Thinking about promotion: what type is truly effective?

18 Apr

After writing the contest series, I have been thinking about whether they are a form of promotion that really works or not—for the author.

In this case, I’m wondering what promotional efforts will gain the writer a new reader. More specifically, to newbie or mid-list authors—not the bigger names, who already have name recognition and a larger promo budget from their publishers.

From reading these posts at Emily Veinglory’s ERECSITE, I have come to see that many mid-list and newer authors wonder how to use their promotion dollars most effectively. What works best? Is it swag? Magnets, postcards, bookmarks, pens, etc. Or is it free content online—book giveaways, excerpts, free short stories? Or is it time spent interacting with readers and potential readers—which is time away from writing, which in turn is money—blogging, chatting, guest blogging, booksignings, etc.?

I know that contests and giveaways work for me—if I get a free book by an author with whose work I’m unfamiliar, I get to try it for ‘free’ (aside from the commitment to write a review). In several cases, that has translated into a new fan for the author and a vocal pimp for their work (you know who you are).

Even when I don’t end up with a free book, by participating in the contest or giveaway, I have been drawn into interacting with the author and her fans, reading more reviews, excerpts, short stories, what have you. Sooner or later I will likely be trying at least one of her books—and again, if I like it, that author has gained a new reader and vocal pimp.

However, I am only one reader, and my experiences and reactions may well be at one end of the curve. Which brings me to the question…

What promotional efforts work for you, the reader? What makes you try a new-to-you author?

I would like to get as many responses as possible, in order to compile a *cough* über-scientifically-controlled *cough* chart tracking the different successful methods of promotion. (Chart or something, I’m not very good with graphics—no need to cackle, Karen, really.) For those lurkers who are shy and don’t want to post, you can reach me at azteclady1 @ gmail dot com (no spaces).

Who knows, it may even help some authors decide where to direct their promotional efforts.

What?

You don’t think I’m all altruistic like that?

I am too.

*grumble*

Okay, okay! I am just very opinionated, and want some anecdotal proof that I’m right and contests rock.

Happy now?

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One Response to “Thinking about promotion: what type is truly effective?”

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  1. Promotional tools question redux « Her Hands, My Hands - 29/05/2012

    […] of you guys may remember that way back when (seven weeks, people!!!) I asked readers to share their perspectives on what types of promotion by new-to-them authors has worked for them, […]

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