Today, Lyrical Pens welcomes novelist D. J.
Adamson discussing how she goes about the important business of marketing
without breaking the bank.
I worked in sales and marketing before deciding to
background gave me the confidence to go forward. I’d trained many people to
successfully sell and market. Combining what I knew before with what I
know now allows me to pass
on some of the tips I’ve learned about selling and marketing my books.
At the beginning, I played with social media, went to
conferences and networked, purchased promotional packages. Did I have
success? Some, but nothing
that put me on the Amazon’s “most sales list” or matched Hugh Howie’s
As a past business person, I know a business needs to
eventually run in the black. Maybe not the first year, but eventually. So after
two years, I pulled up my expenses and balanced them with my assets.
DEPRESSING. Yet, instead
of discouraging me, it motivated me to do it all differently. Here is what I found:
I no longer go to conferences unless the
attendees include readers as well as writers.
Writers don’t buy books. Or very few.
go to conferences that are close by and don’t cost a flight and hotel to
attend. One conference cost me two thousand dollars and I sold one book. I
joined active association, like Sisters in Crime, National Women’s Book
Association, SCBWI, Mystery Writers of America. I became active.
I remind myself that I am as good as my last
book. I received one award, was
nominated for another, and
received 4+ stars on my novels. Many Goodreads people “Want to Read” my
work, but, sales diminish
after the book has been out there for a year. I need to produce one to two
novels a year. And let me emphasize, Good Novels. That means, I need to be disciplined in my
schedule. I work my
writing at least four to six hours a day and spend about five hours a week on social networking and
used to work many social networks. Now, I am only on Facebook and Twitter.
I also limit how much I promote my books, only doing so when I have a
special promotion going on, revealing a new cover, or mentioning a launch. Don’t you thumb right past those twenty posts
requesting, “Read My Book”?
I use social networks for networking, not marketing.
I meet new people in the industry and by putting myself out there, I am
I use my Kindle freebies only before I launch
a new book. I hold maybe one/two .99 cent promotions. I try to do a Goodreads
giveaway once a month. I offer two, sometimes three books. I send them by
use snail mail to keep others updated on my new work. I’ve found postal mail more
beneficial than email. It takes nothing to hit the delete button on a computer.
The person getting the postcard has to see what the card is about and who it’s
from before giving it a toss in the trash basket.
set a dollar limit for promoting a book. If you look around, you’ll realize a
whole industry has developed to swallow authors’ dollars, promising to get their books noticed. I have
limited my promotional money to $500 a book. I know that sounds low, but I
think I have sold more books in this past year than the two years combined. I
advertise on free or low-cost sites. Amazon ads have been very successful, and
the cost is low. Finding a way to get to readers or promote without spending a
lot of money has become actually very fun. I had Fiverr.com create my book
trailers. Go to my website http://www.djadamson.com
to see for yourself. They aren’t bad. They are also on YouTube, and go figure
this, the trailer of Outré
seen by almost five thousand viewers. Did that turn into sales? Probably not. But five thousand
people learned my name.
Coeur de l’Artiste”
reviews books and interviews authors. I publish it monthly. It comes out, like
any other deadlined project, on the 15th
of every month. Sometimes
not until midnight, but one minute before, I press the send button. The
newsletter has not necessarily created sales, but it has branded my name as a
writer. Plus, I find a great satisfaction in promoting other authors.
Stephen King said in his work On Writing
that to write you need to read a lot. You need to read
what is good and what is bad. I read at least five-six books a month, just for the
newsletter. I also try to read one or two books on promotion and craft.
began accumulating email addresses as soon as the newsletter idea came to me.
So far, my “Le
Coeur de l’Artiste”
list is almost two thousand readers. I don’t promote myself in the newsletter,
but it can be found on my website. I also offer it to many readers as a PDF. The newsletter has been so well accepted that
I now have a blog, “L’Artiste.” I produce it three times a
month. I include others besides authors: musicians, scriptwriters, playwrights,
etc. The blog emphasizes that getting the story
has many forms.
are great books out there on
promotional ideas. Read them all. Take an idea, put it on a card then try it out. One idea at a
time. If it doesn’t feel good to you or didn’t pan out, throw the card away and
pick up another. Don’t be bashful; ask others to help
promote stories. I have
rarely been told to “beat it.” In fact, I think it’s a writer’s responsibility
to help other writers. We all know how defeatist we can feel when things aren’t
am not sure I was helpful to anyone reading this. I am merely sharing my
experience so far. I want to write for a long time, which means I need to be
sensible about what I do, both with time and money. It might also sound like my
whole life is consumed behind my computer. I still teach a full load of
classes, grade papers, make dinner, clean house, and find the time to give my
family a hug.
Putting yourself out there is
the ultimate KEY to being SUCCESSFUL.
Please share with me your promotional stories, both the horror stories
and those that gave you some success. You can reach me on Facebook
, or my Website
. And don’t miss the latest issue
of “Le Coeur de l’Artiste.”
: Thanks, D.J., for sharing your marketing methodology
with Lyrical Pens readers. Lots of great tips in there. I’m keeping my fingers
crossed that Suppose
runs right up Amazon’s ladder to the Most Sales List.
If you’ve got a question or comment, be sure to let D.J.
know, either here or directly on her website. http://www.djadamson.com
We’d love to hear from you. Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try
to do the same.
D. J. Adamson is the author of
the Lillian Dove Mystery
science fiction-suspense trilogy. Suppose
, the second in the Lillian
series, has just
been released. She also teaches writing
and literature at Los Angeles colleges. And to keep busy when she is not
writing or teaching, she is the Membership Director of the Los Angeles Sisters
in Crime, Vice President of Central Coast Sisters in Crime and an active member
of the Southern California Mystery Writers. Her books can be found and
purchased in bookstores and on Amazon.
did he want to know about me?”
“If you were still alive.”
Connivers, murder and
the international shipment of drugs unites the local PDs and the Federal
Government, and drags Lillian Dove into a hailstorm of manipulation and danger;
whereby, she is given two choices: Join? Or die trying.