It’s all about buzz. A book’s success depends on buzz…and momentum. I think we readers know this, and writers have to know it, but how do you get ‘buzz’ for a book? Where does the buzz come from? Sure, you can place ads, post on a multitude of loops and groups, get yourself a fancy website, but none of that guarantees buzz, or sales, which is everything.
I’ve spent a lot of time in bookstores lately and I’m always browsing through the New in Fiction, or New and Notable tables. I tend to pick up books that look interesting, or ones that ring a bell.
There are times when I wonder if anyone in Dayton, Ohio or Wilmington, North Carolina has heard of The Frog Prince yet. I find myself wondering if the book will sell even if I can’t make it everywhere.
Being on a booktour is interesting as you somehow think you’re making a difference in sales…but am I really? Would The Frog Prince sell just as well without me jumping on and off planes, in and out of rental cars, schlepping my boxes of bookmarks and pens and autographed by author stickers around? Maybe. Maybe if enough readers find it, like it, recommend it to others. Maybe. But of course I’m Jane Porter and that means I’m a bit manic about details so I can’t just leave anything to chance. I come from a background in marketing and sales and must support the release of the book with as much visibility as I can manage. But I don’t write as much as I need to on the road. It’s hard to be public Jane and creative Jane at the same time and my writing suffers. I don’t think booktours are for the faint of heart, but they’re also interesting, as they’re puzzles. How to get people in the store? How to get press coverage? How to actually get books into peoples’ hands? Some events are wildly successful–I’ve had those. Some events are depressingly quiet. I’ve had those, too. So all one can do is get out there and try. And maybe that’s where the fun is for me…in the trying.