Thursday, March 19, 2015

Free Book, and Promo-Itis

Zestful Blog Post #97

Hey, so we’re caught up on my publishing chronology, although I've not nearly exhausted every marvelous/entertaining/shocking anecdote. I’m sure I’ll unleash more in the future. Especially, I believe I've not yet shared my inspiration to write Left Field, which involved a particular public conversation in Los Angeles. I think I’ll write that next week. For now, I promised to let you know how that title is doing.

I published the book about ten weeks ago. It took off nicely, hovering around #1 on Amazon’s GLBT Mystery & Detective novel list, and appearing on Amazon’s ‘Hot New Releases’ list. It has since dropped back, awaiting more promo / marketing.

Initially, I put the word out via my web site, this blog, my Newschat list, Facebook and Twitter, and did a Kindle Countdown deal a few weeks in. I've done miscellaneous other promo—sending copies to reviewers and other professional connections, announcing the book on a few Yahoo groups, and doing that Google+ Hangout with Cocktail Hour last month. The biggest bump in sales happened the day I sent out the Newschat.

Yet to happen are possibly some free-promo days on Kindle, as well as some giveaways on different web sites, and other more targeted promos. Will talk about those as they happen.

But let the first giveaway be right here, to my faithful blog chums!

If you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered. What if you can’t leave a comment because Chrome or some other browser is giving you a hard time? Try either coming here via Internet Explorer, or shoot me an email via my web site: (select ‘contact’ from the top line). Just say in the email you’re entering the Zestful blog giveaway, and then put in any other loving words you might wish to share.

Everybody who enters will be assigned a number, and just before posting next week's blog, I’ll use a random number generator ( to select two winners. If you win, I’ll ask for your email address, and whether you’d prefer your copy to be for the Kindle application (Mobi) or the BN one (Epub), or regular old pdf. If you already have a copy, you can give your prize to someone else—I’ll just need their email addy and preference. You need not be present to win.

Other notes: Left Field’s release boosted the sales of all my other titles, which is what every multi-book author lives for. When you see a big spike in sales from a new title, you get new-title fever, and all you want to do is put out your next, and your next, as fast as you can. But of course one must also consider what one wants on one’s tombstone:


[photo by ES]

Needless to say, the bitch wants both. But one’s time is a zero-sum game. Every hour you spend on promo work is an hour away from 1) your writing, 2) your reading, and 3) gaining fresh life experience. (Which is, like, supposed to fuel your art, right?)

A balance must be struck.

I feel proud of my work, but I know I’m far behind the leaders when it comes to marketing and promo. My background in the corporate world has proved to be mostly irrelevant, because everything is different and constantly changing in this digital age. I learned in-store marketing techniques (that is, physical placement, etc.), I learned about paid advertising, and about doing in-person appearances. Some of that has helped me, but mostly I’m learning on the fly like everybody else.

Next week I’ll talk about my not-always-smooth relationship with promo, and will share that story about the genesis of Left Field.

Leave a comment and enter to win! I'd love to hear any questions you might have, or suggestions for future topics.

What do you think? To post, click below where it says, 'No Comments,' or '2 Comments,' or whatever.

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  1. I would LOVE to win a copy of your book! Years ago I had the first four books of the Lillian Byrd series. I don't normally love mysteries, but these I adored. Then I moved to Canada to marry my wife, and I had to leave the books behind. But now I have an ereader and have been slowly re-collecting your books. And I've introduced my wife to them as well!

    I was so happy to find your blog after all of this time, so now I can keep abreast of anything new coming out!

    1. Fabulous, Carry. Thanks so much for the compliments!

  2. She wrote great books. The rest of it is you know freaking what. (Don't even be going there!)

  3. I want one! I have the paperback but I want a version for my Kindle. Count me in. You can autograph my iPad. You didn't say family and employees were not allowed to enter. Nice blog. A very honest appraisal of how promo affects an author!


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