What makes an impact more? The writing or the promo?

I honestly don’t know. I have guest interviewed, guest blogged, blog blogged on my own and on Kiss and Tell Girls. I’ve tweeted, I’ve facebooked, I’ve myspaced! I love my new release as I have loved all my books. Each one is personal to me. Each one carries some mark of something that’s happened in my life.

The title of this post ‘Lone Promo’ is apt, I think. I do the majority of my promo alone. No blog tours, no group of authors on a yahoo group (though this is being discussed with another author). I am part of Kiss and Tell Girls, but we don’t really promo together, though we are all supportive of one another. I will admit to admiration and envy of some of the groups of authors that are always promo’ing together. What draws groups of authors together? Online? Face to face?

I don’t know really. I try to seek out people that write what I do or similar, but at the same time, I’m a very introverted person. I don’t like to insinuate myself into groups and I never want to seem desperate. I talk about all sorts of things on Twitter and Facebook, not just promo of my books. I don’t participate on the yahoo loops and groups as much because well…I don’t have that kind of time. Though, there must be different clocks with different numbers of hours in the day in some parts of the world because there are people that chatter on the loops all day long, write 3K, home school kids or work an EDJ, run here and there with kids, etc… I need one of those days! I need to find the time management system they use to be ‘super writer/super mom’ because when all is said and done, I barely have time for all of it before I’m hitting the bed dead tired.

Then, there are the authors that seem to do nothing at all and yet sell hundreds of books! Wow! And how? These authors you never see guesting, touring, yahoo looping, interviewing, tweeting, but yet they are well known, well liked, and sell hundreds! Personally, I would like to try out that way, too, but, I don’t think it would work for me and my writing.

So, what is the answer? What is the right amount of promo? I’m sure it varies from author to author, from personality to personality. I do try to talk about other things besides my books. I know people get tired of it and I do too. There’s so much more that happens in the course of a day, so… I try to congratulate others on their releases and good news, commiserate with them on bad days and bad news. I should do more of that, not for any other reason than, it’s the nice and right thing to do. I try not to exclude or only choose certain people to talk to, follow, or connect with. But, because I don’t know a lot of people well enough to stick my nose in their groups and because I don’t want to appear like the red-headed stepchild, I keep to myself when it comes to promo.

I have met some awesome people that have given support to me, guidance in my fumbling ways. The Blackraven is one. She’s amazing and promos my books whenever I have a new one. Terry Kate of Romance in the Backseat is another. She’s given me a guest spot on her blog for desserts and I love it. Gives me even more reason to play in the kitchen.

Promo takes a lot of work and effort. Diligence. Time that none of us seem to have a lot of. Sometimes it’s a who you know, sometimes it’s a what you know, and sometimes it’s a lot of trial and error of what works for each individual author. There are promo companies and author virtual assistants, too to hire for help. I don’t have the extra $$. There are also the conventions. You have really expensive like RT, RWA. And well, yeah, I can’t afford those. Astronomical is not even the word for it in my checkbook. RomCon in Denver this year, yeah, again, not something I can afford. But, I can do the smaller cons like Lori Foster’s event and Authors After Dark. Ellora’s Cave’s Romanticon is one I’d love to attend, but not sure I can yet. What would be nice would be if some of these large cons like RT did something regional, something smaller that would maybe drop the cost a bit. Then again, maybe it wouldn’t matter. Probably not.

My choice would be to gather together with some authors a few weekends a year and have a writer’s retreat. This goes on my wishlist. I know authors that do this and will not lie when I say I envy that closeness, camaraderie, support, etc… 

I know some authors that are promo gurus and I bow down to their expertise. They get in on every little bit of promo they can, join the blog tours, guest blog, interview, know the right people at the right time, are well liked and well accepted, have a large group of diverse friends and acquaintances to choose from and interact with. I haven’t reached that level yet. I am still in the AWE stage I guess.

What is the right amount of promo for you? What do you do to draw attention to your books, website, blog, and name? How do you connect with other authors to do group promo? Is it important to you? Are you more a solo act? I’m curious…talk to me.

~lissa