Thinky Thoughts – More about Marketing and Reviews.

On a couple of the Facebook author and reader groups I’m part of the readers have been sharing their frustration with the marketing habits of some of the authors. I thought giving voice to those frustrations was important. Especially for small press authors, and heck even with the big presses nowadays, there’s a lot of pressure on an author to take on the task of promoting their work themselves. The trouble is, some authors are posting the same promo(s) several times a day on the same groups, which honestly is having the opposite effect that I’m sure they want. Instead of creating “the seven times so the consumer remembers” exposure that all the marketing advice places say that we need to have, these authors are literally turning readers off of their work because of overexposure. This got me to thinking…

Exposure without being annoying is sort of the plan across the board with marketing for me. Having my novels available in digital formats this time rather than just print has been vital in making this possible. Thank you Regal Crest! With my previous publisher, if I wanted more books than the few I was sent as part of my contract I had to buy them. This as I understand it is not uncommon in the industry. In the beginning the publisher did offer for me to forward them information on reviewers to send books to, but when I would talk to some of the reviewers months later they told me they never received anything. Now I get that being a publisher, especially when it’s in addition to your regular job, is a ton of work. This is why I’m glad to have the chance to submit the number of review requests I would like to without spending a ton of money doing it, and without depending on somebody else to have time to do the submissions.

Unfortunately,I wasn’t as good about marketing when Natural Order was published the first time as I could’ve been. I tried very hard in the beginning and did all my prep work, but I was still a new author and was very self-conscious about putting myself out there. Part of me still is, but I also believe my stories are worth the effort to make sure as many people as possible are aware of them. I could tell that I was needing to up my game when it came to self-promotion when I had people who knew me at college for several years who were suddenly surprised to hear I was a published author, especially considering my first book was published before I even started back to school. I always swear I have these conversations with people, but either I’m slacking on mentioning my work when the right time presents itself, or I needed to find better ways to put myself out there as an author.That’s why I am hoping to find a good balance between efficient and pain in the ass this time around.

I’ve started my new marketing plan with reviews, because it seems like the thing that needs to be done way ahead of the book release more so than anything else (Besides Maybe the creation of the media kit). My hope is to get as many reviews out there as I can before October. I’d love for them all to be positive, but even the negative ones are useful because what reviewer might dislike about the book a reader might be looking for. Right now I’m working on a list of reviewers that I can save for use marketing future novels and also share with other authors as well. The plan is to organize the links of reviewers so it is clear which ones are open to other lesfic genres besides paranormal and which are not. This’ll not only be useful for the other authors, but for myself as well. Right now my specialty is paranormal fiction, but even so not all the future stories from my muse might be paranormal ones. Besides that, eventually I’m going to need to find some LGBT friendly reviewers of YA speculative fiction for the series that is currently on my back burner. (I promise to tell you all about that in a future post)

There won’t just be LGBT specific reviewers on the list either. Years ago when I sent the first edition of Natural Order out for review I only focused on the lesfic market. I don’t plan to do that this time. I’m trying to find areas of the paranormal market, pagan book sites, or any other place I think my book might find some readership, even if they’re not used to reading lesbian fiction. Maybe I can find some folks that at least open to trying something new. I also think it’s important to expand the novel’s exposure because the fiction I write centralizes on strong women, especially women of color. Diversity is desperately needed not only in lesbian fiction, but in the paranormal market as well. As important as my stories are to me there’s a part of me that feels that getting this work out there goes far beyond just sharing a story I wrote.

Sorry for the ramble. Brain is going over time this morning. Probably is a good time to do some writing. I hope folks were able take something useful out of my ramble.

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