The top ten things I’ve learned promoting a first novel as a new author:
1. Google AdWords moves like a near-frozen tree sloth dipped in tar, but when that big machine does get going, it’s pretty sweet. Sells copies and tracks results with amazingly high resolution. Facebook Ads, too.
2. Book trailers – an utterly alien concept to me ten days ago – are fun to make, generate a ton of email to me, and sell books. Who knew.
3. I’ve been grateful to some people on Facebook who have gone out of their way to lend a hand to this effort. I can’t do it alone. Thanks. You know who you are.
4. I’ve had a lot of personal relationships transformed in the past month. Most for the better; thanks. A few for the worse; sorry – puzzled there. Not sure what’s gone wrong. (Checks sales figures). It sure as hell isn’t newfound celebrity.
5. Books sell on Thursday (a few), Friday (some), Saturday (more), and Sunday (most). Tuesday and Wednesday bring a smattering of occasional interest. Monday, in particular, is a black hole of literary interest.
6. Put enough different stock photos into Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, and the public will tell you what Sabine looks like. For instance…
7 …judging by book sales linked to particular ads, Sabine is not blonde. Definitively. I hear you loud and clear on this one. Glad I didn’t commit in Reswyt.
8. It’s amazing what can happen when you call up a band’s management and say, “I have nothing to offer you to license a song, but I wrote big sections of this book to your stuff, and I want it in a trailer. I solemnly swear I will promote the hell out of your album, and should Hollywood ever option the thing, you’ll own the soundtrack.” Choke the Word, you are fantastic human beings and artists. Go buy their album, Enjoy the Parade. Do it now.
9. I feel better talking to other first-time novelists who went with traditional publishers, most of whom have told me they’re doing all the same grassroots brand-building I am, just for less per copy sold.
10. When a reviewer tells you to expect a response in x number of (insert unit of time here), just move that up to the next largest unit of time; day->week, week->month, etc.