I am so so so stoked to
pimp promote the latest release by my good buddy Jeff Shelby, LIQUID SMOKE — which is the third book in the critically acclaimed Noah Braddock series.
Jeff and I met for the first time 6 years ago at Bouchercon in Chicago. We were put on a “first time author” panel — and four of us on that panel hit it off like gangbusters, we started our own group blog First Offenders (we actually beat MSW by a month as one of the first multiple author mystery genre blogs) and all became very close friends in ways that had nothing to do with writing. So not only is Jeff an awesome writer, and one of the funniest, most clever people I’ve ever met, he’s also a damn fantastic person (despite his love of Springsteen) who was a stay at home dad to his daughter from her birth until she entered kindergarten, he also is a high school English teacher, a high school girl’s basketball assistant coach, a little girl’s soccer coach…and still has time to write, and surf when he gets to the ocean. So welcome a shot of testosterone to the MSW Blog today!
Take it away Jeff –)
I don’t know if I’m doing this right.
This self-promo, marketing thing, I mean. I’ve been gone for awhile.
Prior to my first book, KILLER SWELL, hitting shelves in 2005, I threw myself into the marketing and self-promotion ring. I wrote over 500 letters to bookstores around the country, introducing myself and the book. I traveled constantly. I did interviews. I had my website. I had a group blog with Lori (I might’ve made fun of her once or twice.) I didn’t say no to an invitation to anywhere for nearly three years. I figured that was the best way to get my name out there.
It didn’t work. Well, that’s not accurate. It worked in that I developed great friendships and relationships with other writers, booksellers and readers around the country. Truthfully, that is the most rewarding part of being a writer.
But it didn’t work in that my sales stalled out fast. So fast that my second book, WICKED BREAK, was pretty much DOA and I was pushed out the door.
So I’ve been out of the book world for awhile and I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing here now.
I’m far more skeptical of the promotional and marketing aspects. Five years ago, Facebook and Twitter weren’t major players. Now, they seem like THE players. Book signings are slowing down, mainly because there are fewer bookstores. And then you’ve got the whole ebook vs. traditional format argument that everyone seems to love to take a side in.
But I’ll be honest. I don’t wanna take a side. I just wanna write books and have people read them. I just want people to find LIQUID SMOKE and hopefully give it a shot. It’s okay if I don’t sell a million copies. I won’t mind. I just want it out there.
So I started another blog and I’m a Twitter regular and, despite my misgivings, I developed my own Facebook Fan Page. Nothing seems as self-serving and self-congratulatory as saying “HEY COME LIKE ME!” But I’m not sure if it’ll have any effect on my books. It’s kind of fun and kind of time consuming and I just kind of view it all with a raised eyebrow.
My books feature a brooding thirty something PI in San Diego. But let’s be honest — if you don’t read those kind of books, no amount of Twittering or Facebooking or blogging is going to get you to buy it. You’re either into those books or you’re not. (– inserted by Lori — if you’re into lighter murder mysteries, Jeff also has a humorous cozy type mystery coming out in January 2012 — written under the name Jeffrey Allen, with the greatest title — STAY AT HOME DEAD — click on the title for the amazon.com link –)
I’m not sure what will make a dent.
How do you find new authors? What’s the best way to find out that authors you used to love and read, who took a break from writing, and have new books out?
And while you’re thinking about that, you can visit my website at www.jeffshelby.com or find me on Twitter at @jeffshelby or like the Jeff Shelby fan page on Facebook. Special added bonus/whorish self-promotion: if you like the FB page by Friday, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of LIQUID SMOKE.
— inserted by Lori — here’s a buy link — LIQUID SMOKE buy link amazon.com