No, not that way. Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean, honestly, who needs a middle-aged hooker? Especially one who won’t wear spike heels. Trust me, you’d have a lot more fun with my book.
But you know what? Authors do have to sell themselves. From the time you decide you want to be published (and, really, what’s the point of writing a book if you don’t want to share it with readers?), you have to put yourself out there and show agents, editors, and future readers that you’re someone they want to invest both time and money in.
I know! And here you thought it was all about your book.
You can imagine how difficult it’s been for a shy, retiring soul like myself (stop laughing—it’s true! well, sort of) to pull herself out of the shadows and connect with people she (gasp!) doesn’t even know in person.
The first thing I did when I set out to find an agent was start a blog. I wanted it to reflect the humor and general smartassery of my books, so I, yannoh, went with being myself as much as possible. *grin* Fortunately, the whole smartass thing isn’t *cough* much of a stretch for me.
After I found my wonderful agent and she sold my book to my fantastic editor (um…that may not accurately reflect the time involved for this step of the publishing process, but that’s a whole ‘nother post), I shared the news with my blog readers in what I hoped was an eye-catching way—by following the precedent set by my agent’s previous clients when their books sold: I dyed a colored stripe in my hair.
I chose fuchsia*, because it showed up really well against my light hair:
When strangers started commenting on the stripe, I took the opportunity to tell them it was in honor of selling my book. I even had some business cards made with the book cover on the front, and book info on the back, so I could hand one to anyone who asked about my hair.
See? The whole hair stripe thing turned out to be kind of a “stealth marketing” campaign. Plus, it was just plain fun.
Eventually, I had some bookmarks designed (by the very talented Jeff Fielder), and started handing them out to anyone who expressed an interest in my writing.
No, I do not not force them on people. Much. But if you tell me you’ve pre-ordered In a Fix, and email me your address at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, I’ll send you a signed one.
(Oops. There I go with that sneaky marketing again.) (What? I’m just trying to be nice.)
Of course, it’s not all me doing the selling. Tor is doing their part for marketing In a Fix, too. They’ve sent out tons of advance reader copies to reviewers and book bloggers, they’re giving away ten copies for FREE on GoodReads (oops! did I do it again? sorry!), have set up blog interviews and guest spots for me, and a real live in-person book-signing event at Barnes & Noble (um *cough* yeah, apparently I have no shame). They’re even doing a book trailer.
Will all of this translate into book sales? Who knows? But what the heck. I figure it can’t hurt.
*It took me three times to spell “fuchsia” correctly. Seriously, I should have just said “pink.” But I’m stubborn.
So, what color stripe should I put in my hair when Michelle sells my next book? (Please go with something easier to spell.)