Book Promoting is a (bleep)

Call me delusional, but for some reason I thought promoting my book was going to be an easy task.  I mean, I work in the radio business, I know tons of folks in the general media world (from newspapers and magazines, all the way to network tv) so getting the word out about my book should be a snap right?    HA.  HA.  HA.       W R O N G!   I was a complete fool.  Book promotion has got to be one of the toughest tasks ever, simply because IT NEVER ENDS and you always have to come up with new ways to get your book out there.  Sometimes I feel like one of those “stage moms” who push their kids into the limelight and can’t go a second without mentioning their talents to anyone who will lend an ear –or even a partial ear.  You know you’ve become OBSESSED, but you can’t help it.   If there is any opportunity to promote your book in any way, shape, or form, you take it…even if it means hanging out with large groups of mass murderers on death row.  Hey, they can still buy books right?  So there you are,  holding a  book signing at Riker’s Island. 

The picture above is from my first book signing held at a Borders store on Long Island.  We promoted the signing to millions of listeners on my radio station, I was featured in the local papers, I tapped all my sources on Facebook, and I was utterly shocked that only about 50 people turned up.  Of course we had a great time, and we even had free food, but as I was enjoying a free glazed donut during the event, I couldn’t help but wonder..  “All that promotion and only 50 people???  Geez..”  Later, once the crowd had cleared and the last of the free grub was devoured,  the regional Promotions Manager for Borders approached me and said “Congratulations, that was one of the best signings we’ve ever had!”  I was quite confused and said “You must be joking, right?”  and she said “No Maria, you really did great!  We’ve had big-name celebrities hold signings and NO ONE showed up!”   That’s when I realized I should be thankful for the turn-out, and that’s just the way it goes when it comes to promotions.  You can build it (or promote it) but they WON’T necessarily come!

3 Replies to “Book Promoting is a (bleep)”

  1. It’s random too. I did one signing in a town where I knew no one and figured I’d spend the hour telling people how to get to the bathroom and 40 people showed up. Then I did the town I grew up in and I had something like 8. Go figure.

  2. I was impressed by 50, too!

    It *IS* hard! The good news is, these days we can do a lot of it in our PJs in front of the computer (I say, about to ignore cleaning my bathroom so I can answer a blog interview for my upcoming release….ahem Aug. 17 ahem….)


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