Marketing Books

Some useful tips from Frank J. Fleming.

[Lying] is a pretty tried and true method you can adapt to any situation. For instance, I tried to get someone to buy Hellbender and he was like, “Wait. Is that a science fiction comedy? I only read true crime books.”

So I said, “That’s what it is. True crime. Maybe the truest crime ever. And extra crimey.”

And then when he bought it and flipped through it and was like, “This looks like it was written by a chimp pounding at a keyboard!” I was all, “No refunds!”

Lying is great. You can also use it to make whatever you’re selling sound better than it is, though I don’t need that for Hellbender, since it has already won five Nobel prizes in literature and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the greatest novel ever.

As an ever-struggling author, I’ll have to try some of these.

3 thoughts on “Marketing Books”

  1. Funny stuff, but back in the good, old days, before people who assured me they were infinitely wise let me know I was too squeee! for the progressive mouth breathers and too dirty for the alt.right simpletons, I simply wrote my books, took my pay, and the marketing consisted of being on the shelves in bookstores, usually spine out.

    But some people *did* do real marketing, you see. There was one guy who claimed he paid union goons to make sure his books fell off the truck (so they couldn’t be returned against reserves) and another who told me he spent his entire advance on copies bought through wholesalers (generating royalties and also preventing returns). Both men have highly successful careers. Did I believe them? What difference does it make.

    Of course, when you’re young and pretty, there’s always sex… but few SF/F writers were ever pretty, and your average editor really is a roly-poly bat-faced girl, so… well, I did know a woman who managed to secure a death-spiral-proof slot by becoming her editor’s BFF…

    Me, I just continue writing books and leaving them on Amazon alongside my backlist. Every once in a while, I even get a fan letter.

  2. I would have thought that introducing the book into every conversation you have (with the possible exception of talking to yourself) is one of those marketing things.

  3. I guess technically speaking having a link from a blog comment post to a website with links to Amazon is marketing, but not having updated the website since 2011 probably spoils the effect.

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