It’s a Hunter S. Thompson saying, one of his best: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
I think about that a lot these days in the bizarre land of promo. There are people who go to college, study hard and spend their entire lives trying to figure out just what exactly will catch the consumer’s interest. Here I am trying to figure it out on instinct and…weirdness. There’s a point to this, never fear.
One thing I’ve found doing promo for my books is that the author who does self-promo has to find some way to stand out, some unique approach, item, look, feel or offering. (No, not virgin offerings, please, let’s not step over the line here.) For instance, I have two not-so-run-of-the-mill blogs: Erotic Spice and Writer’s Habitat. The first is a free series of erotic stories, a soap opera with my novella Aftermath as the springboard. The characters reappear, develop, grow, more characters are added, and so on. Fun, steamy, and free - people like free. The second is for young and just-starting-out writers who need some help with the basics, a how-to blog on topics ranging from dialogue punctuation to synopsis writing.
Do all the usual things people insist on – the social network sites, the forums and loops, the website, the contests, but make sure you stand out and always be on the lookout for that little bit extra. Such as:
• Prowl around for free advertising. Some review sites give reviewers the option to trade reviews for ad space. Some sites will hold contests of their own for various reasons. Some have ad space available for peanuts (OK, no, don’t try and buy an ad with legumes, use a credit card, but you know what I mean.)
• Find something unique to offer your readers. Something fun or educational, something they’ll remember you for.
• When you send out your excerpts, promos, contests, don’t be afraid to be a little flashy and shout a bit. It’s promo. It’s OK.
• Grab up those opportunities others might chicken out on. Go on an online radio show. Do a library reading. Do some guerilla promo (leaving business cards in various places, e.g.)
Most of all, be you, your quirky, unique author self. We write, therefore our brains are a little warped. Use it to your advantage.
If you’re interested in my writing, I live over at Red Rose Publishing these days. Finn, just released in July, is on sale now. Finn’s Christmas is due in December; Lioness on the Knife and the much anticipated re-release of Aftermath should be next year as well as my SF series, “Anchorage” written under Sandra C. Stixrude.
Come visit my website! Happy Promo! ~Angel