Monday, December 21, 2009

Doing "It" Well

I received an interesting bit in the mail on Friday. At first, from the shape and size, I thought it was another Christmas card. (don't get me wrong, I love Christmas cards...but they are about all I've received of late)

No, it was a glossy press-release type page and note from Robert Dunbar (author of The Pines, The Shore, and Martyrs and Monsters). The handwritten note mentioned my blog (this blog). I wrote about Martyrs and Monsters a few months ago...here.

Oh, I thought, through this simple gesture, Mr. Dunbar has made a Fan for LifeTM. I firmly believe that making connections with fans is the single most important thing an author can do in the new writing order. Does Dunbar spend a little on postage? Sure. Will he make that money back by selling a couple of books to some schmuck in Kansas? No...but I'm blogging about it. I'm more likely to read another book with his name attached, hunt down short stories, etc. And I'm working on a more detailed "review" of Martyrs and Monsters for Skull Salad. Will that sell more books? Dunno, but it can't hurt. Good karma for the win.

So I've been thinking: What can I do to help fan the flames of my potential readers? Cate Gardner did a brilliant job marketing her chapbook, The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon, earlier this year. (Cate's a pretty brilliant social networker all the way around) With my first book (The House Eaters) on schedule for "future release", what can I do to help make that connection? How can an author help make you a Fan for LifeTM?

15 comments:

Jamie Eyberg said...

for me you already have. I enjoy your storytelling style and the characters you give life to on the page. no need for gimmicks, just good honest writing. Keep that up and I will support your work (I believe that has worked well for a guy *think, think, think*- I think Stephan King is his name).

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, Jamie. Your check is in the mail. :)

Alan W. Davidson said...

I agree with Jamie 100%. I'm committed to buy anything you have published in the future and would certainly pimp it out (psst, can I have a cheque too? ;)

Brendan P. Myers said...

Very, very cool. It's good writing that makes me a fan for life. But those authors who have taken the time to personally respond to "fan" e-mails I've written (which I've done less than the number of fingers on one hand) are the ones closest to my heart.

Cate Gardner said...

Well I'm already a fan for life, but you know that and unlike the greedy pair above, I don't require a cheque (my spelling is so much prettier than yours).

When 'The House Eaters' is released, I'm sure you'll find that most of your blog pals will want to promote it for you. Oh, but can I insist you make bookmarks. Not ugly, silly photo ones like I did, but gorgeous ones like Kate Shaw's. I will treasure her bookmark forever.

Aaron Polson said...

Brendan - I'll never make it "big", but when I dream about it, I'll make sure to send copious notes.

Cate - Bookmarks. Check. I've been thinking of all sorts of lovely freebies I could send out into the world...

Aaron Polson said...

(and Cate...I think cheque looks prettier, too)

katey said...

Yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with having some samples up on the 'net, so everyone knows you're quality (check!), and just being a non-pretentious awesome type (check!). I think your bases are covered. And yeah, free stuff!

I liked Cate's bookmarks, for the record.

That's really cool about Robert Dunbar's note. He's got it down.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Now, now, enough with the midwestern modesty.

Me? I'm still haunted by mysterious doorways that open up in basements, and a steadily dwindling small-town population . . .

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - I'm all about free. (even when it's not free to me)

Brendan - I feel like I need to "aw-shucks" ;)

--hey--I wrote that story.

K.C. Shaw said...

How neat! It's so rare these days for people to send actually physical paper through the actual physical mail that it really stands out.

I don't know anything about marketing. If I did, I'd be doing it myself right now.

Danielle Ferries said...

I have to say I agree with Jamie as well. And the personal touch of contact by email or mail is great I think.

abrokenlaptop said...

I think that you already have that personal touch. But I've been reading Christina Katz's "Get Known Before The Book Deal" and it has some great marketing advice. I just started it, and I'm already like, "Oh lands, I don't know what I'm doing! Tell me!" It's worth taking a look at.

You know that when your book comes out, we'll be pimping you like you have never been pimped before, good sir. I'll bring all my Vegas skills to the table.

-Mercedes

Natalie L. Sin said...

Aaron Polson action figures! Also a bookmark would be nice. I only have one proper book mark.

Aaron Polson said...

K.C. - I need one of those foaming cleansers--like the one's in the old TV ad: I'm cleaning my oven right now...

Mercedes - I'm always ready for a good pimping...wait--isn't Nevada the only state with legal, er, you know?

Thanks, Danielle. I'm going broke over here. ;)

Natalie - Oh man. Action figures. That would be sweeeeet.