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How much is too much?


So my next book, Spider's Bite, comes out Jan. 26. And, of course, I'm doing tons of promotion for it -- guest blogs, interviews, giveaways, etc. But I have to wonder -- how much is too much?

At last count, I had about 15 blogs/interviews lined up with a couple more still in the works. Is there a point where readers get tired of seeing the same author promoting the same book? I try to make each and every blog/interview as unique and interesting as possible, but things like the book synopsis/description aren't going to change that much from post to post. So what's the point at which people get tired of hearing about it? Five posts? Ten? Twenty? I know I hate seeing the same commercials on TV over and over again, especially the ones were the sound gets cranked up to new levels.

Then, there's the time factor. Now, I really enjoy guest blogging because it lets me interact with new folks. But coming up with posts and doing interview questions does take up some of my writing time. Is that trade-off in time worth getting the word out about my book? Does it even work?

The answer is that I don't know. But as long as I'm having fun with it, I think that's the only thing that really matters.

What about you guys? How much promo do you do with a new release? And for you readers out there, when do you get tired of hearing about a specific book/author?

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
apocalypsegrrl
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Actually, the number 1 way I hear about new books is either through friends - or from the local library. Money being tight, I can't really go and buy every new book that looks interesting. But my library actually keeps decently current with its fiction and the new arrivals section is always the first place I go. Then if I totally fall in love with the book, I'll get a copy for myself.

I like to blog, but I really don't read a huge number of the guest posts/ blogs/ interviews/ etc. Though, seeing the same name pop up will likely get me curious.

Though, I will have to say that I've gotten my best book "suggestions" from right here on fangs_fur_fey. :)
mizkit
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
I do very little promotion, myself. I largely figure that's the publisher's job. I announce it on my blogs and send it out to my mailing list/twitter/facebook, and if somebody happens to want to do an interview around that time, that's great, but that's about all I do. Sometimes I do give-aways, but that's irregular...
elnice
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
As a reader I find 90% of the books I read from blogs. If I see an interview, I usually stop and the more I know about an author, the more likely I am to buy the book. We don't all follow the same blogs, so it is good to spread it out.

My question for you is did you go to the blogs for interviews or did they come to you?

Elie
http://ellzreadz.blogspot.com/
sandy_williams
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I rarely read author guest blogs unless the subject REALLY jumps out at me. I follow way too many blogs as it is, and my time is limited. That said, I think guest blogs are great promotional tools. I might not read them, but when I see a book cover pop up over and over again on my favorite sites, I am almost always interested enough to read the blurb and consider purchasing the book.

So, as long as you're not overworking yourself, I'd say do as many guest blogs as you can.
lnhammer
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
This.

---L.
breathingbooks
Jan. 14th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
Normally I'll just skip a promo post if I've read a similar one before, no harm done (and maybe even good since it's title reinforcement), but if the author's interviews for whatever reason set my teeth on edge (authors answering as their characters or having conversations with them are my pet peeves, though I know some like that), then the likelihood of my buying their book is dramatically decreased.
jenniferestep
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts, everyone.

Elnice -- It was a little bit of both. Some folks contacted me about blogging, and I sent out e-ARCs and contacted some folks myself. And, of course, I knew some folks already because of the promo work I'd done before for my Bigtime series.

Stormsdotter -- No, I don't think I inspired any contest, but Jim did blog about my book a few weeks ago in regards to cover blurbs. His Golbin books are really funny, and I enjoyed the first Princess book as well.
ruralwriter
Jan. 15th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
I say blog away! Sometimes I think writers don't remind me enough when their books are coming out - I have a limited attention span (oh, look, my cat wants to be petted) and it's too easy to forget what date someone's book is out (because my brain fills up thinking about bills I need to pay that date instead).
jer_bear711
Jan. 15th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
Great topic, Jennifer! I've been in your spot, where I've felt like all I was doing was answering interview/guest blog requests (and some I asked for on my own). When my vampire series started two years ago, I must have done 20-25 in one month. And I missed my deadline for the next book.

Which sounds terrible, but my editor was fine with it, since she didn't have time to read it for another 4 months. Not only that, but the book's sales were much higher than they expected (went back for 2nd printing in three weeks), and she credited all the online promotion I'd done.

That being said, I'm much more choosy about which guest blogs and interviews I do, because they take so much time. I try to get the questions early and also put a limit on number of questions, or tell them I can only answer 10. If it's a guest post, I ask them to give me a general topic or theme.
jocelynndrake
Jan. 16th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
I think that any kind of self-promotion that you can do is great. Your publisher needs the help and sometimes you can get a broader reach on the Internet through blogs than the publisher can.

But at the same time, it is important to find a balance. For my last book release, I agreed to so many guest blogs and interviews that I almost missed my next book deadline. Make sure that you come to an agreement on topics, the number of questions, and deadlines ahead of time. This will help in organizing your time and possibly keep you out of trouble. I also like to do a mix of guest blog topics and interviews; that way I don't feel like I'm constantly repeating myself and it stays interesting for anyone who might have run across more than one of your postings.

Thanks for the great topic!
nazarea
Jan. 17th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
I have a question. My first novel (Faith's Friendship) came out last week, and I'd like to do more self-promotion. How did you go about finding places to guest blog and interview and whatnot?
jenniferestep
Jan. 17th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Ruralwriter -- I know what you mean. It's hard to keep up with book releases, even for authors you like and follow.

Jerbear -- Your vampire series is one I've been meaning to try. ;-) I figure all the blogs can't hurt too much, although you're right -- they do take up a lot of time. And I'm just brain dead when it comes to thinking up interesting topics to write about.

Jocelyn -- I didn't even think about setting a limit on interview questions, but that's definitely something I'll keep in mind for next time.

Nazarea -- Well, part of it was just previous networking that I had done. Several of the blogs I had been on before asked me to come back (or I e-mailed and asked if I could blog again).

I'm also signed up for Google Alerts, and when I saw a couple of bloggers who said they were excited about Spider's Bite coming out, I just e-mailed them and asked if they ever hosted authors or did giveaways on their blogs.

And then some of it was just people who'd seen the book online who e-mailed me and asked for an e-ARC or if I would guest blog on their site.

But I would say the best advice is just to ask people. If there's a book blog that you like, e-mail them and see if they ever do guest posts by authors. Lots of them do. That's one part of the publishing business where I've never been turned down!
ext_82606
Jan. 20th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Any new thoughts?
This was a great post, one I've been following with interest. So, okay, so you're all over the place today! Including DA! Your book comes out the 26th. Have you had further thoughts on this topic of exposure? how about timing? Is there any downside to being highly visible in so many places when people can't yet get your book?

...just wondering!

Carolyn Crane
jenniferestep
Jan. 21st, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Any new thoughts?
I don't know that I have any new, deep thoughts. The DA post was awesome, though. I'm very honored they chose to feature my free short story. :-)

I do think that it's good to do a mix of posts before and after the book is out to catch people's interest. I think that's partly how you build some buzz for yourself. And what's the old saying? Someone has to see something at least seven times before they will buy or want to try it?

And I've still got about 15 more posts to go over the next three weeks. People are going to get sick of me. LOL.

Actually, folks might be able to get the book a few days early. For some reason, it now says "in stock on Jan. 23" at Amazon, whatever that really means ...
nancyholzner
Jan. 21st, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
I just went through this myself, and I had some of the same concerns you mention. Deadtown, the first novel in my new UF series, was released on 12/29, and between 12/17 and 2/8 I'll have done somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 interviews and guest posts. Plus I've given away so many copies of the book that I started to wonder whether there was anyone left who might want to buy it. :)

As a debut UF novelist, I figured I was starting with zero visibility. So I scheduled as many interviews and online events as I could. I did wonder if I was doing too much, especially last week--I'd already set up two interviews and a guest post when my editor asked me to write some guest posts for the Penguin USA blog. I couldn't turn that down, so in five days I had two interviews and four guest posts. If I passed the threshhold of "too much," it was last week.

Although I tried to start early, planning guest post topics and answering interview questions as soon as I got them, time did become a big issue. I fell behind on my day job (I write how-to books) and I'm still scrambling to catch up. I also felt like I was overusing Twitter and Facebook to post announcements about which blog I was visiting today. I've always used those sites to interact with friends, but because of time issues I pretty much just popped in, made an announcement, and popped back out. I didn't like that.

I think starting a couple of weeks before the release was a good idea. It did get some buzz going before the book came out. But I'm definitely glad things are winding down now. Good luck with your blog tour!
jenniferestep
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about giving so many copies away. I think I've got a giveaway set up with every blog that I have lined up -- multiple copies in a few cases. The post office is going to love me the next few weeks.

But I do hope by giving copies away that gets the book in the hands of people who maybe haven't read me before or had been wanting to try my books but hadn't for whatever reason. We'll see, I guess.

Hey, I think it's working for you. I've seen your book in several places and lots of good reviews for it. Love your cover! ;-)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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