Archive for January, 2013

It’s a Blog, Blog, Blog World

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Marketing

I don’t spend my time on the Internet on more than on a casual basis. I’m intellectually stunted and for the most part I stick to my list of “favorites” that consists of ESPN, The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Rotoworld (fantasy football!), Grantland and e-mail. Given the literally millions of websites to visit that’s a sad statement on my inquisitiveness and desire to explore the unknown. But in the last few months as I’m pushed out of my comfort zone in an attempt to promote my work, I discovered a whole new world beneath the touch of the keyboard.

It’s a blogosphere of incredible proportions. There are blogs for everything from canning tomatoes to the sexual proclivities of an Aborigine warrior (Okay, I jest. I’m still searching for that one.) My point being that if you want somebody’s opinion on next to anything it’s out there for the taking. Lately I’ve been requesting reviews of my young adult novel, TOUCHED, to a whole variety of bloggers whose whole existence is exactly that – reviewing young adult novels in order to get the word out for authors, publishers and publicists. Blogs like www.keepingitrealwithlucy.blogspot.com , www.yabookcentral.com and www.annareads.com are like mushrooms in the Internet landscape. Followers of various blogs number from dozens to thousands and they all play a role in getting the word out of new releases from the blockbuster to the self-published.

So ESPN will just have to wait for me to return another day. I’ll be back but first I have to see if Lucy Is Keeping It As Real as she says. And to the nine followers of my humble blog, thanks for tuning in. You’ll be the first to know if I find out anything more on those horny Aborigines.

What’s the answer in the title? Obviously, if you are old enough you’ll recognize it as an old song from Billy Preston (the man with the best afro ever) is “nuthin”. I was reminded of this when my publisher recommended that all of their authors should allocate 30% of their writing time toward marketing their book. Let’s see, after deducting the daily hours spent on work, chores, household clean-up, commuting, exercising, TV (yes, but only intellectual shows like “Sons of Anarchy”), coaching basketball, family time, walking the dog, sleeping etc. etc., I still have a boatload of time left. So now when I finally get on my laptop to do the fun stuff for an hour or two (writing, duh!), I have to waste it on getting the word out? 

In short, yes. 

It appears that any author not named Stephen King or J.K. Rowling is in the same boat. There is a perception that once you get a book published the gravy train will soon arrive at your door with a wad of greenbacks is unfortunately not a reality (I know, I checked twice today). The vast majority of writers struggle to make a living and the ones that are fortunate to be published have to do an extraordinary amount of dirty work, i.e. self-promotion – an icky thing that makes writers feel fairly similar to a horse’s posterior. 

So there it is. And just to let my publisher know, I spent thirty minutes on this blatant attempt at self-promotion. Since that’s the only time I have left, I’m fully at 100% of my available writing time for the day. 

Thanks for nuthin’, Billy.

Or so says Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry back in the day. What’s an old movie quote got to do with anything? Well, I’m finding the marketing of TOUCHED has demonstrated front and center that I have limitations within the world of marketing a new book. With the digital age swallowing all of us, it has also made for increasing complexity in the world of publishing. Due to New Libri Press being a small publisher, stress is placed upon the author him or herself to “get the word out”. My first inclination was to do a mass mailing to every household north of the Mason-Dixon line, but decided against it when my boys got hungry again and I drained the checking account for a gallon of milk and a box of Ritz crackers (on sale!).

Instead I went to Plan B which consisted of cheaper alternatives including business cards, internet posts and notifications to local newspapers to create some visibility. In the future, book fairs and signings are on the agenda when the “paper” version is available. Purchased advertising is also on the horizon. But just as important as any of those is good ‘ol word of mouth. This may range from, “Hey, did you know that dillweed Maurer put out a book? Hell, the guy can barely figure out the velcro on his tennis shoes!” to “Paul has a body like Adonis, a mind like Einstein, and a way with words that makes J.K. Rowling shudder. I am so in on his new book!” (I’m betting the truth may lie somewhere in between). What’s the point? The bottom line is I have no problem if you talk up TOUCHED be it good, bad or ugly.

After all, like the man says I got myself some major major limitations. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife and kids.

http://www.PaulMaurerBooks.com