Book Marketing: From Humble Dolt To Sleazy Salesman

Many hopeful authors daydream about writing and publishing a book, yet they don’t ponder the afterworld. And by afterworld, I mean the evil, dreaded, and terrifying land that is MARKETING.

This was me before:

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

This is me now:

Image credit:

Marketing is so foreign to me that I don’t even like to talk about it. Makes me feel dirty. But some of you have asked me to describe what followed The Seneca Scourge’s release, so I’ll tell you my steps thus far.

To me, marketing falls into two groups:

  • Online Marketing
  • Face-To-Face, Make-Me-Puke-From-Fear Marketing

Since my paperback remains at the printer, I’ll focus on online marketing of my e-book for now. Note: this is my own personal bread-crumb trail, not a how-to marketing tutorial.

Online Marketing

  • Blogging
    • Well, duh, you know about this already. But I haven’t done blog tours. It doesn’t seem fair to ask a fellow blogger to interview me or write a book review on his or her site when I don’t reciprocate in kind; I worry doing so would change the focus of my blog. Of course, I always enjoy discussing other bloggers’ books on my site, but I do this because I want to, not because it’s a back-scratching payoff.
    • But for the record, three bloggers devoted entire posts to my novel—whether in the form of a book review or interview—without my even having asked: butimbeautiful, Joy in the Moments, and Reading Today.  The fact these bloggers did so speaks more to their generous characters than any words I could proffer.
  • Twitter
    • I use Twitter primarily to engage in a ridiculous fashion with other tweeps, punctuated by an occasional health-promoting tidbit to remind followers I am an adult. Any tweets about my book tend to be in a humorous vein, although I will shamelessly retweet others’ kind words—I’m not an idiot, after all. Oh, wait, I am. Well, regardless, I prefer to promote demurely rather than shoot off tweet after tweet of book twaddle nobody cares about. Admit it—like white noise for the eyes, we all glaze over those.
  • Facebook
    • I know, I know, I need to join. Can someone please lend me the time? What will I post about? What more can be said that hasn’t already polluted my blog or Twitter? Maybe health morsels in a fun fashion. What do you think?
  • LinkedIn
    • I’m on it. I neglect it. Connect with me if you like.
  • Forums
    • I’ve been a member of forums in the past, mostly fitness or medically oriented, though I recently joined a book forum. I’ve stepped up my interaction on these sites and maximized my profile, including adding a blog-linking signature to the bottom of each comment. Yes, this is cheesy, but I do enjoy the interaction, and once other members have suffered my bits of drivel, they can choose to click or not.
  • Author Sites
    • Amazon? Check. Goodreads? Check. Barnes & Noble? Won’t let me.
    • Just discovered It’s a handy means of including all of your information in one place (click here for mine). You can then include the link in your e-mail signature, thereby inoculating your unsuspecting recipients with a dose of your magnificence. Did I mention I feel dirty?
  • Reviews
    • Ah, yes, don’t we all want ‘formal’ reviews? I have two in the works. Hopefully. There are never any guarantees.
  • Professional Contacts
    • Like the whore I am, I sent out e-mails to well-connected colleagues who subsequently spread the word. I did the same with family, though those e-mails probably made it as far as the trash can.
  • Alumni
    • I e-mailed an ‘update’ to my various alma maters. They love to know what their graduates are up to. No one said it couldn’t be to toot my marketing horn.
  • Advertising
    • Haven’t done any of this yet, but I might look into it. If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears.

So there you have it. Once the paperback is out, I’ll step up local marketing (book signings, notification to local newspapers, handing out bookmarkers, interviews). That should be fun for an introvert.

Advice for me? Admonishments? Did you fall asleep?

197 Responses to “Book Marketing: From Humble Dolt To Sleazy Salesman”

  1. Main Street Musings Blog

    I looked at those photos and laughed out loud. I know what you mean, I feel conflicted about marketing my writing too, but I know it’s important. You don’t have to worry though, you always come across as earnest and good hearted, never sleazy. Based on what I read of your marketing efforts, it appears you have your bases covered!

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you! That’s nice to hear. But soon the face-to-face stuff will start. I have a book signing next month in New Hampshire (my mom set it up for me for when I go visit her–talk about a built-in marketer). Now I just need that dang paperback…

  2. saradraws

    As a social media manager who has a self-published author as a client once…it’s HARD. But Facebook can be very useful because there’s SO MANY PEOPLE. A fan page can work almost as well, or even better than a website.. I don’t know if anyone gave this advice already. I’m only half a coffee in to my morning, I can’t handle 200 comments. I,m also feeble minded.
    In short, keep your branding consistent across all platforms. LinkedIn has company pages you can build and add links/images (LinkedIn is boring, but you can direct traffic from there to more dynamic places like twitter). You’ll need time to make social media work. It’s daily.
    I could write you a small novel on this. But I won’t. SOEXCITINGTHATYOUHAVEABOOK!!

    • Carrie Rubin

      You are so right–social media is daily. I feel like some days, that’s all I do. I enjoy it, but I really must get my creative writing done, too.

      I actually have a hot date with Facebook this afternoon. I’ve put it off for too long. So your comment came at the perfect time, as it motivated me to keep this sign-up ‘date.’ Thanks so much for your advice. To get free advice from people who work in the area is one of the many wonderful perks about blogging. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Carrie Rubin

      Glad it was helpful for that day when you release your best seller and need to do a little marketing. Then again, if you have a best seller, you probably don’t need any marketing tips at all…

  3. Arizona girl

    Doesn’t sound so bad! I finally started the book and would read through the night if my eyelids weren’t always so heavy. Quite the page-turner!

  4. Love and Lunchmeat

    I don’t know that you’re really missing out by not using Facebook… unless you would be one of those people with 400 friends. Then you’re missing out, but mostly it’s just a place where people brag about having worked out. “I just worked out and I feel so euphoric!” I always feel like responding with, “I just ate gummy bears and drank a glass of wine, and I feel euphoric too!” Except I would never actually say that because I too am an introvert. So I have a love/hate relationship with people knowing what I’m thinking; it generally works on a need-to-know basis.

    And I too sweat when I think about things like book signings. That was actually my first thought when I read the word marketing… I genuinely like people one on one, but large groups of people are terrifying.

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks for your thoughts on Facebook. I suspect I’ll have a similar experience, but I’m going to sign up for it tomorrow, anyway (or this weekend). Some things I read say authors absolutely should do it; others say it’s not necessary. Guess I won’t know until I try. I just hope I can squeeze it into an already heavy social media schedule!

  5. Diane Henders

    Wow, Carrie, between your own work and your commenters, you’ve got a comprehensive grasp of the marketing/advertising opportunities. I have one tiny piece of advice to add, for what it’s worth.

    No matter where or how you choose to promote your book, the prime question in every potential buyer’s mind is: “What’s in it for me?”

    How will readers feel while reading? What will they take away? I think you’re nailing it when you say your readers will want to wear gloves and a mask while they’re reading your book. Sounds like an excellent marketing statement to me. :-)

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks, Diane. And I haven’t even gotten to the face-to-face stuff yet. I have a couple bookstores that will carry the paperback once it’s out, and I have several more to solicit still. And I have at least one book signing scheduled with another in the works. That’s the part that makes me quake. Now, I just need that stinkin’ paperback…

  6. sheilapierson

    I love the pics of the before and now – too funny. You’ve done a lot of work to get your book out there and you should never feel sleazy about promoting it – unless the book is sleazy and then it seems you actually get rewarded for writing that kind of thing… (50 something or other anyone?) but I digress. Be proud, promote and sell some books :) You have never come across as anything but smart, kind and considerate – never sleazy.

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you, Sheila. It helps to hear that. Especially since I was just in the process of formulating an email to my local bookstore to discuss their proposed fee split. Is so not me!

  7. jeandayfriday

    I must say that you way far from ever being a sleazy salesman! And Facebook is so easy – much more so than Twitter for me. You can do this! Plus, I already told three of my Kindle-loving pals to get your book. Word of mouth is sometimes the best marketing of all! :)

    • Carrie Rubin

      You are right–word of mouth is indeed the best marketing tool! Thanks so much for spreading the word about my book. I really appreciate that.

      And Facebook is on my list for today or tomorrow. In fact, I’m going to go check it out shortly. I just hope the learning curve isn’t too steep. I need user friendly.

  8. Earth2Body Sisters

    Hey, about the Facebook thing? I use Networked Blogs to syndicate my posts to Facebook. You can also link your Twitter to FB so it will auto post your Tweets on your FB page. Easy Peasy. I almost never post directly to FB, but I know a lot of people are on FB only. So it’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll write a post about it. Thank you SO much for stopping by our blog. I’m really excited about your book too!

    • Carrie Rubin

      It’s funny–because I didn’t realize you were the one connected to Earth2Body Sisters blog. I mean, I must have, and that’s how I initially found it, but I guess I forgot. Thank you for stopping by mine as well!

      I actually have it on my list to sign up for Facebook today or tomorrow. I plan to do it; I just hope it isn’t too much of a learning curve. But I know it’s time. Thanks for the tips on it.

  9. Katherine Checkley

    Wow…this actually really opened my eyes! Marketing is pretty much my black hole as well (though at the moment I have nothing to market, so even more so). I’m impressed by you know. I just bookmarked this page! Thanks!

    • Carrie Rubin

      Glad you found it helpful! Sadly, I haven’t yet written the “other half,” which will come once the paperback is out, and will include the “fun” that is booksigning, contacting local newspapers, trying to get the book in stores, etc. Oh, boy, can’t wait…

  10. runningonsober

    I really don’t know how you find the time Carrie. I guess it’s all investment toward future goal achievement, but dang. I can run 20 miles (hopefully 26!), but reading your marketing to-do list exhausts me. (and you’re a doc and a mom and a blogger who actually dialogues and and and…)

    Tell us the truth. You’re really a non-sleeping vampire aren’t you? Carrie Cullen… I knew it! ;)

    Kudos for going after your dreams. You’re an inspiration!

    • Carrie Rubin

      Well, thank you, but remember, I’m taking time off from the work scene for now. I haven’t been in clinic for six months. I was on the way to transition into non-clinical work and then decided to take a year for this “writing thing.” Who knows where I’ll end up, but I couldn’t do this all if I was currently working full-time. But I appreciate those kind words.

      • runningonsober

        No, I didn’t realize that Carrie, I’m sure that gives you a few hours to sleep then. So how about just a super-hero Wonder Woman instead of a vampire?
        You’re still an inspiration! Even more so that you do so much and are still so humble about it all. ;)


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