Steve Umstead -- with whom I did a podcast once upon a time -- kindly interviewed me about Man of Wax and The Inner Circle. And hey, chance to win free stuff! Speaking of Man of Wax, the book is still getting reviews nearly a year later, this time by the Parents' Little Black Book of Books. The reviewer calls the novel "one of the best 'scary' stories I have read this year" and "great job, I loved it." You can read the rest of the review here.
Ben White is the editor of Nanoism, which I think is one of the best markets for Twitter fiction, and every night he posts a new story via his Twitter account Midnight Stories. Today he and I talk about extremely short stories, both twitter and hint, as well as Craigslist fiction and how Scrubs is the most accurate medical show ever. Enjoy.
Not too long ago a writer friend of mine emailed asking me what kind of marketing and promotion I do for my ebooks. Apparently his own ebooks weren't selling very well at all. This happens, of course, but the majority of his books are published by "real" publishers and yet his ebooks barely make up about a tenth of his overall sales. Anyway, my basic response to what kind of marketing and promotion I do is, well, not much at all. I don't troll message boards (which, in my opinion, is a waste of time as 99% of those message board users are just writers trying to sell you their books) and I don't constantly post links to my ebooks on Twitter and Facebook. Sure, when there's new book available, I'll post a link here on this website and on Twitter and Facebook, but that's about it.
I believe the best marketing and promotion a writer can do is simply to write a really great book which a few readers read and then tell their friends about, who then read the book and then tell their friends, and so on. That's old school marketing and promotion there, folks.
Plus, in addition to having a great book, it helps to have equally great cover art and product description. I myself am very fortunate enough to have several of my books blurbed by very well known writers, which I'm sure definitely helps sales. Because let's be honest here -- your average reader doesn't care who the publisher is. In fact, they probably couldn't name two of the major six publishers if their life depended on it. So if you have a great cover and strong product description, you basically manage to rise to the same level as books published by major publishers, at least on the surface from a reader's perspective.
And, of course, price point plays a major factor. All my novels are currently $2.99, which is the lowest price I can set to start earning 70% royalties. Would I eventually like to raise that price point? You bet. I'd like to try $3.99 and $4.99 (I don't think I would go over five bucks for a novel) but haven't really found the guts to start experimenting yet. Because right now my ebooks are selling pretty decently and I don't want to do anything to jinx it.
Right now I'm selling on average 35 ebooks a day, which comes to just over 1,000 ebooks a month. Are they great numbers? They're certainly not bad, though of course I wish I was selling more. And who knows -- maybe they'll go up, but they're just as likely to go down too (another writer I know was selling a lot of ebooks a few months ago but now they've trickled down to very little, and it's impossible to say why). I don't think so, though. Again, I believe the best marketing and promotion a writer can do is to write a really great book, and I hope to continue doing that. Man of Wax will be released very soon, with the second book scheduled for next spring, then the third book scheduled for next fall. Then, once the trilogy is complete, I plan to package them all together as a one big ebook.
So that's basically what I do for my marketing and promotion. As you can see, I don't really do much. That's not to say I'm not open to trying new things. I've hosted live readings here on my website in the past, and I'll continue to do that from time to time. I've done a blog tour before, and maybe I'll eventually do one again (speaking of which, Jeremy Robinson will be stopping by tomorrow). Would my sales be better if I tweeted links to my books every day? Maybe. But right now I think I'll just keep doing my thing and hoping for the best. Either way, I find I now have more motivation than ever. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.