Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Catfish Marketing Campaign

A friend asked me what I’ve been doing to market my books and the sad truth is—not much. I have two books out, low sales and being something of an introvert, promo is hard. The advice I’ve received is focus on writing your next book and I’ve been doing that, but to be honest, not because I think it’s the best marketing plan, but because I enjoy writing a thousand times more than I like marketing. Still, here’s some things that I’ve done so far.
I blog, obviously, and I participate in blog hops, hoping that the winners and visitors will want to read my books. This is a painless and inexpensive time and dollar-wise way to promote. Besides my actual face to face writer group friends, I also belong to several online writer groups—a few of them have more than a thousand members. I’m fairly quiet, but I read the posts daily and try to participate in helpful, meaningful ways. 
This summer, when my next two books are being edited, I’m going to try something new. I’m calling it my Catfish Marketing Campaign—thirty ways to market in thirty days.
I wrote a friend that I was going to spend the summer learning marketing and it’s about as interesting as catfish. He sent me back this great video and the advice “even catfish can be interesting.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuGJJJX9ThM

I learned three things from that e-mail exchange.
1.      Don, my friend, works 10-12 hours a day and makes very, very good money. He’s in software design—totally different field, but he loves it, so he invests a lot of time into it. Lesson—if I love writing, I’ll want to spend my time on it.
2.      I told him I couldn’t write for 10-12 hours a day or my brain would turn to mush. He said that in his work he “wears a lot of hats.” Lesson—I, too, can wear a lot of hats—drafting, editing, marketing, networking.
3.      If you watch the video clip, you’ll see that the fishermen get bloody and they put their head under the dirty river stream. Lesson—if I want to be successful, I have to be willing to go out of my comfort zone. I may get a little bloody and I’ll absolutely get wet.
There are still aspects of marketing that make my toes curl, but I try to spend a little time every day looking for free marketing and promotional opportunities. I treat it like a treasure hunt and I troll the internet, blogs, and social sites. And what am I looking for—other than free ways to promote? Opportunities to give and connect—to answer questions, to help , to make kind suggestions, to offer some sort of service—and every time I do that—I sign my name and put a link to my blog and my books. Because I truly believe what goes around comes around. For example, I once was asked to be a guest on a British sci-fi/fantasy blog and I thought—this isn’t my genre, no one reading this blog is going to buy my book—but that day, someone in the UK did.

Am I selling a ton? Sigh. Not yet. But I think my plan is working and even if it’s not—I’m still spending a lot of, most of my time, doing something that I love to do. And after my next two books are edited and available to the world? I’ll have four books published and at the end of every book there will be a chapter of the next upcoming book (and oh—that one is going to be sooo good) and a good book with a satisfying end and another good book with a teaser beginning—that is the very best marketing tool of all.
Stay tuned for the Catfish Marketing Campaign—coming your way in July.  


  1. Looking forward to participating in the Catfish Marketing Campaign. :)


  2. Anyone else have a book to sell and want to join me? Anyone else want to play? I’ve already filled in my calendar with marketing ideas for the month, but I’m open to suggestions. It would be fabulous to have comrades to compare what worked and what flopped.