This weekend I recorded an hour-long interview with Stark Raven Mad Radio, a podcast about indie authors and their books. The conversation was very fun and free-roaming and I felt like it went very, very well. I’ll be posting a minicast teaser in the next few days in four places: here, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The full interview is scheduled to go up on 09/16 of this year.
I’m hoping it will drive some traffic to the blog and to the books, which haven’t sold very much in the course of the summer. I haven’t been doing much to market them, though. My patience for wide-audience marketing is awfully thin, though, and always has been. The part of me raised by the Puritanical rule of never appearing boastful makes it very difficult for me to approach a stranger and tell them they should check out my work. I discovered at ConCarolinas I was great at one-on-one marketing: making a connection with an individual who walked up to my table and selling them my books was no problem. Hawking my wares to the public at large was a huge stumbling block, though.
As such, my next big marketing idea is to get into more physical stores. Chapel Hill Comics is slated for this week and I need to email Flyleaf Books, The Regulator and Wyvern’s Tale. I know Chapel Hill Comics will tell people they have my books, so I am happy to leave it to them to market my work (however they do or do not see fit to market it) to their customer base. That is way more comfortable for me. I am most definitely a confirmed introvert despite being professionally trained to perform the role of extrovert for short periods of time.
My other big idea of the moment regards Dragon Con. I was turned down (understandably) as a guest this year. By next year I should have two or three cons under my belt and I think my odds will be a lot better. Because being a convention guest is a lot like being on stage, it falls into my performance training and feels less like selling myself and my work so it is actually very easy for me to do. In the meantime, I’m trying to think of comfortable ways to take advantage of being there and surrounded by 50,000 of my fellow fandom practitioners.
The current idea is to take five copies of each of my novels, bind them together into a little bundle, maybe with twine, and leave them in public somewhere with a note that they’re free. Then I could tweet, with the #DragonCon hashtag, that they’re in (for instance) the lobby of the Hilton for anyone who’d like a free pair of paper books. I could further offer to meet them to sign them if they want. If I turn it into a clue and make it a simple competition, even better. I think that could be fun, it would be easy and it would cost me zero since the books are already printed: “sunk costs”, as taught me by the MBA who encouraged me to buy a banner ad last summer.
The one concern I have with this is that Dragon Con is very clear vendors cannot run raffles or other contests. I also don’t want to piss them off by violating the convention’s establishment of paper goods areas for people to place handbills and business cards. This week I will call the office to explain my idea and ask if it’s alright. If it is, that’s totally on. If it isn’t I will… well, I’ll probably try to figure out a by-the-letter way around it. The second half of my alignment may vary from day to day but I fall under the Lawful heading pretty much all the time.