Thinky thoughts on marketing

Remember how I was going to do a giveaway on Goodreads, but then I saw that the book had to come out within the past six months, so I didn't? Well, Lindsay Buroker did a post on Goodreads giveaways, and it turns out that they don't actually care about that. Definitely go read through the comments on Buroker's post--a lot of good advice for maximizing those giveaways.

It's a little annoying (sometimes I'm overly fond of rules), but I guess it's good that I could coordinate a Trang giveaway with the release of Trust. (And hey! I already have the books!) The only problem for me is that I'm going to be out of town for a week in May (yeah, right in the middle of my big push to get Trust out, life is very convenient sometimes), so I'll have to schedule around that.

The other thing that I'm thinking hard about is advertising. You have to be really thoughtful with it, in my opinion. The people I reach on Twitter and with this blog (and I do reach more now, the ho'ing has paid off) are other writers. Which is great, and definitely something I want to do, but of course I don't expect them to be big fans of my kind of book (that would be incredibly hypocritical of me).

But when it comes to advertising, I want to reach readers, not writers (and science-fiction readers, who are rare birds indeed). That's part of the thinking with marketing at sci-fi cons, and I need to do something similar with on-line advertising. It's about finding the audience: Lawrence Block mentioned a self-published book that sold well at feed stores, and there's a guy who did very well marketing his self-published book on gun forums--in both cases these were books that came out before self-publishing really took off, which gives you an idea of how effective that tactic can be. I think Amazon's marketing power makes people get a little lazy sometimes--they just focus on that system and ignore everything else--but especially with a niche market like science fiction, you have to reach out.