This week, I read JA Konrath’s blog about how to generate e-book sales. The blog was in response to a question he’s often asked: “How do I make sure I sell lots of e-books”? As you might imagine, there is no magic bullet. No one really knows why some books sell well while others, beautifully written and produced, languish. Konrath offers excellent tips about what works and doesn’t work for him, but what struck me was how much effort he’s put into promoting his work.
He states that most of his job isn’t spent writing, but promoting. He works, on average, 60 hours a week and, while he makes it clear this doesn’t guarantee bestseller status, it does create sales. He used to spend a great deal of time making appearances, having visited over 1,200 bookstores, traveled 40 states, and met with countless librarians, fans, and booksellers. He did a mass mailing to 7,000 libraries, and compiled a mailing list of 10,000 names, as well as attended scores of conventions, conferences, and book fairs. He goes onto say that he doesn’t do appearances anymore because they’re neither time or cost efficient.
After reading his blog, I felt like a lazy slug, and I work at my writing seven days a week. Because I’m trying to be more prolific, I spend more time writing than promoting. Maybe when I have 40 books to my credit like Konrath does, I’ll work more on promoting. Right now, I average 35 hours a week toward writing/promotion, and that’s working everyday of the week. I could probably put in longer days, but it would mean giving up family time, and family is too important to me.
Still, Konrath’s staggering promotional efforts made me take a closer look at my own. I keep records of all the conferences, signings, and fairs that I participate in. To my chagrin, I realized that I’ve only attended 65 events since 1987, and half of those in the last three years. It’s pretty obvious where I need to step up my efforts.
By the way, one of the promotional things Konrath endorses is guest blogging, and I wrote my first one this week on Amy Corwin’s wonderful blog: Fiction Writing and other Oddities. I wrote about the job research I did for The Opposite of Dark. It was a pleasure to write and I was grateful for the opportunity. It looks like I’ll be searching for more opportunities. The blog can be found at: http://amycorwin.blogspot.com/2011/05/guest-blog-debra-purdy-kong.html
JA Konrath’s blog is at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-works-promo-for-ebooks.html
THE OPPOSITE OF DARK, http://bit.ly/i983XE, book trailer http://youtu.be/ojgoDKSW_ck
FATAL ENCRYPTION, http://tinyurl.com/ddzsxl
TAXED TO DEATH, http://tinyurl.com/czsy5n