how other authors promote their books

How Do Other Authors Promote Their Books?

I’m always curious about how authors promote their books. And I’m not even talking about one genre in particular. In this regard, because my own personal reading tastes are so eclectic, the ratings and reviews on my goodreads profile swings in all directions. In fact, I’m not fond of reading m/m romance for professional reasons. And that’s not because there aren’t plenty of great m/m romances out there. It’s just that I’d rather read books that aren’t in the genre in which I write because I don’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s work. Right now I’m finishing up the last of three Toni Morrison novels I’ve been reading since New Year’s Day…The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Jazz. All of which are well outside the realm of the m/m romance genre and safe from influencing me.

To be honest, I rarely ever concentrate hard on promoting my own books. I post info about them here in the blog. And I do this mostly so readers have a place to go to get more product description. I read other blogs just like I’ve always read them and often leave comments. If anyone reads the comments I’ve left and discovers my books, it’s purely by accident.

I’m pretty bad when it comes to yahoo groups. I’ve tried getting into them, but I’m usually so busy writing and trying to live a fairly normal life I find it difficult to wade through e-mails in yahoo groups and that don’t seem to have much significance. I’m also part of all the social networks, from Digg to facebook to twitter. However, I’m one of those people who really enjoys the social networks and I post more personal info there than I do book info. I have one of those facebook fan pages, but I haven’t updated it months. I find more enjoyment interacting with facebook friends on my own personal page and the my fan page bores me to death. I’ve always been very social in this regard. I have fun with it.

And I write mostly e-books. All my books can be purchased as print books. But from what I’ve seen and heard from readers, it’s all about the e-books. So I try to make myself as accessible as possible, and answer every single reader e-mail I receive. I’ve done blog talk radio interviews, which I love. I recently blogged with several other m/m authors on Jassewave, and enjoyed that just as much. In essence, I’m usually game for anything, from giving personal online interviews to taking them. When an Italian journalist contacted me last summer to do an interview in print about m/m romance and e-books, I was more than happy to oblige.

But the one thing I do turn down are those author readings, usually in New York. First, I’m not a fan of public speaking at all. I’m a writer, a behind the scenes person and I have no interest in speaking before a group of people, especially reading my own work. I’ve done author book signings, and I love them. I love getting to meet readers in person. But to stand in front of a group of people in some tiny little place in NY and read just isn’t my bag. It’s also an ordeal as well. I live in New Hope, Bucks County, PA, and it takes two hours or longer, with traffic, to get to these readings. It costs upward of one hundred dollars by the time I factor in gas, tolls, parking and food. And this comes out of my own pocket. I have a mortgage and bills just like everyone else…in spite of the fact that book pirates think all authors are making tons of money. And frankly, I think my time could be spent in more productive places, like writing and editing more stories and books. I know there are people who would disagree with me. They love these author readings and they think it helps promote books. For some, it is part of their social life. But if the majority of my readership lives all over the country…the world, in fact…I honestly don’t see how reading an excerpt from one of my books in a small, unheard of bistro in New York is going to help anyone.

If anyone would like to share how they promote…or even share how they feel about the things I’ve mentioned in the above post, please feel free to comment. I encourage anon comments here, and take privacy very seriously. And, if I don’t post a comment right away it’s because it probably went to spam and I didn’t notice it.