Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Madness of Reaching

Three days tied to a computer; repetitive strain injury; severe ocular stress. Such are the joys of the long-distance book promoter. When the mad boffins at Amazon were discussing strategies for world domination, I wonder how the conversation went?

Chief Boffin: Okay, people. The topic is world domination. Let’s have your ideas on the table.

Boffin1: How about carpet-bombing Barnes & Noble stores? If that went well, we could move on to other outlets.

CB: Err. I can see some practical difficulties with that one. Apart from legal issues, there’s also the problem of getting hold of enough B-52s. Anyone else?

Boffin 2: We could ask people to sign up for a special program which would tie them to publishing their ebooks only on Amazon.

CB: Okay. Sounds promising. What incentive would we offer?

Boffin2: They could offer their books for free on a certain number of days. So, suppose we tie them in for ninety days, then they would have, say,  five days for giveaways.

(Silence)

CB: Let me get this straight. You’re suggesting that, as the biggest book retailer in the world, we GIVE AWAY thousands of books?! That must rate as the most cockamamie idea we’ve come up with yet. That sure as hell beats carpet bombing into a cocked bookshelf!

Boffin 2: Sounds like you’re not completely opposed then. Can I pass it on up to management?

CB: Do what you like. As long as it doesn’t have my name attached to it and you’re aiming to get yourself fired!

Well, we all know how that went down with management, don’t we? And here we all are (where ‘all’ is a large number but doesn’t necessarily include everyone reading this), throwing our ebooks at the reading public like confetti at a wedding (listen, it’s a humid eighty-one degrees here and the A/C is off and I’m famished – YOU come up with a better simile!). Why do we do it? Because it FEELS GOOD to see those sales numbers, which have moved in ones and twos for the past few months, suddenly shoot skywards. Not only that, but our ratings (lurking in the depths of the umpteen hundred thousandths) also leap to the fore. Of course, we got to #43 in FREE Mystery&Thrillers, rather that the more prestigious PAID version. But not to worry. It is great fun, those lovely folk on Twitter pulled out all the stops for us and we made a whole lot of new friends as well as further cementing existing friendships.

Most importantly (in my case) there are 1023 more people who now MIGHT read my excellent novel. Add that to the 1400 from the last promo, and it begins to look good enough for a toehold. After all, if we don’t reach, we will never be able to grasp.

Now, pass the muscle balm and pour me a glass of wine, please.

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