The Best Part of Marketing

I’m not as dedicated to marketing my books as many advisors recommend, but I invest some effort because I can’t resist the idea that I can find more readers. In particular, I hope to find readers who have never heard of me and who wouldn’t necessarily search for a Harlequin Spice novel; readers who might not even know the Spice line exists. Specifically, I felt I had to market because I thought my books might appeal to a segment of speculative fiction readers, who wouldn’t necessarily encounter Harlequin’s marketing.

There is one thing I really like about marketing. It’s when, unexpectedly, my little rubber balls thrown out into the aether bounce back. The best part is when I actually hear from someone, and they tell me they’re interested in my novels because they saw one of my blog posts or follow me on Twitter or picked up one of the postcards or bookmarks I left in the Goody Room at RWA. It’s empowering to realize something I’ve done has made a difference.

For instance, I recently received a message from someone who friended me on Facebook, based on one of those postcards. I met several people at the RWA Conference who knew me from Twitter.

When I hear back from someone, and they sound interested, I don’t feel so much like I’ve been pelting the universe with me, me, me. Marketing feels more like a conversation to me, then. It feels less obtrusive. This realization helped me to make up my mind about revamping my website (I’m in the process of getting a quote on that, with the aim of having it fixed up in November sometime).

And I feel like I’ve accomplished something real.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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5 Responses to The Best Part of Marketing

  1. Andrée Lachapelle says:

    Sounds like you *have* accomplished something real!

    Marketing is definitely a challenge, for me. So it's always nice to hear how others do it, and what results from their efforts.

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    I always think it's a balance between the publicity time and the writing time. I tend to give more weight to the writing time, of course, but sometimes you have to make adjustments, such as when a book is soon to come out.

  3. Jeannie Lin says:

    I think it's hard for us as authors and people to feel like we're not being totally self-centered when promoting ourselves. In an ideal world, we could have a separate sales team, and remain oblivious. :)

    I still like to imagine I have a separate promotion team — though it consists of myself, and occasionally mother.

  4. Jeannie Lin says:

    P.S. I have your bookmarks and cards! Will be passing them out at the local bookstore. Can't wait to see the new website.

  5. Victoria Janssen says:

    I got your stuff, too, and will be carrying it around to cons and readings.

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