After a string of mostly “promotional posts,” I’m returning to an earlier thread on this blog—namely, the logistics of self-publishing. & this is a post that really requires audience participation.
I started this blog just a month ago, & The Spring Ghazals (book) has been available for about 3 weeks. There have been a number of positives in that time frame: the blog has had a very respectable number of page views & I’m gratified by the folks who’ve chosen to follow &/or subscribe. I’ve been touched by the efforts of poet Jessica Fox-Wilson to promote the book on her blog with both a review & an interview, as well as by the efforts of Kat Mortensen to get the word out thru her blogs (here & here). In addition, I appreciate that several folks on Twitter have gone out of their way to help me get the word out. Despite the efforts of these good folks—cyber friends one & all—the book has only sold a half dozen copies to date. This is a bit disappointing. My expectations are low (at least I thought they were low), but they are actually signficantly higher than this.
So I ask readers who have self-published: what “marketing strategies” (for lack of a better term) have worked for you? I know there are a few folks in the regular readership who have already self-published their writing, & I’m very open to suggestions. I am aware that readings are a good idea, & I’m working on that. There is zero poetry reading culture in my location, which is a very rural & conservative enclave—& in the west, rural means big distances between places. Given the realities of my location, I’m particularly interested in things I can do via the interwebs. I’d also be interested in knowing anything you tried that didn’t work so well.
This information won’t just be helpful for me—I know of at least two readers who are actively working on books that they’re going to self-publish; I’m sure the experience of others would be welcome to many.
Also: I’ve heard from a few folks about problems purchasing the book on Lulu, but only know the details in one case. Has anyone else had problems with this? If so, please let me know, with as many details as possible so I can follow-up with Lulu. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks! I really do appreciate your support & your help!