I Heart Indies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who Do You Know?

Yes, yes, I realize, you English Majors out there; it should read, "Whom do you know?" but bear with me.
At this stage of my marketing campaign - publication is still a year away - I'm gathering every name, address, and contact I can muster to tell about my book.
One group of people I'm especially interested in is other authors.  (I'm always especially interested in other authors, but now even more so.)  Perhaps the biggest inducement to plunk down fifteen to twenty dollars for a new book is some words of glowing praise from a recognizable name.  The blurbs on the back of a book, quite reasonably, are the first thing a bookstore browser will usually look at.  Fellow writers Sonny Brewer, Nancy Zafris, Lauren Groff, and others have already been gracious enough to write some lovely blurbs for Paradise Dogs.  (George Singleton compared it to Confederacy of Dunces and said it's "fun, sad, and more fun."  Doug Crandell calls it "righteous, riotous, and rivetting."  I'm a sucker for a good piece of alliteration.)
I'm compiling a list of yet other authors whom I'd like to look at Paradise Dogs.
I'm also compiling a list of mailing addresses.  When Endless Corvette was published, we sent out postcards featuring the book cover to as many potential readers as possible.  In our marketing plan for Paradise Dogs, we told the publisher Thomas Dunne I had a mailing list of over 600 names.  I have done a cursory inventory of addresses I have on hand and realize I was mistaken.  I have over 1200 names - and that's just in my church's parish directory.  In my daughter's high school directory I have an additional 1200 or so.  Of course, some of those are bound to be duplicates, but still, from Stephenson High School where I work, I can get an additional 100 addresses or so, plus miscellaneous names and addresses collected from previous signings, appearances, and bookclubs, plus just plain living and I'd say the number of addresses I have is approximately...  I have no idea.  And I haven't even started to tally email addresses.
Anyway, I've begun scanning in and compiling addresses.  (My original electronic file was lost, but it doesn't matter, as the address lists would have needed updating anyway.)  I think this time instead of doing a mass mailing all at once when the book comes out, I'd like to see if we could do targetted mailings.  For example, if I were appearing at a bookstore in zip code 30319, I would send post cards just to addresses in that area.  The postcard, instead of simply saying look for Paradise Dogs would say, Man Martin is coming to XYZ Bookstore on XYZ street at this date and time.
But that's in the future.  Right now, I'm busy enough scanning pages and creating an address file.

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