Posted On June 8, 2016 by Print This Post

How Do You Do It? by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

We’re excited to welcome back LAURIE SCHNEBLY CAMPBELL with advice on balancing neverending to-do lists and finite blocks of time. Be sure to check out the PRIZE ALERT at the bottom of this post.

We all have days when there’s just too much going on. In fact, that pretty well describes most of our days.

Even when we like all the things we’re doing — maybe planning a graduation party, shopping for baby clothes, moving into a new house, and/or fulfilling a new book request — it’s still hard to find enough time for everything.

What’s on your to-do list?

You’ll probably recognize quite a few of the items pictured below…so keep those in mind as you think about where you could possibly find time for publicizing your work:

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With so much going on — and those illustrations are only the beginning — it’s no wonder promotion falls to the bottom of the list.

One friend admits, “I know I need more promo if I’m going to develop a fan base, but…”

Another says, “I’d do a better job publicizing my books if I could see results an hour later.”

Still another says, “Promotion will have to wait until I can hire someone to do it for me.”

Any of those sound familiar? How about:

“I’d rather skip the whole thing than have to make nice with strangers in a bookstore.”

“I love chatting with people, but how am I supposed to keep track of all the details?”

“I envy this one author who’s always coming up with great new promotions — you can tell that’s really paying off.”

A lot of those people could be us talking, right?

They each have a good point.

Promo sure CAN pay off big-time, but it can also be so frustrating that we get discouraged at the very thought of doing any such thing — and give up altogether.

Why is that?

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Part of it is the lack of time, sure. But another big part is that writers feel intimidated by promotion. And why is THAT?

It’s often because people who cringe at the thought of promotion never think about what kind will best suit them.

Which, unfortunately, is like “never thinking about it” before choosing the best cover for your book or the best outfit for your wedding or even the best place to live.

You wouldn’t do that, would you? For instance, when choosing where to live for the next five years?

Well, let’s find out.

Picture a scenario. Suppose you’re looking for a new job, and you get equally good offers from equally good companies located in Boston, Dallas and Seattle. Which one will you take?

You might not be able to spend three months trying out all three cities before making your decision, but you can sure read about each one. Chat with people who live there. Take a look at their neighborhoods, their climate, their recreation, their attitudes. See what resonates with you.

It’s an enormously personal decision, because you value different things than someone else who might be facing the exact same choice.

But you have a pretty good idea of how you’d go about choosing the best place to live. And choosing the right type of promotion is a similar decision. It all comes down to the same thing:

What resonates with you.

THAT kind of promo is very likely something you’ll be good at. It’s something you’ll enjoy learning about, even if you’ve never tried it before.

Something that feels like “yeah, even though I know it’ll take some time, I can see myself doing this.”

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What determines that?

No big surprise — it’s your personality type.

You’ve probably given a lot of thought to the personality types of your story characters. But have you given as much to your own?

And how it applies to the job of promotion?

Probably not.

So here’s a question — with dozens of promotional possibilities awaiting any author who’s ready to start promoting a new release or an entire backlist, which one of ONLY these three would you find the most appealing?

1) contacting everyone in your address book
2) a guest blog tour with 10 sites in 10 days
3) your own street team spreading the word

There’s no right or wrong answer — this is just to illustrate what an enormous factor your personality plays in the kind of promotion that’ll work best for you.

Even if, given your never-ending list of commitments, all you have is ten minutes a week!

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Prize alert: if 20+ people answer that question with their choice (any comments on “why this choice” are welcome but optional), one of those people will win a free class on

Promo for Your Personality

It’s coming June 13-24 at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PersPromo/ and it’ll be a great opportunity to discover what really WORKS for you — not to mention some group dynamics making the whole process a lot easier!

 

Author KATHERINE HALL PAGE joins us on Friday, June 10

***

Bio:

laurie

Laurie Schnebly Campbell combines her ad agency work with a background in counseling and writing fiction for Harlequin Special Edition — where she won RT’s Best Of The Year over Nora Roberts — and non-fiction, like her book on creating characters. She began teaching classes online (and in person around the world) after seeing a bumper sticker that changed her life: “Those who can, do. Those who believe others can ALSO do, teach.”

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Discussion

89 Responses to “How Do You Do It? by Laurie Schnebly Campbell”

  1. I did so much more when I was younger – now I do one major thing and I am exhausted. Single parent, soccer Mom, Boy Scout High-Adventure Leader (and went on outings) Full time work as a corporate director, and often working part-time as a campus lecturer, wrote, did my own housework, yard work, shopping, did volunteer work on BSA projects, etc etc I look back and it terrifies me. Now I work on my writing and walk my dogs and will hire someone to come desert-fy my yard so I can ignore yard work. And I am overwhelmed! Wow!

    I’d love to have a street team!

    Posted by Donnamaie White | June 8, 2016, 1:11 am
    • Donnamaie, isn’t it astonishing how much more we can do when younger? And at the time it doesn’t seem like anything we’ll marvel at a couple decades down the road…it just seems like an ordinary busy life.

      Which makes me wonder if a couple decades from now we’ll be marveling at what currently seems so much easier than back then — kind of a scary thought!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 8:45 am
  2. Hi Laurie, I’m so looking forward to this course. Promotion terrifies me! If I had to choose one of the options, I’d go with street team.

    Posted by Angela Bissell | June 8, 2016, 2:36 am
    • Ange, it’s so cool that promotion now matters! And don’t worry about being terrified; you’re totally normal that way.

      Seeing your mention of “looking forward” reminds me of something I forgot to mention in the prize announcement — if somebody wins who’s already registered for this class, they get a refund because it’s no fair leaving early-birds out of the drawing. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 8:49 am
  3. Hi Laurie, great article! I’m terrible at promotion, all of the 3 choices sound terrifying. I have no problem writing blog posts or facebook entries, but a) doing it on a schedule and b) on demand is hard when you have other commitments…

    So to go through it one by one: People in my address book – probably wouldn’t be my target audience, Blog Tour – too much time commitment, school runs, different time zones, Street Team – that would be my choice, hoping that I could build up personal relationships with them and therefore feel more comfortable about contacting them in the future…

    Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

    Posted by Marion Hermannsen | June 8, 2016, 3:45 am
    • Marion, you’re right about the different time zone making it tricky to handle a blog tour…unless you decide to focus mainly on European readers, who I’m betting will enjoy your book every much as North American readers.

      There should be some kind of time-bending invention that lets people in Alaska and Ivory Coast both see “early morning posts” in their own early morning. Where are all the inventors when we need ’em, anyway?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 8:53 am
  4. I’m a blog giveaway type.

    I have always had problems with self-promotion. I don’t know if it’s due to being raised in the South where it’s pretty much pound into you not to be too prideful or what, but I’ve always struggled with getting past the “bragging” feeling of it. I usually am a giveaway kinda of girl. I was surprised at how little the giveaway had to be to get a good response. Being crafty helps since I can make jewelry or art based on the story and use it as a tie in instead of giving gift cards. Sometimes I’ll even add something specifically into the story, knowing I’ll use it later during promo rounds.

    This was a wonderfully thought provoking article. I really need to give some more thought to promo and ways to get past my hang-ups πŸ™‚

    Posted by Margie Hall | June 8, 2016, 5:56 am
    • Margie, I so envy you your crafty abiilty — it’s a real gift to be creative in more than one area. And building something into the story which you can use for promo later is a brilliant idea!

      Getting over the “not polite to brag” feeling is a tough thing…some of us feel like we can brag ONLY to our family, or a few close friends, or ourselves alone, or no one at all. Yet mentioning a book does (or at least should) feel like bragging because ideally we’re proud of our story…otherwise, why write it at all?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 8:57 am
  5. Great post, Laurie! I’m not very good at self-promotion but I do enjoy interacting with people so I would probably pick a street team, then I could interact with fans on a more personal level.

    Posted by Carol Opalinski | June 8, 2016, 6:48 am
    • Carol, it’s handy for you to be thinking about this now! And knowing that you enjoy interacting with people is a great step in building your promotional plan.

      Although with Harlequin on your side, you get the advantage of (at least SOME) automatic sales even if you never lift a finger…gotta love that!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:00 am
  6. Hi Laurie! (waves from Maine)

    Is there another option? Like a magic faery waving her wand? *sigh* I hate, hate, hate putting myself forward. If I had to choose I’d go with the blog tour. I enjoy “meeting” people online and I like the challenge of coming up with blog posts that do more than scream “buy my book!”. I”m not sure about a street team, mainly because I don’t know how to set one up, or how to keep it active. Again, relates back to putting myself forward. Why would anyone be interested in little old me?

    Great blog post, it’s really got me thinking.

    Posted by Luanna Stewart | June 8, 2016, 7:25 am
    • Luanna, I wish I’d added your wand-waving option — wouldn’t it be nice to have an option that easy? πŸ™‚

      But you’re right about how that sense of not putting ourselves forward is fed by the belief that we’re not really all that interesting. Which I heard author Patti Berg point out, in a great keynote, is often accompanied by an unacknowledged belief that way deep down, we deserve all kinds of attention…which sounds every bit as scary, so we hide that thought!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:05 am
  7. This post was eye opening! From those choices I would instantly pick the blog tour and yet I’ve never tried to do one. I love talking to people and in a perfect world would love to go on a real promo tour though a blog tour makes a whole lot more sense. I’m headed over to check out your class now and then to look at blog tour companies to dip my toes in there.

    Posted by LC Giroux | June 8, 2016, 8:04 am
    • LC, a real promo tour is fun even on a local level — especially if you love talking to people! My husband still cringes at the memory of visiting a battlefield museum and not bothering to chat with an author who had her books in the lobby…but if that author had been the outgoing type, the chat would’ve been easy.

      Even easier on blogs, of course, where you can take time to cultivate your replies, but if there bookstores or festivals within a few hours’ drive of home I bet you’d love hitting those!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:13 am
  8. I would have to choose 10 blogs in 10 days. I’m such an introvert in person even though I’m an extrovert behind the keyboard – if that’s possible. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t be comfortable talking to people, one-on-one, about my own work. I guess doing it online, with blog posts, would at least make me feel like I’m safe and secure behind that digital force-field.

    Great post as always, Laurie!

    Posted by Debora Dale | June 8, 2016, 8:06 am
    • Debbie, I love your line about “safe behind the digital force-field” — that’s a wonderful way of putting it!

      And of course, you don’t have to choose ANY of those options because there are dozens of others…literally, something for every single type of personality. Which makes it a whole lot easier for in-person introverts/keyboard extroverts to find something comfortable. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:15 am
  9. Laurie, I would choose just to contact everyone in my address book. Only even then I have people who probably aren’t computer savvy enough to go check out my blog. But it seems social media changes so fast that we no more than find one type of promo that works, when it’s considered obsolete. Or over-used. I used to love bookstore autographings where it was great to meet readers. Now the brick and mortar stores are disappearing and few do author autographings. Maybe I’m a dinosaur. Looking forward to your workshop in Tucson, Laurie.

    Posted by Roz Fox | June 8, 2016, 8:26 am
    • Roz, you have an amazing address book — and I’ll bet that was true even before you started getting fan letters from readers all over the world; I can picture you with hundreds of contact-friends even before you started writing!

      And how cool that I’ll get to see you at the Tucson workshop…maybe we can continue that very fun SRW tradition of hitting the hotel bar afterwards?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:18 am
  10. What a thought-provoking post! I can relate to a lot of things you mentioned, even though I’m an extrovert. I never have enough hours in the day to do all the things I want or need to do. If there were 100 hours in a day, I would still need a thousand years to read all the books in my to-be-read pile. (It’s not a pile, it’s a couple of six-foot bookcases, with double-filled shelves.)

    I don’t have anything to promote, but if I did I know Twitter would not be an option. I think the most effective Tweets are those witty quips and funny back-and-forth conversations that tell me more about the author than their books.

    Facebook is my go-to place, but I don’t know how effective it would be for promotion. I follow a lot of blogs but I miss a lot because my time on the computer is becoming more and more limited due to my “day job” taking care of my grandkids. I don’t know when I last updated my own blog – the post-it note reminding me to do it is curling up at the edges, and I only remember to check out my friends’ blogs when they give me a nudge or share the link on Facebook.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | June 8, 2016, 8:38 am
    • Becke, you’re so right about the TBR pile taking up way more time than we’ll ever have to spare! Which I guess is better than having plenty of time without nearly enough to read, huh?

      And the image of your post-it note curling up at the edges is priceless…maybe when your grandkids graduate from college you can finally take it down. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:21 am
  11. By the way, Laurie, I forgot to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this post. THANK YOU!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | June 8, 2016, 8:39 am
    • Oh, you’re VERY welcome — I always love coming here!

      And talk about a great lead in (busy schedule) to my apology that I’ve gotta get dressed and head off to work before reading & answering more comments…here’s hoping today will be nice and slow.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:23 am
  12. I’d have to go with No. 2 because my addy book includes reams of people who might send my missive straight to spam jail and no street team πŸ™ I have done blogs though not that many in such a short space of time. My fav promo is doing book talks and/or signings — I know that doesn’t usually hit as many people but I love the one-on-one interaction!

    Posted by Heidi | June 8, 2016, 8:40 am
    • Heidi, there’s a lot to be said for doing what you enjoy regardless of how many people it reaches — anything that keeps you going as a writer is a Good Thing!

      And you’re a great example of someone with all kinds of irons in the fire, which makes it even more important to choose only the kinds of promotion you MOST want to use…your continued sales show it’s working. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:34 am
  13. Hi Laurie!
    Out of the three options offered, I would pick the blog tour – 10 sites in 10 days. I think it would be a great opportunity to connect with many different readers and writers.

    Posted by Rose | June 8, 2016, 8:45 am
    • Rose, you’re right about it being handy to connect with many different readers when you’re promoting a book — and writers tend to BE readers, so they qualify as well.

      The advantage of hitting various blog sites is the ability to target different audiences, because we don’t always know up front where our readers will come from. It’s convenient being able to try out some new audiences in addition to the ones we already KNOW will like our work!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:38 am
  14. I would do 10 blog posts over the course of 10 days. That being said, I haven’t found these blog tours at all helpful for my books. I enjoy answering all the various questions the tour hosts ask, but there are rarely any comments. I don’t know why this is either. I’ve used about four or five different companies who set up these blog tours and I keep trying, but I think that a lot of authors would agree with me that it’s hard to believe in this type of promo if you can’t see any positive results.

    Posted by Patricia Yager Delagrange | June 8, 2016, 9:17 am
    • Patricia, you’re absolutely right that promo which doesn’t reveal any results is hard to support — why waste time on something that hasn’t proven it’ll work?

      Authors who DO report success with certain kinds of promotion are far more likely to stick with it, but even they can benefit from sometimes checking out another option…because the choices are constantly evolving (and so are our readers).

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:42 am
  15. If I could only choose one of those promotional types, I would choose the 10 blogs in 10 days tour. My thought process is that the people on my contact list probably already know about my book coming out. I could ask them to mention it to their friends (in a pyramid scheme type scenario) but I would be concerned that they would find that annoying. I love the idea of the street team, but a street team takes a lot of cultivation and time to rally the troops and get everyone in the mindset of “get out there and tell people”, although, they all signed up to be on the street team to do this kind of thing, so they would already be expecting to spread the word. The reason I’d select the blog tours is because now I know I’m probably reaching ten brand new audiences. Even though I don’t know what the reach is with each of those blogs, the opportunity to expose brand new people to my name and books seems like the best way to build a readership. If they’re already connected to the blogger, they’re probably going to take notice of any author who is featured on the blog. In reality, I would probably do all three…and more…when my next book is coming out. (Later this summer or early fall.) See that, I just inadvertently did a little promo work with this one response.

    Posted by Laurie Adams | June 8, 2016, 9:28 am
    • Laurie, it’s a treat watching your thought process as the next-book promo plan takes shape — right here on the page is a good example of how your personality aligns with the most effective promotion.

      And as you assemble your plan, keep in mind that you can choose all the methods you want…limited only by the number of hours in your day! Which has me hoping the release date is BEFORE school starts again…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:45 am
  16. Hi Laurie,

    I’d pick #2 because with so many books releasing, it seems like you’re better off being front and center at the moment. BUT… (LOL!!)

    That said, I’m dipping my toe in the Street Team waters later this summer. I want a small group of true reader fans. So, we’ll see how that goes. I agree wholeheartedly that you need to venture into social places where you’re most comfortable. I discovered twitter and Pinterest are really fun! I’m hoping the street team proves to be as well. Have a great summer, Laurie!

    Posted by Gina Conkle | June 8, 2016, 9:35 am
    • Gina, good for you on trying a new method — that’s as important for promotion as it is for writing; the more willing you are to seek out better ways of doing something, the more effective results you’ll get.

      And your books are SUCH a great match for Pinterest; what’s not to love about the kind of artwork that naturally ties in with that whole setting?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:49 am
  17. Given these three choices, I think I’d take the 10 blogs in 10 days. I like the idea of a street team, but haven’t looked seriously into starting one.

    Posted by Stephanie Berget | June 8, 2016, 9:42 am
    • Steph, you’re extremely good at outreach — probably because you don’t even think of it as DOING outreach; you think of it as getting together with people you know and like. πŸ™‚

      So if you ever decide on a street team, I suspect it’ll be a successful venture…the only tough part will be keeping them supplied with books!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 10:52 am
  18. I would pick #3, however I don’t have a street team yet. So I guess my second choice would be #2. I am always hesitant to contact my email list just because I feel like I’m imposing. As you can probably guess, I’m awful at promo. But I absolutely adore Laurie and have taken many of her classes. She’s awesome and this is a class I would definitely take!!!

    Posted by Emma Leigh Reed | June 8, 2016, 9:44 am
    • Emma, thanks for the endorsement — your chance is coming up on Monday!

      I know what you mean about hesitating to “impose” on friends; it’s awful to think about becoming the kind of person whose posts make people cringe. And yet we see so many examples of that happening, it’s a constant reminder of how good ideas can go wrong. Sigh…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:00 am
  19. This overwhelms me…the idea of the work to promote…but I loved the 10-day thing. Will the course break down how to do that? You make it sound easier than I feared it might be, and I’m so hoping I’d learn more about it…

    Posted by Lisa Heidinger | June 8, 2016, 9:44 am
    • Lisa, it’s staggering how many methods of promotion there ARE — the whole idea is to find which ones feel the most comfortable, because those are the most do-able even if it involves a learning curve.

      And, yep, there’ll be discussions of how to accomplish whichever type of promotion resonates with you once you know what that is. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:03 am
  20. Hi Laurie

    What an interesting article. I never thought of promotion as being tied to my personality type. But now that you explain, it certainly is. Left to my own I wouldn’t do any promo. Long ago, way, way long ago, an editor told me the best promo was word of mouth from readers and that that came from writing a good book. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that until we’re sick of it. I still believe it.

    That said, it’s a new world out there. Hard as it would be, I’d do the blog tour. That way I could better control what comes out of my mouth.? Also, I think it would eventually reach more readers! The ultimate goal!

    Posted by Alison Hentges | June 8, 2016, 9:46 am
    • Alison, there’s a lot to be said for just writing a good book! We’ve all seen cases where it seems like the author forgot about that part and focused solely on promotion, but generally that doesn’t stay effective for very long.

      And for people who flat-out can’t stand to do any kind of promotion, counting on reader word-of-mouth is always a handy fallback…after all, the actual writing is pretty much the only thing we CAN control. (At least when the editor / publisher are in alignment with the author’s story vision.)

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:05 am
  21. Of the three choices offered, I’d take the “street team” in a heartbeat — having somebody else promote on my behalf would be awesome.

    If I’m actually doing the promotion myself, well… I’m much better in print than I am in person. (Actually talking to people tires me right the heck out.) So that would put me in “blog tour” territory.

    But there are other options. I have a lot of “friends” (real and virtual) on FB, and I’ve seen some author-promotion events on there that were a lot of fun. Some were individual authors doing virtual release parties; others were groups doing promotion parties, where different authors would take turn talking about their works/stories/worlds, running little contests, and answering questions.

    I also have a blog which has some modest readership; promoting on the blog would be a lot easier for me than anything that involved interacting with people in the real world.

    Posted by Michael Mock | June 8, 2016, 9:47 am
    • Michael, it’s wonderful to have other promotional options already in mind — looks like you’ve already figured out which ones work best for your personality, and that’s the most important step in getting started.

      Your Facebook posts are so entertaining that it’s easy to envision an occasional mention of “what Firstborn said about my latest release” that’d make readers jump at the chance to click that link!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:11 am
  22. I would probably pick #2, 10 blogs, 10 days–because I’m more comfortable with that format. I would NOT be comfortable with #1 at all and as for #3, though I imagine I have a fabulous street team, I always feel weird having a chorus of people “praising” me in any sort of way. However, on the blogs, you can individually talk to people, which I like, and usually your blog gives you a chance to let your writer voice shine.

    Posted by Fran Colley | June 8, 2016, 10:06 am
    • Fran, that’s a good point about letting your voice shine — gotta love a blog where they let you talk exactly the way you want, rather than answering a specific set of questions in a limited space.

      Although I’ve seen some impressive answers in such settings, which leaves me in awe of that writer’s voice. Not to mention some great email addresses like, hmm, Ms. Hellion…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:15 am
  23. Hi Laurie! I’m really looking forward to this class now…

    As for the question, I would pick #3, because they would probably do a better job at promoting me than I am! (Haha!) Of course, that would require me having a street team. Not sure I could get enough (if any) people to join to do any good. πŸ˜›

    Posted by Stacy McKitrick | June 8, 2016, 10:54 am
    • Stacy, it’ll be fun having you on board the next couple weeks — with or without a street team. πŸ™‚

      And you’ll be at that reader-author event this weekend, right? It’s a safe bet you’ll come back with all KINDS of ideas for promotion, possibly including some that’ll be worth sharing in class…it’s always amazing how many new things people come up with!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:18 am
  24. I’m searching for ways to promote my newest book for an Amazon Countdown Deal scheduled later this month. One website advertised they had a book promotion deal just for that–at a cost of $400. The ebook will sell for $.99. Definitely not cost effective.

    Of the three choices, number two seems the least intimidating but more than likely won’t yield the exposure I hope for.

    Posted by Patti G. | June 8, 2016, 11:03 am
  25. Patti, good for you on investigating options like the (not so cost-effective) one above — the fact that you’re taking time to seek out worthwhile promotions shows you’ve already embraced the spirit of Getting It Done.

    And you also deserve credit for running the numbers, which is something a lot of us writers tend to falter over (“I’m no good at math; I’m a words person”) and wind up in trouble as a result. Whereas looking at projected earnings & expenditures in advance, like you’re doing, makes decisions a whole lot easier. πŸ™‚

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 11:21 am
  26. I think I would pick the street team. I’ve seen it work well. My problem is I hate to ask people to help me out and be on my team.

    Posted by Jerlyn Stone | June 8, 2016, 11:46 am
    • Jerlyn, I know what you mean about hating to ask people for help — so many of us grew up believing that it’s presumptuous to think anyone would WANT to help us do things we should be able to do on our own.

      And in some cases, that’s true…my mother and brother laugh about the time they met for lunch at a cafeteria, moved dishes from their trays to the table, then each held out their tray expecting the other one to remove it. (They still each think THEY were right!)

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 12:09 pm
  27. Hi Laurie, great post. I would pick #2 a guest blog tour with 10 sites in 10 days.

    Mainly because the posts have to done ahead of time, so I would have time to write them, and visiting a site a day isn’t overwhelming and doable.
    Promotion is a very hard thing, you have to do what is best for you, even if you’re not sure what that is. I’m constantly trying different things to see what might stick.

    Posted by Marie Tuhart | June 8, 2016, 11:48 am
    • Marie, you’ve got a great system in place — there’s nothing like trying out new things with every new book or two for finding the most effective methods of promotion.

      And I like your thinking in terms of getting the blog posts done in advance…you can tell someone who’s spent time in the corporate world; that kind of time management skill is a lovely benefit. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 12:11 pm
  28. Hi Laurie,

    I would definitely pick the blog tour. I love reading new release blogs and the different angles each blog takes on the characters, especially if the bog reveals some not-in-the-book information about the characters and/or the world.

    Cheers,
    Laurel

    Posted by Laurel Greer | June 8, 2016, 12:22 pm
    • Laurel, that’s exactly the right attitude for a successful promotion — you’ve got the kind of personality that enjoys what you’re describing there, which means that’ll come through not only in your blogs but also in your books.

      And we can bet the people reading your books are going to share this aspect of your world-view, which means THEY’LL appreciate your blogs as well!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 12:39 pm
  29. I send out newsletters for new releases…so I’m guessing I’ve picked the first answer!

    Posted by Sherri Shackelford | June 8, 2016, 1:54 pm
    • Sherri, way to go on having an answer already in your toolbox — it’s handy to know something that works for you!

      It’ll be cool watching your mailing list grow with every new book, as you develop more and more fans…having a way of measuring growth in readership is a very useful thing.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 3:47 pm
  30. Hi Laurie,
    I’d choose the blog tour, but being the type of person who plans everything in advance, I’d need to find someone offering an on-line course on how to come up with unique content for those blog posts!

    Posted by Janet Ch. | June 8, 2016, 2:36 pm
    • Janet, you might’ve just come up with the perfect idea for next time I think “hmm, there’s a free month on the schedule…what topic to teach next?” πŸ™‚

      In terms of finding unique content for blog posts, though, I can recommend a great resource: Copyblogger dot com is amazing. It’s designed for people who earn their living writing content, but has all kinds of great tips on coming up with new ideas!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 3:54 pm
  31. I like the idea of the street team. I wish I could have a loving, supportive street team spreading the word for me, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, and that’s my problem with promotion–not enough people are interested in my specific genre of pulp-fiction romance. I just haven’t found the one way that resonates, that fits me best. There is no “one-size-fits-all” in promotion, because I just don’t appreciate all those folks who post their book ads to Facebook over and over and over again ed infinatium. But how do you reach beyond Facebook to capture the interest of potential friends and book lovers?

    I’d be interested to know how to promo in just 10 minutes a week. That sounds too fantastic to be true. But knowing you, Laurie, I know you’ve got a plan up your sleeve.

    Posted by Carol Malone | June 8, 2016, 2:43 pm
    • Carol, knowing that you’d like to devote just 10 minutes a week to your promotion is a very good thing — it’ll keep you from wasting time on ideas which take longer to implement.

      And it DOES come down to what you have time for, even if that time is minimal…there are only so many hours in a day, so there’s no point beating yourself up if you flat-out don’t have time for much promo at all. Sure, you probably won’t become famous, but having a lifestyle you can comfortably sustain is worth a lot more than fame…right?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 3:57 pm
      • Absolutely. I just want enough to cover a part time job that I used to have. That’s not asking much. Sure I’d love to make 6 figures in a year, but I can’t see myself doing that and I don’t have the time nor the inclination to market to that degree although I take all the FREE webinars all the marketing gurus offer. But they don’t get the shy writer. They are big and brash and bold. I’m just humble and simple. I love simple promo, nothing too complicated or time consuming. I really like Facebook parties. I had one last night. Worked pretty well. I think I was sandwiches in the dinner hour, so didn’t get a lot of traffic.

        Posted by Carol Malone | June 8, 2016, 5:06 pm
  32. As an introvert, the blog tour sounds the most appealing. But are blog tours still valuable promotional tools? I’ve heard that developing your newsletter list and sending out a great newsletter is the best way to gain readers who are truly interested in your books…

    Posted by Bliss Bennet | June 8, 2016, 2:50 pm
    • Bliss, a great newsletter can be a fabulous tool! There are all kinds in addition to the three mentioned above, which are just to get people started thinking about different types of promo.

      But nothing says you have to use ANY of those — and that’s a lucky thing, because with so many people choosing the kind that works best for them, it’s lucky there ARE so many choices. (Whew.)

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 4:00 pm
  33. Definitely the guest blog tour in 10 days. I love blogs and know so many others that do. It’s a great way to reach new readers looking for what you can offer.

    Posted by Vicki | June 8, 2016, 2:54 pm
    • Vicki, as a blog lover who knows lots of other blog lovers, you’ve got a good easy choice up there. Which isn’t to say there aren’t other choices that might work equally well, but knowing something that’s loved by not only you but also the people you hang out with is a good indication that this FITS your personality.

      And that’s really the core of good promotion…it’s gotta match who you are, because otherwise it’ll be tough to sustain.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 4:03 pm
  34. I liked the way you snuck in how different personalities might prefer different approache. I prefer the 10 blogs in 10 days because you can plan ahead. Although an ocasional in-person lecture at a conference is great too.

    Posted by Helen Henderson | June 8, 2016, 2:59 pm
    • Helen, you’re right about the promotional value of in-person lectures at a conference — I’m amazed at the range of responses, from a complete sell-out to lugging home flyers/books nobody wanted to (most common) something in between.

      But trying that approach more often would make a difference in evaluating what works best — too bad there aren’t conferences needing lectures every week or so!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 4:07 pm
  35. I’d do the 10 blogs in 10 days – and that would be a huge thing for me, though I’d be able to plan ahead and deliver the blogs ahead of time. I don’t mind chatting at signing events. I like meeting people. I’m tired afterward, but also jazzed.

    Another excellent lesson, Laurie! Thanks!

    Light,
    Nancy

    Posted by Nancy Haddock | June 8, 2016, 3:51 pm
    • Nancy, I like your description of “tired but jazzed” — that’s the mark of an enjoyable challenge, and combining both those factors is a great way to discover potential new approaches, while not veering ludicrously far from what feels comfortable.

      Some playwright whose name I’ve forgotten said all of life is a quest for balance between familiarity and variety, so it makes sense that would apply to promotion as well.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 4:09 pm
  36. You’re right, it’s hard to do it all, Laurie. What a fantastic idea to take your personality into the mix.
    No doubt about it, a street team for me. Otherwise, I feel like I’m tooting my own horn. I love talking about great books I’ve read and sharing them with others, so to have that kind of team work with reader who loves my books. A win-win!
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea. πŸ™‚

    Posted by Sia Huff | June 8, 2016, 5:45 pm
    • Sia, it sounds like you’d be a great member of a street team — so finding people who feel the same way as you will be a lot easier than for someone who’s shy about discussing books they’ve loved.

      Isn’t it amazing how paying attention to your own personality traits yields such handy insights? We do that all the time with our characters, but sometimes forget to apply that same analysis to ourselves!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 6:31 pm
  37. Hey Laurie! Great post. I think I would choose option 2 – blog tour, writing ten blogs over 10 days. That way, I’d have time time figure out what I’d write about and do on the blog tour. It sounds like I could fit it into my schedule well. πŸ™‚

    Posted by Charlotte Raby | June 8, 2016, 6:53 pm
    • Charlotte, you’re smart to think about what you can fit into your schedule well — it’s one thing to fit in a project that drives you nonstop for six weeks, and another to fit in a project that accommodates your lifestyle with whatever responsibilities that includes. (And in your case, it’s a lot!)

      So how does that relate to personality? How much we take on at once is a VERY individual trait…same as how we react to the stress of Too Much or Too Little to do.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 7:35 pm
  38. Funny–I’d do anything to AVOID the “contact everyone in my address book” option. I don’t mind promoting myself online or to strangers, but the idea of approaching my relatives or coworkers gives me hives.

    Posted by Rowan Worth | June 8, 2016, 9:05 pm
    • Rowan, that’s a good thing to know — and purely in practical terms, it gives you a whole lot more potential readers as a target, because (at least I hope) your relatives & co-workers are far outnumbered by the strangers. πŸ™‚

      Although when you start thinking about all those clients and Facebook friends…hmm.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 8, 2016, 9:14 pm
  39. Hi Laurie,
    Promo is such an important part of a writer’s life, but so are connections. I think the friends you make in this industry can go a long way to help you further down the road when you’re ready to spread the word about your new book baby.
    In answer to your question, I would go with the book tour. Maybe they don’t do a lot for sales, but it comes back to those all important connections πŸ™‚

    Posted by Jacquie Biggar | June 8, 2016, 9:40 pm
    • Jacquie, there’s sure a lot to be said for connections — not only as a source of encouragement and fellowship, but also as a vehicle for promotion.

      And while nobody wants to “use” their friends solely for promotion, the whole idea of business contacts is that they can ALL help each other out…so everybody wins!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 2:45 pm
  40. Evening Laurie!

    Yup, I’m late – running out of time today! =) I’ve got two hours of computer work to do and an 18lb cat laying across my keyboard wanting attention. =) How do you promo through that? lol…..crazy cat lady promotions…

    I’d definitely need a street team…very much an introvert unless I’m at work…what can introverts do to promote themselves without getting too far out of their comfort zone?

    Your class sounds awesome!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Peters | June 8, 2016, 11:06 pm
    • Carrie, what YOU need to do is write a book where the cat plays an important role. Just think of all the readers who’ll flock to such a story, by someone who totally GETS how a cat can both enrich and disrupt your life. πŸ™‚

      I can see the wheels starting to turn — after all, this is the kind of humorous story you’re best at! If only the cat will let you write it…

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 2:48 pm
  41. Thanks for the article. I suppose I would be willing to do any of them but I have no idea what the following means; “your own street team spreading the word.” First choice, emailing the address book but that’s also a small number of potential sales.

    Posted by Rachelle Ramirez | June 9, 2016, 12:10 am
    • Rachelle, a street team is what people call their appointed fans who spread the word about their work…maybe not literally on the street, although that could involve some very cool promotions, but also via social media and reviews and event attendance and word-of-mouth recommendations.

      They get rewarded with inside info from the author, like sneak previews / acknowledgments / swag / contests / etc, so everybody stays happy!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 2:53 pm
  42. Author promotion is a huge issue for me, especially as a newly published author. If I had to choose, I think I’d go with street team. I’m not comfortable getting out there tooting my own horn so if someone else could do it, leaving me to write, I’d love that!

    Posted by Lisa Caviness | June 9, 2016, 9:41 am
    • Lisa, congratulations on your new book — what an exciting time that is.

      And you’re sure not alone in feeling uncomfortable about tooting your own horn…wouldn’t it be nice to live about 30 years ago when publishers did ALL the promotional work and all the authors had to do was write fabulous books? Not like that was a cakewalk, either, but it’s at least something writers are good at. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 2:56 pm
  43. I don’t know that I’ve contacted everyone on my contacts list but I have invited a lot of them to like my author FB page or sign up for my newsletter. I’ve done blog tours and those are great! What I’ve never attempted do is to put together a street team. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to do it, but I really love the idea and I’m interested in learning how to do it.

    Posted by Donna Hatch | June 9, 2016, 9:50 am
    • Donna, way to go on choosing the people from your contacts list who you think will be good candidates for your newsletter and author page — that shows you’re not just viewing them blindly, like a one-size-fits-all gang of potential readers, but rather as individuals.

      And I’m betting those are the individuals who enjoy your blog tours and books…not to mention SOME of whom could also be good candidates for a street team!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 2:59 pm
  44. Wow, thanks to everybody who posted yesterday AND today…it’s always a treat seeing writers who make time for thinking about promotion.

    You can tell I’m a big believer in its value, given that my day job is in advertising. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I fed all the comments into random-dot-org and they chose #32. So congratulations to Helen Henderson…just send me your address at Book Laurie gmail etc.

    Anybody else who’s interested in Promotion To Suit Your Personality, feel free to do the same thing — and thanks for making this such a great visit!

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | June 9, 2016, 3:08 pm
  45. Another great blog, Laurie, even if I’m no way thinking about promotion.
    Gotta have something to promote in the first place. Maybe next year.
    But that doesn’t keep me from learning how everyone else deals with book promo. The Boy Scout motto works for me: always be prepared.
    If I were choosing today, I’d go with the street team.

    Can’t wait for September and my next class with you! You’re the greatest.

    Posted by Elaine Bedigian | June 9, 2016, 10:50 pm

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