Publicity Attempts Not Working. . . Are You Sure?

It’s no big secret that the majority of the publicity effort for your books will come from you, the author. But, how do we measure the effectiveness of our efforts?

That’s hard to say, and here’s why. It takes something like six times for someone to be exposed to a product before they take action. So, if you placed an ad on a website and didn’t see immediate results, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an effective use of your resources. What you accomplished was knocking out one of the 6 exposures. Now, to work on the five others.

Each time your book title is presented to a certain prospective reader is important. Kind of like sharing the gospel, someone else might sow the seed, another water it, and so forth until the moment the person is ready to make a life commitment. Each of those encounters were necessary to the final result.

Or think about a jingle you hear on a commercial. I’ve heard the Red Robin Yum song at least a dozen times and still haven’t been there. But I know of them at least, which is something. The other day we passed one of them and my son said, “I don’t like that place.”

“Why not?” I ask.

“They’re really more of a burger place and I’m not really into burgers.” (A negative review?)
 “Oh?” I ask, being a big fan of anything beef. “What kinds of burgers do they have?”

He went on to tell me. I still haven’t been to one, but now I would consider it if I was in the mood for a good hamburger. Multiple exposure plus word of mouth equals a sale. And note that his review wasn’t necessarily positive. He didn’t rave about them, just knew who they would appeal to.

The other day I did a library event where I joined three other authors and spoke to maybe 10-20 locals interested in learning more about writing. I didn’t sell a single book and actually lost money by going. I ended up buying a book by one of the other authors and spent money on advertising the event.

Was it worth it? Yes, I think. Here’s why:

I did a favor for our local library promoter by being there. I am a go-to person for him when he needs writer talent for events. He knows I’ll come through consistently even if it doesn’t appear to benefit me. In return, I know I can count on him and my local library community for word of mouth about my books and future promotions on my next title.

My name was printed on hundreds of flyers and distributed around the community. One more of those six exposures knocked out.

I used the opportunity to spam my neighbors. Without the event, I would have no reason to distribute several hundred of my own flyers door to door to my neighborhood. I had my name and a big picture of my book printed on the front with the event information on the back. This cost me several hours of walking time and about $80.00. But, again, another one of those six exposures is checked off.

We are told that book signings aren’t the best use of our time when we compare the reach we can have via the web vs standing around a book store for a half dozen people that may or may not buy a book. This is wrong thinking too in my opinion. Even book signings I’ve gone to and sold one book were well worth the trip.

In my opinion, it’s not the immediate sales themselves that are the goal, but the exposure. Each signing has promotion attached to it. Mostly I’m the one doing the promoting. Each mention in the paper, each flyer, each poster, each bookmark I hand out to bookstore customers, knocks out one of those six exposures. For one signing, I can often knock out four of the six exposures. This is a great use of my time.

You may feel your efforts are wasted when you spend hours or days writing an article for a magazine and see no immediate sales increase. That’s faulty thinking. You are not in it for the short term, you’re looking at it from a long term career standpoint. Each exposure matters and if the book you’re pushing now doesn’t sell, and you’ve given it all you have, your efforts were not wasted. All of those folks have heard of you now. The next article you write, ad you run, or signing you do might be the tipping point to selling them a copy.

It’s a lot of work, yes, but each investment of time, money, and resources is filling your bank. It feels like that bank will never be full but there will come a day when you can smash it open and reap the rewards.

That day will come if you don’t grow weary.

He’d give anything to forget the one thing she can’t remember.

When Eric and Kyra Yoshida first met, they thought their love would last forever. But like many marriages, theirs has gradually crumbled, one thoughtless comment and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal pushes them beyond reconciliation. Though Eric longs to reunite with Kyra, the only woman he has truly loved, he has no idea how to repair the damage that’s been done.

Then a car accident erases part of Kyra’s memory—including her separation from Eric—and a glimmer of hope rises from the wreckage. Is this a precious opportunity for the fresh start Eric has longed for? Does he even deserve the chance to find forgiveness and win back Kyra’s heart . . . or will the truth blow up in his face, shattering their last hope for happiness? A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.