Sometimes in this high-tech social media frenzied world we live in the most obvious low-fi thing is what works best. At our debut
Authors Unbound Event in June there were a number of people that none of the four authors knew in attendance. Could it be that some of our press push was successful? That would be awesome. And it was. Except that when the event was over, none of us knew how to get in touch with any of the newbies. Our friends dutifully printed out their Evite tickets, they were all accounted for, but save for the couple of people who emailed our individual websites, those new potential fans are lost forever. Later, it dawned on me, we should have had a simple pen and paper sign-in sheet by the cookies to get some info for our newsletter and collect names for future email blasts. And even though this is a series entrenched in the digital world-our mission being to provide authors who epublish events to share their work and connect with fans-an old school writing utensil and piece of paper will most certainly be at the next reading in October.
I also work in promotion. Television promotion is my forte, but I have a real hard time promoting my work. I don't want to be one of those people whose every communication is "me, me, me. You're sweet buy my book. Please. Me." It makes me feel slimy.
When I digitally published Momfriends in November of 2010, I had 2000 postcards printed up. The more I got the cheaper they were. I sent stacks off to friends in various parts of the country to put out where they deemed fit. After that, the remaining 1500 postcards sat in a box in the corner of my bedroom. My husband often reminded me to distribute them, but I always conveniently forgot. When our family took a trip early this summer to Tennessee, he insisted that I bring a bunch of postcards and leave them around to publicize the book.
I didn't leave them anywhere.
But on our last day at a coffee shop in East Nashville (what seemed like the Brooklyn of Tennessee) he insisted. I couldn't bring myself to ask to leave them. It made me nervous. Thankfully, my husband wasn't having it. He grabbed them and put a bunch on a table with other people’s postcards.
That was June 1. I dread saying this, because I know I am jinxing myself but Momfriends has been having a really great summer, over a year and half after it came out. It can't simply be because of the postcards, but I think there is some merit in those things. I'm trying to diminish that pile in my corner and just get them out there. My husband reminds me constantly that wherever I go, I should have a stack. I'm starting to get that. The cool thing about postcards is leaving them is fast and anonymous. Drop and go. It’s kind of thrilling in a high school prankish way.
So these days I am trying to promote myself where I can and not do anything I regret.
Oh and, um, thank you, Tennessee (and Mike).
What high or low fi things do you do to get more publicity? Are you wary of self-promotion? Any tips for what works best?