I've never been good at selling myself. I used to sit tongue-tied in job interviews, my mind a complete blank. Whenever I've got people sitting across from me, looking me in the eye, I can never think of anything to say. That's probably why I like writing so much - it gives me the time I need to dream up the perfect, witty reply.
Like I said here the other day, writing the actual books isn't particularly hard for me. It's getting out there and flogging the books to all and sundry that I find a challenge. I've tried online chats, spamming every possible Yahoogroup with promos, having postcards and bookmarks printed up, paying for a static ad on the Romance Studio website, starting my own website, a Facebook page and this blog. In a couple of weeks, I'll be doing my very first in-person book signing at my local Borders store.
So I'm putting forth a fair amount of effort, but is it doing me any good? Hell if I know! I've already decided I won't be doing any more live chats. At the four or five I've participated in to date, the authors and moderator outnumbered the other attendees - who, it soon became clear, had only showed up for the chance to win free books. While I realize that at the beginning of an author's career, you do have to give away a few free samples, the actual point is to sell books. Chatting away for an hour with a grand total of five potential readers... well, sorry, but that's not an effective use of my time.
The frustrating part is, out of everything I've done to push my books, I'm still not sure what's working and what isn't. I read someplace that the average reader has to see an author's name at least six times before it finally sinks in. That's what my website, this blog and my Facebook page are for. I do my best to keep all three updated, but I still hear the crickets chirping.
So I'm going to try a little experiment. Every person who comments on this post telling me where they first heard of me will have their name entered into a drawing for an autographed print copy of my m/m/f menage a trois novel, The Arrangement. I'll announce the winner next Monday, December 1st.
Yes, I know I said I wasn't fond of giving away my stuff for free, but it is the holidays, after all. ;)
I'll be running drawings like this every week until Christmas. Future prizes include: Supernatural Seasons One, Two and Three on DVD (given away separately), Starbucks gift cards, Godiva Chocolates, free .pdf copies of my books The Arrangement and Strictly Business, and more!
Keep checking this space for further news. ;)