I’m excited he’s here because not only is Bob an excellent writer and blogger, he’s very willing to share with others his experience diving into the publishing pool.
Please welcome Bob Sanchez.
The Little Mountain of Publishing
Thanks so much for hosting me on my tour, Helen!
My promotional focus has changed with the publication of Little Mountain, my third novel. Some of this is due to where I live, far from a population center where I can readily drive. A couple of years ago I drove 120 miles round trip to do a reading at a library. They’d even put my name up in a big marquee, but I sold only two copies of my book. It was fun reading to a pair of nice librarians, but at that rate having a bestseller would have bankrupted me.
The hard fact is that writers can’t control how many books we sell—inducing guilt trips among friends and relatives will only take us so far. What we can control is expenses, so that when revenue comes in it won’t seem like such a drop in the bucket.
My first two books had cost me around $1200 each at iUniverse. Yes, they provided various services that were by and large adequate. But Little Mountain cost only $39 at CreateSpace and could have been free. I paid a local graphic artist $150 to create my basic cover design. An excellent local writer gave the novel a final pass in exchange for my doing the same for her. As for the ebook version, I learned how to do it myself for free.
Next, I’m not doing any book signings that involve driving out of town, unless other business takes me there anyway. I’m doing no mass mailings. For When Pigs Fly, my first book, iUniverse persuaded me to spend an amount I’ve tried to forget to email an ad to 500,000 book buyers, and the campaign barely nudged my Amazon ranking. (If you’re looking for a sinkhole for your excess cash, buy into an online ad campaign.) The last I heard from iUniverse was an email wanting me to spend $12,999 to turn my book into a screenplay. My reply: “You've got to be kidding me. No thank you.” I never heard from them again.
So now I focus on cyberspace: blogs, virtual tours like this one, meeting new people online usually one at a time. I ask people for Amazon reviews or for permission to quote them when they tell me something nice in an email. If they decline, which no one has done yet, that’s perfectly okay. My email signature reminds people about my blog and my books, costing me nothing. I use Twitter and Facebook sparingly so far. Part of that has been that it’s time-consuming, and part is that it’s hard to strike the right balance. Don’t do it at all, and you’re selling yourself short; do it too much, and you’re seen as crass. As time goes on, I’ll gladly share my experiences with you.
What do the rest of you do to promote your work?
I hope you’ll visit all the great blogs on my tour. Please post a comment for a chance to win an ebook or signed paperback copy of one of my novels. And thanks for visiting!
Thank you Bob!
If you’d like to know more about Bob’s latest book, you can purchase/check out Little Mountain on Amazon.
Before you do that, though, leave a comment and share your ideas for promoting your books.