I came across a couple of links on writing and book promo this week, courtesy of Crimespace again. The links go through the old and tiresome debate of what exactly makes books sell. Writer Sell Thyself
The Business Rusch: Promotion
As you can see if you read them, what you believe about promotion tends to revolve around whether you are the self flagellating type who tends to believe that you should have done more and better or whether you are the type who believes that nothing much sells a book but more books.
Being the type who really desperately believes I should somehow be doing more, I did tend to think that carried over into promotion. These past few years have changed my mind. At this point, my twitter account is overwhelmed with authors begging me to buy their books and I don’t even want to look at Facebook invites anymore. I think I may have finally learned that more can be much, much too much. Really folks, I don’t live just to buy your books.
The other thing I think I believe (yeah, I’m not positive–anyone with a good argument might be able to persuade me differently.) is that writing more can make me buy more. By that I mean, if I like your stuff, I am going to want to read more of your stuff–whether it’s books, short stories whatever. Unless of course, you are writing a series that I have gotten sick of. Or I like one of your series so I am afraid to try another in case I get them mixed up. Or you traitor, you write in more than one genre and one of them is something I absolutely won’t read. (I haven’t yet really discovered what exactly that is, but I’m working on it.)
And the whole what makes you try an author debate? Yeah, we’re back to the usual. You buy because of the cover? Really? Synopsis? I can only hope. That I might have some control over.
You saw it advertised on TV? Well, they say that works with prescription drugs but dang! I have no hope ever then.
Don’t even talk to me about what is the publisher’s responsibility and what is mine. I have learned that really depends on whether you are the published or the publisher. Otherwise known as hope springs eternal–on both sides.
You know it’s not even that it’s just a really personal decision on what attracts. It is just random. A friend and I were discussing this just the other day. Sometimes, you can pick up a book and it just does nothing for you so you set it down after the first page or two. And then, months down the road you might pick up the same book and devour it in one sitting, just wowed by the whole deal.
I’m guessing none of these arguments change any minds either. The writers I know who think that promotion should be done at each and every event they attend and be at the forefront of their every thought and prayer, will keep doing that. The writers who think, “Eh, I want the thing to suceed or fail on its own merits” will keep doing that. And some in each group will suceed despite their own best efforts.