The shakedown cruise is over — time to head out

Having finally successfully updated my book file on Amazon, and feeling satisfied that I have some good reviews in place (even a couple in the UK), I just spent too much of this lovely weekend holed up with my computer, plotting my publicity campaign.

Last week’s pessimism is gone under control. I got a good scolding/pep talk from a couple of readers (thank you!), but I also find that whenever I get involved in advertising something I tend to get excited about it. (I’m not just talking about my own stuff, either – I’ve been known to get excited about life insurance.)

Fair warning, poor friends: I start hitting up my contacts on Facebook and beyond again this week. You’ll be asked to “like” my static author page and book page (just to make FB even more confusing than it already is with a Sandy and a Sandra). I’ll be mining my scary email contact list (it goes back years and is probably full of dead addresses). I’ll hit up my LinkedIn connections, too.

And I’ll be trying to create an opt-in email list that isn’t just a subscription to the blog, so you can expect something about that.

Since my brother Drew happens to be an experienced videographer, I asked him if he’d like to make a book trailer for me. He is interested, so I wrote up a rough draft of a script for that this weekend and we’ll see what we can come up with to publicize both my book and his video capabilities for the author market.

And I’ll be sending out press releases to every news organization even remotely connected to the novel or to me, and even notifying a few of my old churches.

This whole push is timed to the book going Kindle Select so that I can offer it free for five days at the beginning of September. I’m going to urge folks who get it free to donate whatever they think it’s worth in food or funds to their local food bank or to a virtual campaign I’m setting up for Feeding America. Any subsequent royalties I earn on that title at Kindle during September will go into that campaign, too.

I got a fourth class to teach next semester, so we can do this without financial pain, and I’ve decided that the best way to deal with the horror of publicizing myself is to put the proceeds towards a good cause.

Since part of my publicity campaign involves hitting up some churches or church-related enterprises, I’m glad I still have a PG13 version around, although I expect absolutely nothing from it at this point. On the plus side, it does mean I can go Kindle Select with the adult version and still offer the PG13 version at the other retailers. Unless something changes, though, I won’t be bothering with this strategy on the next book.

Once the semester really gets going, I’ll be too busy teaching to do much more marketing. But my short play “Nude with Bearded Irises” is being performed in October, so that will give me another little shot of local publicity.

I might time another free period or a new short story collection to go out right after Christmas, for another little bump.

And that’s probably it until we start all over again with The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire next summer. We plan to sell the house next spring so we can downsize a bit. Along with getting a book ready to publish and coursework, I think I’ll be busy enough.

That’s the plan, anyway. Do you have any suggestions?

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