"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
How rigid is rigid? How can anyone have a ‘rigid’ schedule of book signings?
Answer: Our current marketing scheme consist of heavy internet marketing, mass emails about upcoming books, a rigid schedule of book signings, obtaining reviews, and forwarding catalogs to book stores. .
Judging from both the contents of Mr. Bare Nudie’s recent email to his authors and the above quote from his website, it’s clear that the bulk of his promotions are on the back of the authors. Book signings appear to be the main form of promotion.
Back when the Moms and Pops stores predominated book sales, signings were easier to come by.
Large chains like Barnes and Nobles have made those independent bookstores an endangered species.
When I was living in Burbank, California, not far from Disney Studios, we had a street that I often thought of as bookstore row. There were nine bookstores within walking distance of our home. Sovay and I used to poke around in them. Well, I did. She was too little to really appreciate them, but they were one of our main stops on our daily walks. Then a Walden’s went in and one by one the little stores died.
With the bulk of purchasing for the chain stores centralized, store managers have only a limited amount of freedom when it comes to what is carried on their shelves. With the rising price of gas and the dwindling number of locations for signings, the author is effectively crippled when it comes to promoting through book signings.
Now, another aspect of Bare Nudie’s marketing scheme that bothers me is the ‘mass emailings.’ It sounds like spam. Who are these mass emailings going to?
One emailing tool that continues to work is press releases. But for press releases to work, they need to be targeted and written properly. Contact must be made with the sites that are going to get them. Don’t send them out unless you have touched base with the site owners and mods first.
There is only so much that an author can do on their own to promote their books. Even with a small press, more can be done by the publisher than by the author. That is, if the publisher does his homework.
For instance, there are many UK sites that will only post information/news about British authors. They are very focused upon promoting the works of their countrymen.
There are sites that will only promote the work of women.
There are sites that will only promote specific genres.
Book Reviews? Sites that will review from a pdf are in the minority. How much money are you willing to put into sending around print copies on the off chance that you might get a review, Mr. Bare Nudie?
Just because you send out review copies is no guarantee that you will get a review. And when you do get a review, there is no way to ensure that the review will be a good one. Those things are very subjective.
‘Forwarding catalogs’ to bookstores? Again, you come up against the limiting selection allowed to managers. These are no longer the days of the Moms and Pops. You need to have a rep get in touch with the central buyers. Preferably in person.
The days of the Jobbers, who picked up cases of books they knew would sell in their area, are long past. They have been replaced by computers. In the old days, the Jobbers provided books to the local supermarkets and drugstores. Now we have big chains of those, instead of local indies. Guess what?
Space is limited and books are plentiful.
Your authors are not lazy, Mr. Bare Nudie, they are hobbled by circumstances that did not exist thirty years ago.
Wake up and smell the ammonia. You’ve pissed yourself again.