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Monday, July 15, 2013

Self promo...


I often wonder if self-promo works...

Once upon a time, I was a gung-ho blogger...I posted daily and commented constantly on other people's blogs. I set up a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and I got into Goodreads and Shelfari...hoping to gain more visibility. We have all done that. 

I joined with other authors in group blogs...and I truly enjoy these social things. But I have also realized something very important. How much of this supreme effort is totally wasted?

The audience we all seek is an audience composed mostly of readers. Now, other authors sometimes do read our books, but most often they do not. They are too busy working on their own books to have the time to do that. I genuinely do appreciate it when other authors comment on my posts, and tell me that they love my books...but have my author friends actually read my books, or only the excerpts and blurbs that I leave? Are they simply being kind, and helping me to promote my books, or did they truly enjoy reading that book?

Now I am an oddball...because I DO buy and read my friends' books. I love reading stories that send me to different places and times. I adore seeing how romance is spun out between characters that I did not create. In fact, in the past six months, I have purchased and read over 50 books written by others.

Now here is the big question...how many of the members of this blog are actually readers, reviewers, (and authors who read other authors' books)? How many of us have seen the blurbs, excerpts, and other promo, and thought "Wow. I have GOT to have that book!"?  In the last week, how many of us have bought and read books by other authors because they blogged an excerpt?

I do...constantly. So those who blog do know that at least one author certainly does buy their books. LOL! 

How many of you see an increase in your book sales when you blog? After a chat? Of course, chatting is fun, but it IS a sales tool. I'm not sure how many of you purchase ad space on the big review sites...I spent some money on that a couple of years back, but saw little effect on sales. Why? Because most of the people who go to those sites are...authors. Not readers.

I genuinely believe that what sells books is the cover...that and the blurb. AND the title, of course.  The most evocative covers have sold the most books for me. 

That may seem terribly superficial...but when we enter a web page with dozens of books vying for our attention...or walk down an aisle loaded to groaning with paperbacks...most of us look at the cover...them check the blurbs and excerpts. 

I can only pray that my newest book will be blessed by the cover goddess with an exceptional, delicious cover that will drag the eyes...and then the hands to it. 

Tell me which of these covers attracted you the most...then tell me why...

Thanks...

Fran Lee

9 comments:

Katalina Leon said...

Fran, I love all your book covers but the expression on Lee Blackhorse's face on "Nothing But Sex" is so "Ah" It's a favorite of mine. It's a great book too!

Melissa Keir said...

Hi Fran,
I'm another huge book buyer. I have so many on my kindle and in piles to read. I buy from other author friends because before I was an author, I was a reader. Reading helps me keep myself fresh. I also post reviews to help my author friends.

Of your covers, they are beautiful. Jillian's Job is my favorite of the bunch.

Amber Skyze said...

I've been buying mostly books of my friends and fellow authors. I do buy other authors and usually because I've seen their book on a friends blog.

Molly Daniels said...

Ditto:) I wasn't able to buy books for nearly 3 years, but kept adding to my TBB list whenever I'd attend a chat or saw an author friend had another release. I try to mix it up now and then by buying a more current book instead of one that's been on the list since 2010, lol! I just view it as 'spreading the wealth around', since maybe a certain author's back list hasn't garnered any sales lately.

I happen to love the cover of Jillian's Job....probably because it's my favorite of your stories:)

Marianne Stephens said...

Everything you said is something we all think about. I stopped doing chats because I didn't feel as if it helped with sales. I blog, but having books published is the way to keep you name "out" and visible to readers.

Her Own Set of Rules caught my attention: I like the "pull off that towel" idea that pops into the viewer's head!

Cris Anson said...

I too wonder how much impact all the socializing and advertising on various media has. I haven’t seen any correlation between specific blogs or interviews compared to sales. Yet I feel I must do it if only for name recognition.

As to buying books, this author supports her fellow authors. I have dozens on my Nook and a list of more that I want to buy next. I am always, always reading erotic romance. My purchases are influenced by everything: the blurb, the excerpt, the author, the cover.

Speaking of covers, I’m torn between Jillian’s Job (he just slammed her against the windowsill—yes!) and Nothing but Sex (she’s sitting on his lap and has him under her control—yes!). Decisions, decisions…

Looking for many more stories from you, Fran. You’re one of my fave authors.

Paris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paris said...

Hi Fran!
Believe it or not, it's usually the title that attracts me but the cover is definitely a big part of the package.

I spend so much time writing these days that I admit I don't get to the blogs or chats as much as I used to. Love your covers!

Fran Lee said...

Thanks for your wonderful comments. And yep, Jillian's Job is my all time best seller. Many have commented on the "hot" cover. Something about that delicious guy having her trapped up against the glass, and the euphoric look on her face. So evocative....

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