Monday, June 22, 2009

Being a Featured Guest on a Reading List.

When victorious generals returned to Rome in a triumphal parade, a slave rode behind the general, holding an olive wreath over his head and whispering: "Remember, thou art but a man."

Last Wednesday, myself and two other writers, Kage Alan and Dorien Grey, were featured guests on Beth Wylde's popular yahoo reading list. The list has over 900 members, all interested in books, and the idea was that they were to pepper us with questions about our books, ourselves, our publisher (we’re all three published by Zumaya Publications). I had followed the back and forth of questions and answers on the list for days ahead of time. There was tons of activity, hundreds and hundreds of people participating. It seemed a marvelous opportunity to get the word out about our work.

We all three signed on bright and early, had reviews and excerpts ready to post. We waited. The silence was deafening. We spent the entire day trying to drum up interest in each others' work. Nothing. We had a total of six other people who made one comment each (and one of those was our pubisher, Liz Burton).

This is nothing against Beth. It was very kind of her to allow us the time.

At one point early on, Liz Burton volunteered to give...that's GIVE...a free pre-publication copy of Dorien’s forthcoming Elliott Smith mystery, Aaron's Wait, for anyone who requested it within a certain limited time. There was one request. One. (Let me say it one more time to savor the humiliation: ONE!) When a writer cannot GIVE a book away on a reading list of 900 people, something is seriously wrong.

Repeat after me: "Remember, thou art but a man."


Enid Wilson said...

What's the topic of this yahoo group? There are just too many variables why a promo don't work. I hope you will analyse and try to learn and share the experience.

Bargain with the Devil

Alexis Grant said...

Ouch! I don't know much about this group, but it sounds like either...

1. It wasn't an easy forum for people to discuss -- some ways of chatting are easier than others. I much prefer real-time chats to ones where I have to respond to a list and keep refreshing it.

2. Wasn't marketed enough?

I'm sure you had interesting things to say, so that probably wasn't the problem! Hopefully we can all learn from this. Thanks for being so honest about the experience.

Vincent Diamond said...

Ouch! Sorry to hear it didn't go as well as you'd hoped. One thing to keep in mind, Beth's group is very much oriented towards romance (het and glbt) as opposed to gay/lesbian books in general. Perhaps it just wasn't the right audience for your team.

However, take heart and keep promo'ing! Best wishes,