Why don't I write? What's the primary reason I don't meet my word count goals?
I can talk about my dogs bugging me, being compelled to clean and tidy, the call of the weedy beds, but I'd be fooling myself, the biggest distraction from my writing is self promotion.
Every morning, the first thing I do is check, respond and update my livejournal comments, myspace, facebook, blogger, the League and even twitter (new this week). Now with the help of Missy, who League readers see in the comments, a Yahoo group is in the works. Then there's the bookscan numbers and the dissecting effectiveness of various promtional activities and items. Is there a jump in sales from con attendance? Who knows? I don't. I can speculate. Boy can I speculate. What I can tell you for certain is...I'm about freakin' crazy.
Not about. Totally freakin' crazy.
I'm sitting here with 500 pens that didn't show up until after I'd already left for Romantic Times. I'm lucky I used a generic slogan and not something specific to Happy Hour or they'd just be a useless expense. I'm not even certain whether people buy books based on a recommendation of a pen. I doubt it. I like pens, especially free ones. But I've yet to ask my doctor for some Ambien or Viagra just because they're hanging out in my pen cup.
I'm more convinced that a face to face connection at cons and readings/signings is probably the most effective tool (the pen is just the reminder). Second is the blog stuff and interacting in comments. Third? Social networking has gotten me a few sales, I suppose.
The rest of the stuff that sells a book is totally out of my control and that's what bugs me most. I imagine elaborate marketing plans. Fantasize about tv spots. Viral video. Real life zombies shambling around with ad boards bolted to their backs. A Starbucks marketing tie-in would be perfect.
But still--and I know this--the most effective promotional tool is writing a better second book and a third and keeping them coming. Momentum is an author's best friend. I need that to be my mantra, before my three book deal becomes just that; a three-book-deal.
I think I'm going to have stress diarrhea.