There comes a time in any author’s career, especially starting out when the word of mouth promotion that happens when it is all exciting and new dies- just goes silent. I’ve been sensing that day was coming for me, and it finally has. It is really unrealistic to expect it last forever unless you do have the books and the demand behind you. Regardless of knowing what was on the horizon I tried not to fret about it though it makes my job harder overall, having to focus a ton on one area instead of the balance of sorts I was doing between the writing and marketing. It is still possible to balance but I’ve found mood drags if no sales are seen for too long if only because then the doubt happens when really it is probably a combination of things, most of which is lack of visibility, that is the culprit. With this in mind I purchased my first actual promotion ad, and man am I nervous since I hope something comes from it. I’m still looking at other options, if only I had seen some while I was running my 99 cent deal for Kakri, but I digress.
My point is at some point the paying for an add is somewhat inevitable, luckily most, though not by the sounds of the most effective which runs insane at times price wise, are fairly cheap. The problem is finding what works and what doesn’t- which is where my message board stalking has come into play. I chose one that seemed to come up quite a bit on numerous lists going with the whole logic that numerous suggestions means more than one success story. By the way I do suggest hanging out on these message boards anyway, the company can be nice, many questions can be answered and networks established. I warn you though that some services do require a certain amount of reviews or star rating to use, also what seems to be the most effective ones which is somewhat bothersome to an author still getting the foot in the door. Okay- so this bothers me a bit more since I know its partly my screw up that did it because I launched both books without reviews lined up, something I’m determined to not repeat for Darkness. Getting people to review is like pulling teeth, blogs are filled up, though I still try and happy readers are somewhat up in the air on leaving them. I had one lovely review- my first five star actually, that came from a random giveaway I partnered with on another page, they had no obligation to read my book since it was a massive giveaway but it was amazing that they left a review let alone read it so soon after I sent it off.
So that’s plan one- and I should mention I say these things because I know there are plenty of other authors out there going through this same thing. The second part of this is my current debate, besides probably stepping up self promotion- ugh I hate this necessary evil- and maybe, though I’m debating how effective such a thing is in my genre starting a street team. Still need more research in that regard, since there are dangers giving someone else permission to represent you no matter how small, as well as trying to decide perks as far as joining beyond access to ARC’s since how can you promote what you might not have read and responsibilities of people joining. More voices being out there is good but not sure how effective such things are as far as fantasy since usually teams like that are better for romance from what I’m reading. That being said who knows, what might work and what doesn’t- a lot is an experiment until you find something that does work.
I should mention at the very least what I’m looking at that might be part of this equation, the cover- I didn’t go the traditional route of having a human body on either cover, that might be screwing me now because it lacks that tie with genre or even appeal though I’ve had a lot of good comments on how it looks at the same time. I’ve also been looking at blurbs seeing, what could be added or taken away to help boost things up a bit. Regardless of cause it is constant maintenance but one that will hopefully pay off in the end.