Understanding the Game

"Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.” -- Lawrence Block

My hesitance about online promotion has turned into a kind of fascination. Getting online and dealing with the bugs and annoyances of computers is still difficult, but it's not the focus of my journey any longer.

I spent a good deal of time talking to bloggers and looking through a lot of these online sites. The game of promotion is, of course, reaching as many people who would really be interested in your work as possible. This means a series of approaches.

1. Meeting people who are interested. That I have down. When someone meets you and likes your work and makes a personal connection with you, they're likely to follow you and be interested in past and future books. Most poets I know also love mysteries, so doing readings, meet and greets, and festivals is always useful. The only thing is that I tend to have a really bizarre sense of humor, so I need to keep that reined in a bit.

2. Other people's websites: This is the online version of meet and greets. These really help the networking. Facebook, Twitter (which is no fun for me), and Pinterest help meet a whole new group of people I wouldn't have contacted otherwise.

Okay -- so far, no great revelations on my part, but what I learned about blogging really motivated me.

3. I need to figure out what people are going to be looking for before they look. This is an exercise in personal psychology and group dynamics. Both are fascinating. What do people want to read? What they have read before and loved. So this is an exercise in letting people know that I'm going to give them that same great experience they had before.

Ideas spread like viruses, and all we really need to do is to figure out where the best place to introduce our ideas are. Once they really start to go, they'll take on a life of their own. It's why the classics still sell even though the writers aren't around to promote their books any longer.

The key seems to be the google search. I need to give them what they're thinking of. I've change the name of this blog, and I'm adding information about things that should pop up on google searches.

4. Once I have someone reading a blog, I need to keep that person coming back. I need to provide them something. Either it needs to be informative (this blog is at least a little) or entertaining.

As for that I'm going to keep posting videos of my poetry and other people's work as well.

I think figuring out how to bring those google searches around to me is going to be the most interesting aspect of my work for a while.

One added little bit:

I'm going to read 100 books this year, and record them. That's not unusual, but I'm going to focus most of it on small press mysteries, which is unusual I think for most readers. I've been doing that in the past, but if you follow this, you'll get a good sense of who is out there to read. My quest -- to become an expert on the field. I'll be changing and updating this post as I do if you're interested in following my progress.

Here's what I've read so far:

1. David Coles and Jack Everett The Back of Beyond
2. Lawrence Block Hit Parade
3. Gerald Locklin From a Male Perspective
4. Ron Carlson Room Service
5. Matthew Rohrer Destroyer and Preserver
6. Marva Dale Death of a Flapper
7. Sue Grafton M is for Malice
8. Denise Weeks Nice Work
9. Various kindle short stories by Lawrence Block
10. Jeri Westerson Serpent in the Thorns