Thursday, March 26, 2015

I never imagined this ...

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau

 I've always been a writer. I write professionally (technical documentation), I have 2 degrees in English (Masters Thesis), 2 in Information Theory (Masters Thesis), and a degree in Horticulture (final project: landscape maintenance handbook for homeowners).

In 2004 I decided I wanted to learn how to write fiction. I always wrote fiction, but badly. I decided to learn to Write Good. Long story short, in 2007, three of my books were published and here I am today, 25 books later.

One part of the Writing Life I never imagined was the promotional aspects. I guess I figured I'd have books published, people would discover them and everybody would be happy. I didn't count on the constant need to sell myself and my books. When you're with a small publisher, you don't have large distribution (i.e., in every bookstore in the country), so you need to lead people to your books rather than let your books be found.

I've tried various promotional activities over the year. This year is the Year of Good Reads. I'm a member there but haven't done much with it. This year I'm dabbling in giveaway (details below) as well as a few other activities. Will it affect my sales? No idea. It's hard to track what helps sales because royalty reports trickle in so slowly. But if I see a bump in sales next year, I think I can safely assume it's because of GR.

My first giveaway is up now. Check it out right here. I timed it to coincide with spring because, hey, this is the first book in my Deadly Landscaping trilogy, and in spring a person's thoughts turn to gardening (and, in my case, murder). Feel free to share the link, share the info, share it all -- the more the merrier. Good Reads will choose the winners and I'll send 'em a book.

I'll report back later if I see a bump in sales -- stay tuned!


Margo Hoornstra said...

Sounds like once you set your mind to something, JL, it's just simply a done deal. Best of luck with your latest efforts. Book promotion, it is a fickle beast.

Jannine Gallant said...

Hard to know what actually helps with sales. My pub did a Goodreads giveaway earlier this month, before my book releases on March 31. But, they also put it up on NetGalley at the same time. The result on Goodreads as of today is 25 reviews and almost 350 "want to reads" and it still isn't out yet. We'll see if those turn into sales. My guess is the giveaway garnered the "want to reads" and the NetGalley the reviews. Just thought I'd share my results. Wishing you luck with your giveaway!