Monday, March 28, 2011

The BS in BSP

A month or so ago I began yet another blog,  The Shadow Warriors  
to promote well, actually, The Shadow Warriors Kindle Version in the U.S. and the U.K.  So far modest sales, but even more modest hits on the blog.   I beefed up the tags yet again, and waited.  Bought Joe Konrath's book for my Kindle and read his and Barry Eisler's long post about epublishing, but hey, it's hard for someone without a name to get noticed.  It seemed like whenever I did PR "stuff,"  blogging, Facebook, the gazillion listservs, that someone would buy the book.  It was like one copy per post.  Not exactly sales to gladden the writer's heart.

I hate this business of self-promotion, and pretty much suck at it besides.  This week has been particularly daunting with lots of posts here and there, with maybe just a short  tagline about my book and no response.  Nada.   Like everyone has seen through the ruse and sneered.  Feeling like the you-know-what in the punchbowl.

Until this morning.  I Googled myself (I know, hang head in shame)  to pick up any chatter and found mentions of moi on the website of the German University where The Shadow Warriors is set, and also some weird site in Asia  showing the Shadow Warriors Kindle along with other technical books.  Of course, no one in in Asia or Germany can order the Kindle version, and I have to figure out if Amazon ever puts English books such as mine on foreign websites.  This certainly would be great  in Germany, where this is practically an Historical Novel by now.  So these tags do help, and of course the book is available in paperback, but foreign shipping is prohibitive. 

The blog?  I'll keep plugging away.  You never know what will happen, maybe even something good.  The BSP?  Oh, by the way, that stands for Blatant Self-Promotion.  My mother always cautioned me about being "too forward."  It was unladylike and people would talk.  Of course self-promotion is all about people talking, even in a not very nice way, so "too forward" is the way to go.  

I'm still querying agents:  10 queries last week.  Big time-suck.  Must be as bad at querying as as BSP.  
I'm going to stomp up to the kitchen and make a cardamon crumb cake, since cooking is part of my skill set.
Let them eat cake  Cardamon Crumb Cake 
Food and Wine Photo of Cardamon Cake-see link to recipe
 Have cookies and banana bread in the freezer for next week's guests.  I never corner guests and offer to "read" a few pages to them.  No.  No.  Never read anything except when asked.  That's self-promotion, not blatant. 

How about you?  Are you at ease promoting yourself?  Can you schmooze and booze and not make everyone snooze?  I hope so.  It's an art.


Lindsay said...

Well Judy, sorry I got here so late. 11:38pm here in CT. But I guess better late than never.
Like you I've queried agents until my fingers bleed. If luck I might, repeat, might get a response. Usually, 'Sorry not for us'. So what's left.
Self-pub and whoring yourself out into the self-promo world. Like you I suck at it but am getting better. For example, I'm now on 7SSS along with Six Sentence Sunday.
With 7SSS I'm plugging my finished full and the other my WIP. Both being Army mysteries.
I post where ever I can and comment the same. Like here.
Going into the dangerous world of being published I knew was a shot in the dark but I'm glad I did it.
Save me a slice of that Cardamon Crumb Cake. Looks delicious and would go great with a Starbucks half cafe coffee. Venti of course.

Grapeshot/Odette said...


Great to hear from you. Are you a member of Sisters in Crime? The meetings are usually in Boston but occasionally the New England chapter meets in CT. A nice bunch of writers, too.

I guess is we all just keep plugging away at the writing and the PR and everything else (even the crumb cake!), that eventually something will happen. Notice, I didn't say that something good would happen. I think the agents are running scared right now, and publishers are unwilling to take a chance on anything that isn't same-old, same-old. As the old Chinese curse puts it, "may you live in interesting times."

Lindsay said...

Yes to SinC. I also belong to MWA and am thinking of joining International Thrill Writers. Dropped RWA.
And yes the Crime Bake on my must attend list. Had a great time last year and this year am entering the writing contest.
Promo is tough especially for us unpubbed. I've been small pubbed in romance and had to selfpromo there.
I agree with the agents being scared and the pubs also. That's one reason I'm selfpubbing. I don't write formula. Never could. I have my own formula-tell the best friggen story I can and so far from comments people like my stuff. Rather have people like my stories than an agent or editor. Check the comments on my blog.

Grapeshot/Odette said...

I'm in MWA, too. Thought about the Thriller Writers, too, but I always have houseguests when the conference meets in NYC. Crimebake should be awesome again. I was "small-pubbed," too, and then the publisher went belly up. I don't write formula either, and I usually cross a few genres, too. I will check out your web site. Are you going to the Edgar events in NYC? Hope springing eternal, I may go to the Agents/Editors party. Then again . . .

Lindsay said...

No I'm not doing the Edgar parties. To expensive. Same for Thrillerfest. Was going to do Agentfest but even that is to steep. At least this year. Thinking about Newport, RI in May fit research on my WIP.
Thanks about the website. I've got a really good person who maintains it for me. Only problem is I forget to send updates and changes. I'm making a list of changes I want made and will send them to her.
While at the website don't forget to sign up for my newsletter