Wednesday afternoon, I went over to visit my friend Kim Harrison for a little advice. She’s a bestselling writer of urban fantasy and wise in the ways of self-promotion, and I knew she’d be able to help me out. My husband and I had been talking about giveaways for my upcoming book signings. He wanted to order a somewhat expensive item, printed with my promotional information, to give away. But the cost was so high that I started digging my heels in – it’s not that I don’t love everyone who’ll come and buy a book, but if it’s between presents for y’all and a mortgage payment, I guess you know who wins.
I trooped over to Kim’s house for tea and advice. She very graciously pulled out all her old and new promotional items for me to see, and we talked about cost benefits and do-it-yourself options. She shared her thoughts on what worked and what didn’t, and why. Slowly and surely I started getting a better handle on what to do. I left there with a peaceful mind and a plan.
When I first began writing, it never occurred to me that I’d need to do much more than write the book and maybe have a few signings. It’s a book, and it sells itself, right? Alas, no. There are an awful lot of books on the shelves, and if I want mine to stand out, I have to help it along. I hit the jackpot with my cover art (Shelly Wan is a goddess!) so that was a plus. And I happen to be a rather gregarious sort, so talking to people won’t be a problem at all. (Getting me to hush is going to be tougher.) But an extra little sursey (that’s Southern for “surprise”) never hurts. The trick is to avoid bankrupting yourself to do it.
What’s that? What did I decide to give away? Aw, you’ll just have to come to a signing and find out!