I know a lot of you who read and comment here have blogs – I see the links for the wordpress ones whenever you interact with my stuff. (WordPress would like me to stalk all of you.) Others of you are places wordpress prefers to pretend don’t exist, on tumblr and blogspot and the such. And if you aren’t a blogger, I’m prepared to bet you have friends who are, or blogs you like, so, no slinking off just yet, this could still be relevant!
As you may be aware, one of the things I do is write Pagan books for www.moon-books.net . Last year I started looking after the blog http://moon-books.net/blogs/moonbooks/ (and if you have community related content then talk to me, if I can use that space to support the Pagan community, I will). In the last couple of weeks, I also took on doing book promotion for Pagan authors there.
It would be fair to say that the selling of books is an arcane mystery which no one truly understands. You need a good book, but terrible books sell all too well and all too often. Good reviews and endorsements seem like a good idea, but do they sell books? Who knows? Word of mouth advertising sells books, that’s known, but how you achieve grass roots support for a book remains a guessing game. Some kind of magic happens, away on the ether. To be a marketing person is to practice a very obscure kind of magic, most days. Love, will, belief, and influencing the opinions of others are all part of it.
Like many authors, I actually find the language of marketing profoundly uncomfortable. Terms like ‘unique selling point’ leave me cold and twitching. I prefer to think in terms of good relationships, good karma, good reputation and having a good piece of work. Mostly, this seems to work. And when it doesn’t quite work, it’s still good, because you come away with good relationships a good reputation, good work and your good actions having created some good will in your favour. It might not sell this book, but perhaps it will sell the next one. I note that many successful pagan authors are also kind and generous people, and support flows back to them as a direct consequence.
Half the challenge is getting things started. You need the first handful of people to fall in love with a book and tell a friend. You need a few intrepid readers willing to have a go at something new and open to being persuaded by it. The question is, might that be you? Might you be open to reading work from unfamiliar authors and posting reviews? Might you post a shoutout on your blog for someone whose work you love? There’s free ebooks in it, and maybe the odd free print book, and a lot of appreciation, and the kind of good karma that gets results in this lifetime.
If this appeals to you, leave your blogsite link in the comments and a word or two about areas of interest if you have a particular focus. I can pick up your email address from that and add you to a mailing list, and every now and then I’ll be in your inbox, waving a thing I really hope you’re going to fall in love with.