Book Marketing and an Essential Life Skill

I am beginning to think that I have exactly one major life skill that I keep applying to every situation. I didn't recognize it as a skill, though, until I started running (modern era - high school didn't count as I was a discus thrower forced to run.)

That skill I affectionately call "being too dumb to quit."

I started at marathons and they hurt enough that I decided to up the ante. The result was 65.61 miles of fun on the track in San Mateo, California, which was good enough to earn me an age group winner plaque. My first hardware running.

It works in running, in working, and, with a little luck tossed in, book marketing.

The one thing that I keep hearing over and over is that there is no surefire plan to sell a book. You have to find what works with you, the writer, and with your particular novel.

For an independent publisher, even one that gets recognized by a major magazine in the genre (Is running a genre?), marketing gets interesting because funds are so limited. Major publishers can send authors out on tour, get them a publicist, or favorable reviews.

Me, I get to be creative.

So far, I've sent the book out to a total of three people, one who said she wouldn't have time to read it because she had a newborn. I like her writing though, so I sent a copy anyway. In twelve years, when she gets past the sleep-deprived stage, maybe she'll get to it.

I've actually given away more copies to kids that might like it. I know, lousy business tactics, sharing willy-nilly without a thought to the bottom line.

I'll probably send it to more, no obligation on the reviewers part and no promises.

Book signings? Got some ideas there, too. I can think of a couple of fun ways to approach that, ways that put me in contact with runners/readers.

And, of course, there is my 'sure-to-lose-money' website idea to chronicle high school cross country around here at my blog. (It's quiet over there now. I'll kick back into gear in August and things here will slow a touch.)

I have some runner/writers that I want to chat with like Tim Tays. If you haven't read his book, Wannabe Distance God, I recommend it.

Will it translate into sales? Heck, I don't know.

I do know it will be fun, I'll learn a lot in the process, and besides, good things keep happening because I'm too dumb to quit.