Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JSM's Promo Viewpoints

Publicity. Love to receive it, hate to generate it. I was raised in a time and place where ladies did not put themselves forward; it was considered vulgar to work at drawing attention to oneself. Today I know that attitude is archaic, but the lessons learned earliest are learned best.

So – what to do about publicity? I deal with it. When I can afford it, I hire a publicist, and that is wonderful. Things are set up and all I have to do is go in and talk, which I do both at length and extremely well. As an ex-performer, I find TV and radio interviews a breeze, as normal as breathing. Booksignings are almost like holding a party and as hostess I must speak to everyone. As long as I don’t have to set the booksigning up. Calling someone I have never met and telling them I am so wonderful and talented that they have to have me is pure agony.

At booksignings I speak to everyone who comes near and have a smile on my face all the time. I have pens with my name and website on them and use them to sign the books I sell, then give the customer the pen as a gift. Also, I take little gifts – a mug or a small reading light with my name and website on it – for the store/library/wherever liaison who set up the signing, and occasionally for others who are helpful. I hand out personalized coasters of shocking pink to one and all. I have book-related displays and hard candies on the table, but will only give one to a child if his parent is there and says so. It avoids problems and gets the adult within reach of my sales spiel.

The internet is more problematic. When I sell a book I create a PR file with excerpts and set a regular schedule for posting excerpts and pertinent info to a myriad of readers lists, but I rarely join in extended on-line discussions. Quite honestly, I’d rather be writing, Plus, if you do all the internet PR most publishers seem to want you to, you’d never do anything else, including eat, sleep and clean house. I write for several publishers and doing sufficient PR would be an unattainable goal, even if I liked working on the internet, which I really don’t. I even have difficulty keeping my website current. Like I said, I’d rather be writing.

Here’s the commercial – go to my website and take a look. There are excerpts from all my currently published books, and as I write all over the map (mystery, adventure, time travel, traditional Regency, all with a romantic flair) I’m sure you’ll find something you like. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Ginger for this opportunity.

Available at Red Rose Publishing


Ginger Simpson said...

If you don't visit her website for any other reason...go and just enjoy the beauty of it. I didn't want to leave. :)


unwriter said...

Wow, a prolific writer with great experience on promotion,.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the tips, Susan. And like, Ginger, I really like your Web site. And, like you, I really hate all the work that goes into publicity.

J K Maze said...

Your website is beautiful. Also, your promotional style is something to admire and emulate. I've thought of getting a publicist, however, that will have to wait. I also think performing is a good tool. In my past life I was a singer and while my knees didn't like being on the stage, the rest of me did. I'm amassing a large ebook library and yours will be among them.

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