C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Apologies. For some reason, WP reblog won’t let me break my commentary into paragraphs. This underlines the larger point about every human endeavour: “…we all know there’s a debacle bearing down on us, but we never know what form that debacle will take. The failure attack is always expected, yet somehow always new”. Original commentary starts here: 

My friend Armand has been betrayed! Release the zombie dogs! (And please read this reblogged post before I go on a similar tangent below.)

Gory undead quadruped vengeance aside, what strikes me about Armand’s situation is how simple the solutions were. It pretty much came down to communication. Armand was doing all the communicating and none was bouncing back from the publisher. That’s considered rude everywhere on this planet.

The authors in the anthology could help promote the anthology to a wide audience. Why wouldn’t they coordinate with the contributors to promote the anthology? Baffling. As it stands, it seems the only people who will have received any charity are the publishers of the anthology. People don’t generally read anthologies for the editor’s name. It’s about the authors and their stories. We all know this. Why the problem? Shouldn’t happen. Did. That’s book promotion, I guess (and everything else that includes that ever-fallible “human” factor.) This sort of failure is why I prefer my robot sex surrogates to people. And the robo-butler always gets my espresso order right.

Personally, a communi-gaffe put a dent in my mood last night. A site meant to connect writers with new readers held one of those “featured hot title” sort of promotions. I’ve marked Bigger Than Jesus down to 99 cents on kindle, so I paid $25 and registered but didn’t hear anything back. When I followed up, (thinking I was on a waiting list) they answered quickly to cheerily report that the promotion had already taken place! The ad ran, though it didn’t even show up in my Google Alerts and nary a blip in sales.

It was just a one-day thing, true, but had I known it was happening, I could have coordinated the promo effort so it might have had some effect. I could have moved some copies of my funny neo-noir and, not for nothing, boosted traffic back to the promo site, too. (Robo-attack dogs, stand by.)

I don’t know what went wrong there. The confirmation wasn’t in a spam folder. Somehow, the connection was lost. I agonize over every promotional effort and purchase, so this loss bugs me. Since I can’t imagine what the glitch was on my end, I won’t gamble $25 that way again. It’s not “only” $25. When you have $25 to throw away (which I don’t), you don’t throw it away in the gutter. You throw it away on lottery tickets.

Every book promo site has a disclaimer that says they don’t guarantee sales. I understand that. However, “awareness” is over-rated. Awareness can’t be measured and doesn’t deliver. Awareness isn’t a click, a buy or a like, a connection or a review. I’m shifting my efforts and my tiny promotion budget to new horizons. I’ll blog about those book marketing strategies in my next post in this space.

In the meantime, don’t just be “aware” of Armand Rosamilia’s pain (or at least mild annoyance.) Hit like on his post or offer the man a word hug or something. Commiserate. Connect. He’s a good guy, a good author to know and the beard’s awesome. (Catch my interview with Armand at CoolPeoplePodcast.com, by the way.)

What’s amazing about book promotion is that, with experience, we all know there’s a debacle bearing down on us, but we never know what form that debacle will take. The failure attack is always expected, yet somehow always new.

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

I’ve been a prolific writer for many years, and I have quite a backlog of unpublished short stories, most of which shall always remain unpublished. That’s just reality. There are some solid ideas in the pile, but overall most of them aren’t really worthy of being sent out into the world unless I go back and rewrite them. With so many new ideas always invading my head, it doesn’t seem logical. 

I’ve had a couple of stories submitted and ‘bought’ by small press publishers that have never seen actual publication, and that is the price you pay at times for dealing with companies that range from professional to scatter-brain, broke and just a dreamer with an idea. I have no problem with presses tanking and shutting down, because it’s just the way the business works. What I have a problem with is a small press company that strings your story…

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