Action in the back catalog

I’ve been doing a lot of promotion lately. Considering I released two books in three months, it’s kind of understandable. Things are going well and both books are selling.

To be honest, promo wears me out. I’d rather talk about you guys than myself, but books die on the vine without this kind of thing.

This time out, I’m still going slow. John Howell hosted me today. If you missed the reblog, this is the link. I’m custom writing all the pieces once again. I have one post I need to write this weekend, and another I need to get close on. There are other folks I intend to ask this time out. Don’t want to wear out my welcome at any of the sites.

There is something interesting going on right now. I’m seeing action in my backlist. This is where authors used to make their living decades ago. That model kind of died off, but with ebooks it still has some validity.

Some of this is caused by Viral Blues. That’s the one that included a sequence of my previous characters in a story with Lizzie and The Hat. It’s possible that folks liked VB, and are interested in reading more about some of the characters that appeared in it. I hope so anyway.

Victoria Zigler published a nice post today that included a couple of my older titles. She’s an author herself and a big time supporter of independent authors. Here is the link to her post. I’d appreciate it if you’d run over there and leave her a comment. Check out her site while you’re there and browse her books, too.

I have a lot to think about with some of this. It’s a lot of promo since September, but there are some interesting results. It may be time to move the chain a bit.

When I’m hosted somewhere, I always try to reblog the post. This isn’t to shove it down your throat, I’m trying to drive traffic to those bloggers who were there for me. The hope is they get some good numbers on the day, and maybe my introduction will lead you to another cool blog you might enjoy.

These are positive thoughts, but they could be slightly off-base. Helping others, I’m all about that. However, I am also wearing my regulars out by doing it. Let’s face it, you know I have a new book by reading about it here before I even take it on tour.

I want to balance out gratitude for the favor and keeping my own site from becoming like a broken record. I’m always willing to host something for those who’ve helped me, and that’s also being nice.

Is a post, similar to this one, that includes a few links, easier to digest over here? I could do a weekly post with tour links and a bit of salesmanship, then have a more digestible schedule here for the rest of the week? Is that a balance between polite to my hosts and still respectful of my regulars?

Where is the chain today between polite and efficient? I’d really like to hear from some of you on this.

More promo seems to be working, and it’s something I ought to keep doing. (Who knows if I will, but I can see the results in the new titles and the backlist.) Is it appropriate to keep posting things around the Internet, but not reblog every single post? Will I irritate those who went out of their way for me? I would participate in the comments, and share like crazy on social media either way.

I’d like to see those older titles keep moving. I could run out a post about Yak Guy, or Panama on a monthly basis. Maybe step up Lanternfish when the second book in the series is near publication. Maybe I could prepare a backlist post and have someone host it where several older titles are included.

This is stuff all authors struggle with. Do you have any secrets here? Do you have an opinion about this stuff. I have followers that come here for more than sales-pitch. They like my bulldogs, my sourdough bread, and my backyard fruit trees. Some of you would rather visit the Idea Mill, than read another post about one of my books.

This has rambled on for long enough. I think you understand where I’m coming from. What suggestions do you guys have? What is appropriate these days? Talk to me. Chew me out. Tell me how to make polite changes. Tell me if you think I should not change anything.


Filed under Writing

36 responses to “Action in the back catalog

  1. My thoughts on this are as follows, Craig: I don’t mind the re-posts. I don’t know all the blogs that share your posts and am always keen to discover new and interesting blogs so I actually appreciate your shares. Your posts are always customised and fresh so I don’t mind reading them even though I know you have a new book. I learn form your various posts and I particularly like introductions to characters. It does interest me in your “back list” as you call it. Regular readers don’t have to read every post you share here. They can leave out the ones they don’t want to read. I can’t read all posts on every site I follow. It is impossible. I read the ones that interest me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think that Robbie says it well, Craig. We love what you do, and do appreciate that promoting a book can get a bit repetitive, but it is necessary.
    I have found there is a fine line between being a writer and a blogger, but we must try to do both to the best of our ability. Personally, I think you get the balance just right!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reposts of promos work, but I will admit that i’m someone who looks more for original content on a blog. Mostly because I’m usually using my phone and it doesn’t agree with WP. So, I can only jump through so many links (1-2) before it thinks I logged out. The digest idea has merit, but I don’t think it would have the same reach if you did it weekly. Maybe every other day if you want to go that route. Honestly, if this promo blitz and your current tactics are working then you might want to stay the course. Your regulars are your regulars for a reason, which means it’ll take more to shake them off.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks for giving my review post a mention. I can’t speak for others, but I’d intended getting to the older titles at some point anyhow. Although, had I read Viral Blues first, I likely would have wanted to read the previous stories for some of those characters. As it happens though, I haven’t read Viral Blues yet… Decided to catch up on your old titles before reading the new ones.

    Anyway, an offer for a promotional spot always exists for you on my blog. So don’t forget to give me a shout if you want/need one.

    I have to agree with what’s already been said as regards the guest posts you do: where you make your posts different, they’re always interesting, even if we already know the book exists, and anyone who doesn’t want to read them can always skip those posts. Personally, I always read them, and share via the host site, even if I don’t comment. But it’s up to you how you want to do things. Although, I do love hearing about the dogs and random life stuff, plus the idea mill posts are fun too, so I hope you’ll continue doing those kinds of posts in between promo posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It does seem easier to keep up mentions of the back list when the list is in e-book format. Nobody has to hunt down a print copy that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What you’re doing is working, so I’d keep doing it until it doesn’t work. I think offering a link to people who host you is good for them and you. When people just offer a list of links they’ll appear at for a week, I always forget sooner or later. And you’re offering fresh content each time, so each post offers something different. Besides, your readers know this has been an unusual event, having two books come out so close together. And they know you need to promote both of them. Glad you’re selling back catalogue. Yay for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it would be important to offer links that are already open, rather than ones that will open in a few days. Nobody returns to check those out. It would mean making an occasional host wait a couple of days before my weekly post went up. It sounds like the consensus is to keep doing what I’m doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I couldn’t say it any better than Robbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the answer to your questions here is balance, Craig. Too much of one thing will drive traffic away from your blog, but a fine balance of all is great! I for one, love seeing pictures of your fur babies and hearing of your personal adventures. That kind of post gives more of a personal appeal instead of a “buy my book.” post. All that being said, I loved the different posts you did for “Viral Blues,” and never got bored of them. So far, I’m enjoying what I’ve seen of Serang. If you’d like to have Serang featured on my blog, I am extending an open invitation. I know we have a lot of the same followers, but some different too and it might be good. Let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll probably take you up on that. The popular opinion seems to be that making each post unique is my saving grace here. I need to get back to some interesting content outside the publishing process. It’s about time to wake up my sourdough.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Promo is part of what we have to do, Craig, even though it’s often uncomfortable and awkward. Sometimes I don’t buy a book the first time around – for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the book. Then it’s promoted again down the road, and aha! I’m ready for the read. The real trick to a successful promotion, I think, is to make it fun for the reader, so they don’t know their reading a promotion. Not easy to do, but I think you’re doing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have a spirited and complicated mind, my friend, and it is always enjoyable for me to share in your creations, whether it’s in the form of a book or a post or a reblog. In addition, as a writer myself, I am inspired by your creative marketing and intrepid writing and learn a lot from you. Lastly, that you take an interest in my posts every single week, stop by and comment and add to the conversation is much appreciated. Congratulations, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t repost much… usually just promo stuff. I prefer original content when visiting someone’s blog, but I understand the importance of reposts sometimes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I rather think you’re obligated to re-blog and guest post and guest host in order to sell books. Otherwise, it’s not much of a promo plan.
    I seldom read your re-blogs, but I do sometimes read them, along with your guests’. I have actually purchased books from authors whose promos you’ve shared. My opinion is that you should do you, and your readership will continue to fluctuate accordingly. Not every book is for every person. If you don’t do it, authors will sell fewer books, and as I understand it, that’s the promo plan 🙂
    NOW, if you never returned with your bits and bobs, especially puppy tales and Idea Mills, I’d be sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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