A couple of years ago, I naively believed an author’s only job was to write stories. The lucky few who hit the big time could add interviews and appearances to the job description. Turns out, I was wrong.
There’s more — a lot more.
Promotion is a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and expensive part of the job I’ve frankly neglected. The bang for the promotional buck is directly related to the number of books I have on the market. When Until Thanksgiving came out, the payoff for any promo was one book per reader. With each release, new readers have more books to buy. For the upcoming release of my third novel, I wanted to step up my game.
It’s not about the money. My retirement is already funded — royalties are just icing on the cake. Sure, I’d like to at least earn back what I spend to make people aware of my books through my web site, promotional materials, conferences, and the such. But mostly, I just want readers to enjoy my stories.
The multi-talented Charlie Cochet, goddess of m-m romance and a marketing genius, has patiently shown me the way. She’s rescued me a thousand times after I messed up my web site and couldn’t figure out how to make it work. She’s also pointed out the limitations of my setup, encouraged me to move to my own host, and shown me the value of developing a brand. I’m forever in her debt.
Even with great help from Charlie and others, figuring out all this promotion stuff has taken me a while. My third novel clarified who I am as a writer — for me as much as for readers. The release of Happy Independence Day and my first short story required massive changes to my web site anyway, and was a good opportunity spruce up my web site with a new design.
Thanks a million to Sam at AngstyG for the beautiful design and the smooth transition. I have a hard time visualizing things. With no idea what I wanted, I sent her links to web sites I really liked with a note or two about what appealed to me, and did the same for sites I either liked something about or didn’t like at all. I loved her first mockup immediately, but given my experience with a certain cover, asked Charlie and a few of my closest friends for feedback, which I forwarded back to Sam.
The web sites I most liked, in addition to a clean and attractive design, featured elements the writer could use elsewhere. The mustache and goatee and other aspects of Sam’s design will look great on promotional items. Maybe I’ll even figure out how to create something interesting all by myself.
Take a look around my new digs and make yourself at home. Tell me what you think! I’m always glad to hear from fans of…
The Crotchety Old Man