Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I’m back after an extended absence, a lapse that has been called the kiss of death for bloggers. I apologize but it couldn’t be helped. I’ve been on a quixotic project to market my book without spending any money. I self-published TIN LIZARD TALES: Reflections from a Train through Outskirts Press, a great little POD publisher, with the idea that I would handle the marketing when the book hit the stores. It’s a sensible idea that comes from being cheap but it carries some intense second-guessing and even heavier flagellation.

Outskirts Press’s publishing packages have some tips for self-marketing but none are particularly innovative. It also offers other marketing programs requiring a fee that are similarly insipid. Looking through several million Google entries for “book marketing” uncovers a small number of brief hints and a great many full programs guaranteeing hundreds of thousands of dollars in book sales for a large fee. You decide what program to buy based on a clever sales pitch and glowing testimonials from authors (none of whom I ever heard of) who have made millions, You then pay in advance in hopes that the program will deliver as promised. It takes a lot of royalty money to recoup the investment, assuming the program produces any sales.

Many enterprising authors have written a book about book marketing. Check them out on Amazon.com. They explain their unique techniques and marketing plans that all become remarkably similar when closely examined. In truth, there are some valuable pointers to be gleaned from each book ― gathering them together into a single, manageable body brings to mind the old adages about herding cats, minding mice, or nailing Jello to a wall. As T.S. Eliot points out in his witty poem about the cat Rum Tum Tugger, they are “always on the wrong side of every door.” And buying each book, sifting through the information contained therein, and herding it into a marketing corral takes money and time, things in short supply around this author’s rat hole.

I’m assuming you’re interested in my progress if you’ve read this far. Well, I’m beginning to clear the dust and see some glimmer of a plan through the haze. There’s no wild jubilation yet but I’m feeling the faint tremors of enthusiasm and the building of a ground swell of anticipation pushing me and Tin Lizard Tales forward to greater earnings. When I get there, I promise to share the route and it won’t cost you a dime. Just keep reading my blog so you can find the way amidst my other ramblings.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Great stuff here! I know how hard it can be to self-market books! The internet is a great resource, though!

There's a great tool that will help with this problem.
When you have a moment, check out Book
Marketing 3.0
, a new suite of unique products and services on
how to market a book. You can obtain
the Book Marketing 3.0 Toolbar, a productivity tool for authors for free. Go to: