Brenda Cooper

Marketing Mayan December

Mayan December is different than my other work.  That doesn’t mean readers of The Silver Ship and the Sea might not like it, some clearly do.  But – very different than my other work — every unsolicited email or review or comment has been from a women.  A lot of my science fictions readers are male, but clearly this book attracts women.  At any rate, I thought I’d share the things I’ve tried for marketing and what I thought of them.  So here goes:
I’ve done all of the usual readings and signings.  And they have been just as successful as usual.  Meaning fun (I really like them), but a slow way to gather sales since it’s really book by book by book.  The best I’ve done that I know of is 18 books at one reading.  I have two more  formal signing events – one at World Fantasy and one at Orycon (at Beaverton Powell’s).  At any rate, the return for personal appearances seems pretty low.  To be honest, I think I like them because they are so much more personal than social media, and because I am convinced that having good relationships with booksellers at stores remains useful in spite of spiking Kindle sales.
I sponsored the Adventures in Science Fiction Publishing podcast.  Mostly because I enjoy the podcast.  They also treat the books they accept as sponsors very personally.  I have no way to tell how effective that might or might not have been as a marketing tool.  Anecdotally, however, I did that for a previous book and I think it did help. I heard from a few people who had heard about it there.  I suspect this podcast has a largely male audience, so I tried to balance that by buying some blog ads via Blogads and picking women’s book blogs.  That’s running now, so I don’t have any feedback yet.  So far, it’s more expensive than Goodreads, and I guess time will tell if its more valuable.
Goodreads does a great job.  I did a Goodreads giveaway (and there’s a blog post about that) and I’ve also advertised on Goodreads.  I only pay per click and the ads get a lot of impressions and only a few clicks (but within the norms for what Goodreads said they might get).  That many impressions seems pretty good.  I also kind of like hanging around on Goodreads and I think they do a nice job of supporting their authors (all authors – all the time.  Not just when they have an active ad campaign).  I can also target my ads there pretty well by gender and even by looking for readers who like particular authors.
I’d love to hear any other marketing ideas any of you have – whether you’re a reader or a writer.

2 Responses so far

  1. 1. Nina Post

    I’ve been listening to AISFP for more than a year now, and thought Shaun did a great job with the sponsorship of Mayan December. I also enjoyed the interview. So that’s at least one book purchased by a female AISFP listener, though you’re probably right about the audience.

    Thanks for writing about your experience with marketing and with Goodreads — they’re a valuable resource. My debut novel will be published in winter 2012, so I’ve been looking into marketing ideas. Aside from the usual methods, I may get granular and go to book clubs in a particular setting.

  2. 2. brenda

    Good luck with your new novel! And yes, I think Shaun does a nice job. Love to hear how the book group idea works. I’ve done two events where I showed up at a book group that had read my book. One was incredible wonderful (organized at a bookstore – Powell’s of Beaverton), and the other was pretty awkward. 🙂 I think book groups are like crit groups – some are positive and some like to be savage.