Getting ready for the BEA helped reinvigorate me for marketing Tornado Siren. Just before the conference, I sent in $40 to ReadersCircle.org to get on their preferred titles list for a month, which puts an image of my cover the front page of their site. They get more than 35,000 page views a month, but we'll have to see how many of those visitors click through to my page. My traffic is up, but it's definitely still slow. It's tricky trying to figure out where to stick my very finite resources (I'll have to find a way to barter with fellow playwright blogger Malachy Walsh for some marketing tips...).
I also used the ReadersCircle site to approach book clubs. Last week I sent e-mails to almost 40 clubs, half in my area, and half in Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas/Colorado, to let them know about the book, and offer to talk to their groups either on-line or in person (f0r the New England ones). The response had been mostly deafening silence until today, when I heard from the Boston University Barnes & Noble. She said that the book isn't right for their book club, but she was interested in the book and ordered copies to shelve in her store. So that's a success. Now I just need that to happen about five hundred more times.
I know this is extremely unlikely, but if any of you who are reading this are in New England and don't have a copy of Tornado Siren (surely not possible), be sure to head down to 660 Beacon Street next week and make them happy they ordered the book. (It'd make me happy, too. And make you happy, because it's a fun book.)
Trying to figure out how to sell novels has been an interesting puzzle, and I'm still trying to figure it out. In some ways, marketing a play production is easier, because it runs for a few weeks, you market the hell out of it (with scant resources), and either you sell tickets or you don't, and then it's over. And you've got a cast and crew plugging the show to their friends and family. With a book, there's no cast and crew. Just me--and my friends and family have all done their duty. Getting the word out there to the rest of the besieged world is the tricky part. As soon as I stop marketing it, that's it, people aren't going to buy it and read it. Which would suck.