May 2, 2008

What to Say When You’ve Already Said It All

Posted in Promo Tips at 8:41 pm by laurie979

Day before yesterday I posted a list of Yahoo Groups where authors can promote their books on specific days of the week.

But I know that some of you will read the list and think, yeah, it’s a good idea to send out a promo or two each day, that’s something I could easily do. But then other things will kick in. You will think about all the other promos you’ve sent to that list and others, and your doubts will begin to grow as you think about the stale, used quality of your promo pieces, which by this time have been posted on every romance group online.

You might at this point begin to feel that sending out the same old promo to the same old groups is pointless…and you might even wonder why you should bother. I think any of us who have been faced with the task of promoting have been faced with these feelings…and I expect most of us have at one time or another felt their paralyzing effect.

Here are some thoughts for those days when you just don’t feel like you can force yourself to send another dull promo post.

First of all, realize that on most groups, only a small percentage of list members are actively reading at any one time. So even though you may have posted your promo piece a half a dozen times. and although it feels stale as week old bread to you,  it’s likely that it will be news to a good portion of the list members you are sending it to. I can’t tell you how often I get emails telling me someone just found out about our newsletter contest. We’ve been holding a contest for a long time…but every time I post an announcement of unclaimed prizes we get another big surge in newsletter subscriptions. So…just because your promo feels old and stale to you, doesn’t mean it is to your reader.

If you’ve read the above and you still feel like you still can’t inflict the same promo onto the list again…then look at your book through a different lens. Find a new angle. Post as one of the main characters, or if you have a quirky secondary character post as that character. Find a unique angle.

Not all book promotions have to include the book blurb and an excerpt. In fact, a lot of really effective ones don’t. Did you do research for your book? What interesting tidbits can you share? Write that up in a post. That can even be a series of posts as you can share different interesting things you learned when you researched the book. Be sure you include your (author) name, the book’s title, a one sentence blurb, and a link where the book can be purchased.

Questions are really effective as subject lines. If you can turn your title or subject line into a question it will have a greater chance of being read.  Unclaimed Prizes is less strong than Many Unclaimed Prizes — Is Your Name on Our List?

You don’t necessarily have to promote your book to promote your book. You can promote something your publisher is doing, something your writing group is doing, or a fellow author’s book and be promoting yours at the same time. Be sure your book title, 1 sentence blurb, and link to buy your book is included in your signature. One of my more successful posts was to a quilt group that I belong to. It’s an active group and most members read their email…and many click through links to see quilt pictures…so clicking through to see BVS books wasn’t a big jump. We sold several books to people whose email addresses I recognized from the list…and I hadn’t really even set out to promote. I would have written the same email with or without the signature line.

Occasionally promote something OTHER than your book. Promote another author’s book that you’ve enjoyed. Promote the blog contest at Black Velvet Seductions. Promote the Free Book Fridays Newsletter drawing. Promote an upcoming guest blogger we will be hosting on the blog.

The bottom line, most important thing, is to show up…and to keep showing up. When you show up, even if it isn’t to pitch your book, members of a group notice…and if your 1 sentence blurb and link is in your signature they are reminded of your book each time you post…even if your post isn’t a direct pitch.

Promotion isn’t a one off thing that you do. It is an ongoing thing that you do and do and keep doing. It often takes a lot of repetitions to move people to action…so be patient…and continue to supply the repetitions.