Sunday, July 6, 2008

To Bookmark or Not to Bookmark


What another fabulous weekend! We had perfect weather here in the Midwest for our annual Fourth of July Party. My husband and I hosted about 50 people in our backyard for one of the best Fourths we've had in a while.

Saturday I headed over to Frontier Days and checked in with Morgan, Margot, and June, who were set up in a cozy tent autographing copies of their books. (Next year I'll get to join them!) I read June's ORDINARY ME on the front porch on Saturday, a read I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't picked it up yet. Today I started Margot's A HOTEL IN PARIS.

Holiday and weather-wise it's been a great weekend.

Promotion-wise, I am experiencing a little bit of confusion. There are so many ways to go out there. How do I get my name out? Is there a best way? My writers' group and friends here at Acme have given me some great advice, but how do I know what works best for me? Do I try them all? How do I measure return?

My biggest dilemma right now is do I do the bookmark thing or don't I? I've gotten various opinions for both sides of the argument, so I'm still stuck in the middle. For a writer, bookmarks seem to be the most logical way to go, after all, I'm trying to sell a book. But it seems that a lot of the time I'll be handing out a bookmark with the book. Which is nice (I always like having a matching bookmark in the books I buy), but doesn't make sense then from a promotional point of view.

Perhaps postcards or business cards that can be tacked onto grocery store, library, YMCA, etc. bulletin boards are the way to go. I simply don't know.

In other promotion areas, I've created an author page on Manic Readers (check them out through the link on my website if you get a chance), and have a list of dozens of other places to do the same.

All of this is a little overwhelming, I've got to say. There's been talk on one of the loops I belong to about how to balance all of this. How much time should authors spend on promotion versus writing/editing? We need to write to produce a product to promote so that it will sell and people will want more of our work, but if we spend so much time on promotion, where's the time to write? It's a dilemma we all face. I tend to get caught up in trying to figure out the business side of things, and neglect the writing portion.

Promotion can get quite expensive, too.

I am grateful for friends and colleagues who have experienced this already and have offered much needed advice. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, also has fabulous resources in regards to all of this, which is wonderful. If anyone out there has any advice, I'd love to hear it as well. I need all the help I can get. (Especially creative and unique ways to promote...after all, I want to stand out from the crowd!)

Then the chore will be to sort through it all and figure out what I want to do.

I'm sure I'll muddle through.

Until next time (I'll be out of town next weekend, so look for another post the following week)...Happy Reading!


by Debra St. John
coming this summer from The Wild Rose Press
electronic release July 30, 2008
print release August 29, 2008

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