For a long time, the whole testing thing really bugged me. Heck, nobody asks their auto mechanic to take test or their dentist. My husband didn’t have to take a test every time he started a new engineering project—clients of the company he worked for just trusted that he knew what he was doing because he was . . . well, an experienced engineer. But you know, I guess there a lot of unscrupulous people in the world who might lie on resume or claim they can do something they’ve never done before just to get a foot in the door. So . . . I take tests willingly and with a smile because I need work and as long as the test is reasonable, I’ll do it. Full disclosure: I sometimes get no response from publishers I cold call. That doesn't happen as frequently as it did when I first started as a freelancer, but it does still happen now and again. But marketing is part of the game and if you want to work, you play the game.
Then there’s the writing promotion. Ack! I’m so dreadful at this. I’ve submitted ads to Bookbub six different times and only been accepted once. It was a great promotion, but it only included their foreign markets, not the U.S. I’d love to get a U.S. ad with Bookbub for my Women of Willow Bay series, but they’ve turned me down consistently five times since the first ad, and you know it’s demoralizing to be told that “other books submitted were more suited their readers’ current tastes,” when I get their emails every day and I know what they’re accepting and it’s romance novels, mostly. But, on the other hand, I can’t expect them to grab my book just because I want them to. I’ll keep trying—perhaps one day, they’ll accept me.
That being said, I hate pushing my books on Facebook and Twitter—honestly, everyone who follows me those two places already knows about the books. And author signings are another way to promote, but frankly, I haven’t found those to be worth the expense of traveling somewhere and sitting at a table for hours. I don’t spend money on a lot of swag that I know will get tossed away after an event. I have my rack cards, which make great bookmarks, except that so many people e-read now, why do they need a bookmark? I’m speaking at the library in our lake town next week—another chance to get my name and books in front of people, but I’m nervous and wondering if I have anything to say that will interest those library patrons.
I think it helps to keep your readers engaged with articles and links on your Facebook page or website that speak to your genre of writing—for me, that’s seasoned romance. It’s a way to keep the buzz going without throwing your own books into people’s faces. Mostly, I need to be writing, not pushing what’s already out there. Having new material for readers is probably the best promotion of all. That’s the key I think, keep writing . . . thoughts?