Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Promotional Angst

I've never written a promotional plan before. Not coming from the world of big business, (unless you call diapers, homeschooling and sippy cups big business)I had never really given promotions much thought. Now, of course, I am. There are several schools of thought out there concerning promotions for writers.

1. Do everything you can. The publishing houses are no longer doing it for you, so you have to be out there on your own, pitching your book, if you want to make a difference in your sales, and as we all know, big sales, is what you're after.

2.You can't make that huge of a difference so just write your next book and make it the best you can. This school of thought stems from not knowing for sure if any of your efforts are making a difference at all, so you should control what you can and make the next book great.

3. Do everything you can and write the next book. I think this is the one I am subscribing to.

I had a chance to talk to Jane Porter and Serena Robar at the Emerald City Conference. Jane is a promotional dynamo. She is personable, well-spoken, and smart. She's also lovely, which I think helps. Serena asked her if she thought book tours help. Jane is in the middle of a grueling book tour and said, yes, she believes it does. But it isn't the signings that make the difference, though Jane is all about making face to face contact with her readers. It's signing stock and making contact with booksellers. She makes sure her media escort(and yes, Jane now rates a media escort)takes her to four or five book stores in every city and she always remembers to send a thank you note after she's home. She also says that signings are much more successful if you can get a media appearance beforehand.

After Jane had to leave, Serena and I talked about the differences in promoting YA as opposed to adult books. It's hard to get young adults to attend an event. (Unless you are JK or Stephanie Meyer)So how can you reach them? Serena told me about the theory of hubs. There are people who know everyone, who have their very competent finger in every pie and still write fabulous books. If you don't have the temperament to be a hub, you want to know hubs. They will help you promote your book. You pay them back by promoting and buying theirs. Who are some hubs in the book world? Jane Porter--hub. Alesia Holiday also comes to mind. Jennifer Cruisie is another one. Though not published as yet(she will be!)Kristen Painter is another one. People who make things happen, know everyone and are genuinely giving of their time and knowledge.

So do you know any writing hubs? And who are the hubs who are specifically YA?


Amanda Ashby said...

Wow, how interesting to hear about hubs. As someone who lives a zillion miles away from where her book is sold, I've given a lot of thought to the whole promotion thing and basically decided to do as much as I can on the net and try not to think about what I can't do (more commonly known as the ostrich approach!!!)

To date I think the most successful thing I did was join a blog tour group and also that I happen to like hanging out on myspace!!! I'll look foward to hearing what sort of things you come up with!!

Kristen Painter said...

I've always wanted to be a hub! Excuse me while I have a warm, fuzzy moment.

= )

Mel Francis said...

Kristen is totally my hub. LOL