Paid Promotion Works…Sorta

This month, to coincide with the 99 cent sale for The Watchmage of Old New York, I signed up to advertise in several newsletters. It worked. My sales have shot through the roof! I’ve never had a sales rank so high. At what rank do I get to call myself “best selling?”

I don’t know if it’s cost effective yet, but I think that it’s a better plan that just using free sites. Use both. Use Twitter, use your blog, join a promo club like #RRBC. Try everything.

Try everything: that’s a pretty good motto in life. You only level up through experience.

Gives Me XP

Level up. Become epic. Oh, and buy “Watchmage” while it’s 99 cents. You’ll (probably) not be disappointed. The only mediocre review it’s received so far was “3 stars. Imaginative, but silly. Good for teens.” I can’t argue with that. There’s a lot of absurdest humor in it, but plenty of gritty stuff too. It’s a pretty good mirror of this website: sometimes I’m dark and gritty, sometimes I’m philosophical and political, most of the time I’m weird.

Viva la weird.

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Did I Make Amazon Mad?

I have no clue what I did, but over the past two weeks Amazon has removed several of the reviews for The Watchmage of Old New York, and blocked at least five (people have told me that their reviews were blocked). I’m now down to 18 reviews, and who knows how far it will fall.

I don’t understand what I did wrong. I’ve never broken the terms and conditions or tried anything shady. Hell, I don’t even let my family leave reviews for fear of breaking terms. I guess i’m just unlucky.

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They also removed several reviews that I’ve left on products and books. I think that this is kinda funny, but funny sad. They send me emails asking for reviews on this and that product, but it’s those reviews that get removed.

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Doesn’t Marketing and Promotion Suck?

The answer: It does.

I’ve been trying to improve SEO (search engine optimization) for the site. I added a few links to other writers, and they did the same for me. It’s made a huge difference so far in search engine clicks.

I hate promotions and marketing. I just want to write and let everything else take care of itself. That’s the main reason why I submitted to publishing houses instead of self published. I don’t have the inclination (or the money) to do all the little things a self-published book needs.

Despite the promotion that I get from Damnation Books (my publisher), I still have to do a lot on my own. I’m not good at it, but I found that exchanging links with other bloggers is very time-effective.

For no reason, here’s a cat meme.

I like how his tie matches his eyes. Snappy dresser.

So if you are a writer, contact me if you’d like a link on my site. I can’t promise that I’ll add everyone (i’d prefer speculative or literary fiction, check out the writers I’ve already linked to). The only thing I ask is that if I link you, link me back. Together, we can float above all the crap in this pond.

Also, if you don’t have a website, you should start one.

Go Team Writers.

Like my website? Join my Facebook fan page for more awesomeness (and silly memes). If you like dark fantasy, check out my debut novel Song of Simon. It has no memes, but lots of music references and dick jokes. According to the reviews, Simon is pretty cool. There’s also my FREE webserial, The Watchmage of Old New York, which is at JukePopSerials. You can also find me on Twitter, where I tweet about whatever I feel like (but mostly geeky stuff).

Song of Simon News, CPAP Madness, and a Tribute to Valerie…

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Hey everyone. I just got an email from the artist that is doing the cover for “Song of Simon.” She sent me the final draft, and I like it a lot. It’s a different interpretation from how I pictured Simon–the boy looks more Latino than Irish–but there is a haunted look in his eyes that perfectly describes who Simon is. I am not too concerned with details. Details are less important than Truth. Also, I wouldn’t want to interfere with another artist’s interpretation. Seeing other people interpret your work is part of the fun (See my post on Fan Fiction).

On Wednesday I finally got a CPAP Machine to help with my Sleep Apnea. The doctor said to try it a little at a time to get used to it, so I used it for an hour during the day yesterday. I used it for an hour this morning, and I was almost able to fall asleep. Maybe tonight I can go all the way and actually get to sleep. It makes me sad that I can’t wear my glasses with it on though. I need the full mask, and it just wasn’t made for glasses. Oh well, don’t need glasses to sleep.

Next Wednesday, Mercy College is giving out a small award in Valerie’s name. I think that the award goes to either the top student in the writing department, or the winning story in a contest. Either way, I am happy about it. Even if years in the future, people no longer know who she was, she will still be helping her students. I remember when I was a senior, I was runner up for a similar contest. I only won a gift certificate, but it gave me the confidence I needed. Maybe my writing wasn’t as terrible as I thought. The encouragement is more valuable than the prize.

Motion + Lotion = Self Promotion?

I don’t enjoy promoting my work. I find it very embarrassing, and I fear that I annoy my friends with the constant Facebook posts and Tweets.  I don’t think that I am very good at it.  I am good at writing, and to be honest, that is all that I am good at (that, and cunnilingus…ask your mom).

So when I ask people to check out my serial “The Watchmage of Old New York” for free at Jukepop Serials, I am embarassed.  I am not a bold person and this is a problem, because if I can’t promote myself as a writer, I am bound to fail.  I don’t have anything else to fall back on, I have no useful skills.  If I fail, I am pretty much fucked.

I have the motion, but I don’t have the lotion.  I am not smooth.  I am ashamed.  I blush and I shake as I type when I ask people to VOTE for “Watchmage” (you can vote once for each chapter) and to share “Watchmage” with your friends through Twitter and Facebook posts.  When I brag that “Watchmage” is on the Editor’s Picks list, I only do so because it means that the story is one of the top serial on a website that only takes top serials.  I am proud, because I wrote a good story and I want people to enjoy it.

It’s only going to get harder when my novel comes out, and even harder than that when my second novel is done (1st draft should be done by April).

Fellow writers, I would love to hear how you got over the embarassment of self promotion.  Also, what techniques do you use to promote.  I think that I’ve gotten as much out of Facebook and Twitter as possible.  I started using TuesdaySerial, but I don’t know how much it has helped.

Readers, i would love to hear you opinions on self promotion. does it have a negative effect?  What can I do to improve my technique?  I want your feedback.  I want to not offend.