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Promo is kicking my butt. Last week I took part in the Spring Showers Promo, guest blogged on THREE blogs and joined three more promo loops (wherein I have NO idea what I'm doing.) I came home Friday to over 400 emails! I went digest on Samhain Cafe, but still get at least one digest an hour. I can't even read them all, much less dive in and promote myself! And next week is already time to do my newsletter again.

How do you published authors balance promo and writing? Do you EVER get away from the computer?

I finished watching all my SPN episodes, and I want to get to at least 2000 words today before work.



Marianne Arkins said...

I sincerely believe that promotion is the worst part of being published. **sigh**

I was completely burned out by the time I finished my month-long tour for "One Love for Liv".

Anonymous said...

Mar, your story was mine when my first book came out, as I said in another post here on your blog. Promo hell. I finally sat down and figured out the promotions that would connect me to the greatest number of people that would be interested in paranormal romantic mystery, and I focused on those. If we promo full time, that means we no longer write full time. I do promo on Mondays now, and only on Mondays. Maybe this isn't the answer, but it is the one for me.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Promo STINKS. Big time. I feel a little overwhelmed sometimes at the amount of e-mails, too. But there are days when I HAVE to step away from the computer and write before I have nothing else to promote. LOL!

KATZ said...

Sounds insane, Mary! I've always thought that would be the hardest part...

Amie Stuart said...

Do what you can and most importantly, keep putting out good books in a timely manner. Ohhh and we're talking burnout at SFC today!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

After I sold my first book, I spent six months not writing while I did production and promotion stuff.

I've worked up a better balance, but I've also found that the longer I've been published, the less effective everything is. Not because my writing sucks worse with each book (I hope!!!) but because the competition for eyeballs (and $$) gets bigger and bigger.

So I've eliminated things that don't work--contests, chats, e-mail loops, excessive blogging, to name a few--and done only what does--unfortunately, writing gay sex. LOL JK. No, I'm not. Okay, half. I don't write gay sex. But that's all that seems to sell.

Yes, I'm a complete cynic.

Anonymous said...

Natalie said:
So I've eliminated things that don't work--contests, chats, e-mail loops, excessive blogging, to name a few-

Yup. Contests didn't result in sales. Nor chats, nor having my own email loop. I maintain my own website, and I participate in days when my publisher is guest at sites like Loves Romances, etc. I've done interviews that I've later used as promos, and I've always always always used good reviews as promos. A good review, passed around to reading eyes, is worth its weight in gold, if you ask me. And Mar, you have them. Make sure people see them.


dawn said...

mary, keep a little of you back to refuel the rest of you.

balance, schmalance. that is the eternal struggle.

Marianne Arkins said...

Contests may not result in sales per se... BUT... they do drive traffic to your website and blog. I've picked up several daily readers because of my contests, and more than one of them now buy what I release AND they talk about them on their blogs.

Sure, you'll get your contest whores, but if I pick up only two faithful readers for every contest I run, I count it as a success. And I'll continue to run contests with every release.

Chat loops? Not much worth the time, IMHO. I do post excerpts anywhere I can, but those are hit and run and don't take a lot of time.

I don't believe there is any one perfect way.

Good luck!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I don't believe there is any one perfect way.

You're absolutely right. And I only say contests don't work because they don't work for ME--I can't get people to enter them! LOL

However, I do use The Romance Studio and their Book-a-Day Giveaway to collect names for my newsletter.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ack. My head is spinning with promo stuff too, Mary. And I still have nine months until my release! Ay ya ya...

(Gonna be watching you carefully between now and then...)

Anonymous said...

HUGS Mary. I'm listening to this great success podcast right now and the coach on there says keep your eyes on what you want. If it doesn't help you get where you want, then cut it out. Remember, it's all about the story.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to imply that my opinion was the only valid one, re contests! I was only sharing my own experience with them.

What I've settled on doing has worked for me. Mar, I hope you find what works best for you.


MJFredrick said...

Boy, did I come to the right place for this one! Marianne, I'm with you - but I can relax now. I don't have anything other than an ad and a newsletter coming up for a month. I think what hurt is that both books came out so close to each other. Now I have some room to breathe.

JoAnn, I like the idea of only doing promo ONE day a week. I could do that.

Jennifer, yes! The loops are insane. I don't see how anyone can keep up with them! It helps me a bit that I can't reply because my pen name email can't send, can only receive until my dh takes time to see why. Otherwise, I might jump in, then feel guilty for not getting back to someone!

Sarah, I don't know if it's the HARDEST part, but it's certainly an added stress. I hope if I have more books come out, none of them come out in TAKS season!

Amie, I know...I don't even have anything else with Samhain. This is bugging me. I need to get on some revisions. If I get something to her by summer, maybe I can have another book in early 2009.

Natalie, SIX MONTHS???? HOLY COW!!! My head would explode from not writing! And I know what you mean about the gay sex. I don't get it, but....

JoAnn, I need to learn how to participate in publisher stuff. I am such a nube I don't want to just jump in, so I'm trying to see how others do it (always my MO on loops). Any hints?

Dawn, I'm time for me yet! But whenever you're ready, I've got the wine!

Marianne, I did get a good list of names from The Romance Studios giveaways of my books - over 150 in the two days. I need to publicize my contest, I guess.

Natalie, thanks for telling me about Romance Studio! I joined as soon as I knew when Smoke was coming out!

Elisabeth, you'll do fine. And with the three books coming out close together, won't your pub give you a good boost? I'll be interested to see the difference in promoting a print book and an e-book.

Mary Beth, if only I knew what was working!! ;) I'll find my way! And I'll start writing romance again today!!!

JoAnn, your experience was what I wanted to hear! Thanks!


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
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Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
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Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
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Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
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