One of the conversations that came up was a discussion about promotion, and in light of my release date next week, I wanted to throw it out there for discussion.
Promotion is a full time job in itself. I have even hired a virtual assistant to help organize a street team (verdict still out on whether or not I like this concept or will continue with it) and I hired a PR company to draft a press release that was sent out in August. I have also organized a 20+ stop blog tour with spotlights, interviews, guest posts etc throughout November and December. And I have an ad running in the November issue of RWR.
Then through those efforts-I was lucky enough to be asked to write the back page piece for the February issue of a local magazine called Avenue, I've been invited to do a blogtalk radio interview at Hummingbird Place on Dec 23, I've had my blog about avoiding a saggy middle featured on SheWrites.com, and I've been invited to do some promo with a local radio station in late November...so the efforts are paying of...I guess...sort of.
As exciting and fun as all of the above is-the debate that arose on Saturday at the book fair was-just how many actual sales will result from all of this effort? So far, I'd have to sell quite a few books to earn back the money I've spent on promotion...not to mention the time commitment it takes to do all of this. (I have four other books to write...but if no one knows...but if I don't have time to write them...the cycle continues lol)
While I certainly believe, as a new author especially, all of this is necessary to gain a following and establish yourself as a writer-the same point was repeatedly made and I can't say I disagree-the key to success is a great product. If people read your book and they love it-they will tell others.
It's just the preliminary matter of getting it out there to be found...And hopefully not taking away too much of your precious writing time in the process. Ideally, we all just need to hire E.L. James's publicist lol:)
So, thoughts? I'd love to hear what else you guys are doing to promote your work and whether you spend more time than you'd like...or how you balance both.