Had I gone the route of legacy publishing, I would be facing the same issues and challenges when it comes to marketing. From what I have read and heard, if your novel does not gain immediate traction, publishers are quick to abandon you and move onto the next big thing. What happens to your novel is up to you.
Otherwise, six months later your baby is on the discount table at Barnes & Noble.
But I am seeing some glimmers in my marketing efforts.
When I was still waiting for the paperback of Rules for Giving to become available on Amazon, I ran into a former teacher of the teenager in my house. I told her about my novel and gave her a handful of bookmarks. Then last week that same teacher, who is not a Facebook friend of mine (I think friending your kid’s teachers is kinda weird), appeared in a Facebook conversation about my novel. She’d stumbled upon it through a friend of a friend on the social media platform. Now she’d had two impressions of my novel, both favorable. (I also broke my personal code and friended her on Facebook.)
The second glimmer was a few days ago when I received an email from a casual friend who does very little social media. Nevertheless, she heard about the novel from her morning walk partner.
Two instances of word-of-mouth about my novel, and that’s a powerful marketing vehicle.
I’m also beginning to see some people that are influentials—influentials are people who influence the decisions of others. According to the Book, The Influentials, by Ed Keller and Jon Berry: One American in ten tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat, and what to buy.
When you first hear that it takes you back, but think about it. It’s probably true.
Think of your workplace, church or the soccer fields where your kids play. Chances are that in one of those venues, there is a person I call the movie maven. They see all the latest movies, read the reviews, watch the websites. When you are trying to select a movie, you often rely on their advice.
If you are in the market for a new car, however, chances are that you will rely on a different person, quite possibly in the same networks—workplace, church or soccer field—to make that decision.
That’s a rule about influentials: even though their opinions are valued, they are seldom experts in more than one field.
My job is to get Rules for Giving in the hands of literary influentials – librarians, book bloggers, reading groups – the folks who tell other folks what to read.
I have some phone calls to make and emails to send. See ya’ later.