by John McFetridge
When we started this blog we said it would be okay for us to do some self-promotion here.
Now if someone could just figure out how to promote a book.
It seems these days people are trying just about everything. Last year I downloaded a free version of the book Beautiful Children by Charles Bock as a promotion from the publisher. A great book, but I haven't seen another one from that author so he still hasn't made a sale to me as a result of the free give-away.
There was an article in the paper today about Margaret Atwood promoting her new novel with a book tour that will include actors and original music performed live at the events. Sounds like fun, but the article didn't really say anything about the book, The Year of the Flood, which I understand is a sequel of sorts to Oryx and Crake (which I liked a lot). That could be a great publicity-generating promotion, but it's not really something many of us could do.
My Canadian publisher is small and doesn't have much money so there's little promotion beyond sending out review copies and hoping for the best. When my first book came out we had a launch party in my neighbourhood which was really just so I could show all the folks I knew from the schoolyard where I dropped off my kids that I really was going home to "work" during the day. It was a good party, but it wasn't really book promotion.
Because I sometimes like to play around on the computer, I've tried my hand at book trailers:
I think I'm getting better, but I don't think it's realy helping to promote the books very much. I think people who read books aren't fooled by some flashy graphics (if I had those, I mean). So, I try to go against the advice and actually put a lot of words into my trailers. I think people who like to read books are okay with a lot of words. Marketing departments may disagree with me, but I'm stubborn.
So, I have a book coming out in September in Canada (February in the USA) and I'm trying to think of ways to do some promotion.
Give it away free like Beautiful Children?
Stage events like Margaret Atwood?