Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

The road goes ever on…


Your marketing plan

So it’s book publishin’ season for me again. Seems like Labor Day shows up on the horizon and I get itchin’ to put out another title to see if it sticks to the wall, like perfect al dente pasta.

But this year I have a completely different attitude about it all, and I’ll tell you why. For the past two years I’ve tried a variety of things to pave the path. I’ve solicited for early reviewers, I’ve laid the groundwork with gobs of pre-pub announcements and social media activity. I’ve done interviews and guest blog posts and paid listings and a bunch of things I don’t even remember now. The down and dirty is that none of it made a whit of a difference sales-wise, so this time I’m going radical.

I’m just going to put the goddamn book out.

No muss. No fuss. No frantic promo. No desperate pleas for reviews or even purchases. I’m not setting up pre-ordering on Amazon. I’m not doing a blog blitz or whatever they’re called. I’m not under-pricing the book out of the gate in the hopes that at 99 cents or two bucks it might fly up to the top of the charts somehow.

The new promotional strategy is called IDM marketing. Have you heard of it? (No, because I just made it up.) “It Doesn’t Matter.”

With IDM marketing you publish your book. That’s it. Oh, sure, you tell everyone who reads your blog about it. You do a Goodreads event. You ask your family to buy their copies. You fire off some tweets, without getting too spammy. You check the sales reports just to see, but for the most part you sit back and say, Que sera sera.

Then, later, you run a sale and hope for the best.

In keeping with IDM, I’m not sure yet when I’ll publish Town Father, but it’ll be sometime this fall. Keep your eyes on the blog for details.

Meanwhile, to all you regulars who’ve been there since Yesterday Road, thanks for your loyal support. You never disappoint.

19 comments on “The road goes ever on…

  1. kingmidget
    August 13, 2015

    I get it, totally get it. Good luck with your new approach. I look forward to reading your new effort.

  2. John W. Howell
    August 13, 2015

    I totally hope the IDM strategy catches on. I’m with you on the idea,

  3. sknicholls
    August 13, 2015

    I’m ambivalent. RC&R sat in cyberspace published from March to June with only two books sold…It wasn’t until June, when I met a popular book review blogger that I began to sell copies. Of course, I also learned all about everything I did wrong. I slipped to about 500K before the promo yesterday. I am about to publish the promo results.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 14, 2015

      I just saw your results post, & boy, can I relate. There are so many outlets that will gladly take your $50, but the results are usually disappointing, or unmeasurable. ENT has worked well for me in the past, but you may be right: there are so many free and 99 cent titles competing for attention that selling 200 or 300 in one promo is unlikely.

      Gotta keep on keepin’ on, eh?

      • sknicholls
        August 14, 2015

        The way I figure, some exposure is better than none. What else can we do? I saw on Amazon, if you click on the book that’s promoted on your page (just in case a buyer doesn’t want you book while they’re browsing) it sends you to a whole page and you can “more” and more” to see hundreds of like books. Who knows? Maybe I am getting a little exposure somewhere. I’m averaging 2-4 books a month without a promo. :/

  4. ericjbaker
    August 14, 2015

    Your frustrations with the book biz are both discouraging and assuaging for me. Like, if Kevin can’t do it, what hope to I have? On the other hand, not even Kevin can do it, so it’s not like I’m some kind of odd-man-out failure.

    I fully recognize how self-centered that sounds. I also feel like you’ll forgive me.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 14, 2015

      Ego te absolvo. You hafta be somewhat self-centered in this biz!

      I do think that writers in particular genres have better success in building loyal readerships, concentrating on series and recurring characters, etc. What I’ve learned is that literary fiction doesn’t offer much opportunity for that kind of thing, so readers approach the books individually without feeling like they need to read everything the author puts out.

      At least in the indie world…

  5. islandeditions
    August 14, 2015

    This has been my own promotion strategy, as you know, Kevin. With the addition of promoting other authors and widening my own fanbase as a result.You know you can count on me, and other loyal readers you’ve gathered, to anticipate and help promote anything you choose to publish. I think it’s better that you concentrate on writing well, as you always have done, and the readers will find you – with a little help from your friends. (I’m reading and enjoying “Parts Unknown” right now, and what strikes me about all your books is how consistently good they are. And maybe this is the time to suggest again that you consider reissuing the first novel as an eBook – so I can tell everyone they must buy and read it too. Collect the complete set, Kids!)

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 15, 2015

      Thanks for the kudos, Susan. Always appreciated, and I’m so glad to hear you’re liking Parts Unknown. I’ll have to dig into my contract and see if I can legally do my own ebook conversion at this point…

      Maybe a boxed set is on the horizon! The KB Kollection. 😎

      • islandeditions
        August 15, 2015

        Now that I’m further into it, let me re-calibrate that “like” to “love”! And I think a boxed set is a grand idea.

      • Kevin Brennan
        August 16, 2015


  6. 1WriteWay
    August 15, 2015

    I like your marketing plan. I wish more writers would commit to such a plan. I’m saying this as a reader who follows writers and who starts tuning them out when they go into full frontal book blitzes. Too often my WordPress Reader, my Facebook feed and definitely my Twitter feed feel like I just turned on AM radio: one book after another being hawked, and often the same book over and over and over. I’ve read a few blog posts by published authors (self-published/traditionally published) who argue the worst thing a writer can do is flood social media with “Buy my book” ads. Yes, some promotion is necessary (you do want readers to know you have a new book out and that it is awesome), but it seems the law of diminishing returns applies to book promotions.

    So I applaud you for your new marketing plan. I do hope you collect data so that you can compare the first-year sales of your latest novel with the first-year sales of Yesterday Road and Occasional Soulmates. It’s the trend of sales over time that will be informative, not just points in time when you might have use a particular promotional tool.

    I wish you the best, and I’m thrilled to hear that you’ll be publishing again soon. (I also like your schedule: one book a year.) You know I’ll be happy to help in your book promotion (including reading Town Father, which actually is more for me than for you … lol).

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 16, 2015

      Thanks for your vote of confidence, Marie! I’m just beginning to think if we could all relax about it a little bit, the hyper-intensity would ease up and we could get back to a more natural way of finding and appreciating good books.

  7. pinklightsabre
    August 17, 2015

    Right you are. I like your cave-scrawling strategy, Kevin. Look forward to hearing more and reading my first book from you. Bill

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 17, 2015

      Much obliged, Bill. And I’ll look forward to hearing your impressions!

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This entry was posted on August 13, 2015 by in Publishing and tagged , , , .
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