so I could be the best author possible.

Now it's my time to help others with the infromation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Erin Sinclair said...

Excellent and informative post Lynn! I'm still hesitant about promo because I'm hearing so much about what to do and what not to do it's confusing and overwhelming.

Erin

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. I did not realize this was a such a big problem.
Some of the promotions are great
JOYE
JWIsleyATaol.com

,
Sponsored by the search engine optimization services internet guide.