Bubba, buy my book – how NOT to market your e-book

Let me make a confession.

I am LOUSY at parties.

Heck, I can’t even spell the word shmuuu…shmoos…schmoozing.

(thank you Spell Check)

In fact – I am the kind of fellow who will sort of slide in through the back door and drift on over to the snacking and munching table and sort of just stand there next to the pizza dip for the rest of the evening.

In fact – I am a bit of a social misfit.

I do all right in front of a crowd. You throw me up in front of a microphone or a classroom or a campfire – and ask me to a tell a story – and I rise to the occasion – bring the skills of a raconteur and a stand-up comedian and a back-of-the-barn philosopher to ANY event that I perform at.

But when it comes to simple social interaction I am somewhat handicapped.

So when I first stepped into the book writing arena I was a little bit baffled on how to successfully promote my writing.

Let me tell you how I first began my promotional campaign for FLASH VIRUS – my sci/fi serial/series.

I started by writing BUY MY BOOK on a hundred diffeent men’s room walls – in a hundred different shades of marker – along with leaving my phone number.

So how’d that work out for me?

Not to well.

I did receive an awful lot of interesting phone calls and enough lurid and sticky phone talk to paint about three hundred and sixty-two more shades of grey – but other than that I did not sell so much as a single copy.

So I decided to diversify.

I tried leaving similar messages on the walls of a hundred different women’s rooms – which brought me to my first arrest.

I tried explaining to the security guards that I was only marketing in that ladies washroom – and then I likewise tried to explain to those two policemen that the security guards telephoned – and then I tried explaining to the judge that those two policemen brought me before – and then I tried explaining it to Bubba – my brand new cell mate.

Well Bubba, he told me he understood completely.

He said that he wasn’t guilty, either.

So then I tried social networking.

I got myself my very own Facebook page – but Mark Zuckerberg told me that my face looked funny.

So then I got myself my very own Twitter account – only the birds told me that old farts should NEVER try to rap or tweet and asked me to kindly get out of their tree.

So then I tried spamming on message board forums – but that spam looked so darn good that I just had to get out the fry pan and slice me off a few slices and…

(this blog interview has been interrupted while Steve Vernon puts on his pants and goes down into the kitchen to hunt for Spam)

So then I tried to buy myself some five star reviews   – but then there was that whole money thing that kept getting in my way – so instead I decided to try writing some sock puppet reviews – only all of my socks were in the wash – so I tried ventriloquist dummy reviews – but then the dummy told me that my lips were mostly moving – so I give it all up as a bad idea.

So then I had one more brainstorm.

I filled out five hundred empty bottles with five hundred notes that read BUY MY BOOK – and then I corked each of those bottles up and I threw them into the Atlantic Ocean.

Which is why two DIFFERENT policemen brought me back to the very same judge who gave me another ninety day jail sentence for desecrating the environment – which is a whole lot worse than littering – which brought me to Bubba – who bought my book.

And liked it.

So you see – that is the thing about e-book marketing. You REALLY have no idea as to who your promotion will touch and how they will react and WHEN they will eventually get around to buying your e-book.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: If you got a giggle or two out of this blog entry then why don’t you swing on over to Kobo or Kindle and buy one of my books?

And – in the interest of full disclosure – a VERY different version of this blog entry was originally posted at the Readers Guide to E-Publishing

And – lastly – if any of you out there are into GoodReads you might want to follow me there.


6 responses to “Bubba, buy my book – how NOT to market your e-book

  1. I can attest to the mighty storyteller powers of this man, because one of his bottles, along with flotsam from the Japanese earthquake, arrived on the West Coast. All the scavengers and the environmentalists had to stop for an hour and read the note, the debate its merits and authenticity. 😉


  2. I feel your pain. I am too shy to properly market my work, which requires the shamelessness of a PT Barnum…now I wanna fry up some spam.


    • Spam is good for healing all pain.

      Got a broken heart?

      Eat Spam.

      You can blame your loss of love on your resulting weight-gain.

      Developed a bad case of psoriasis?

      Rub the Spam upon the afflicted area. The natural oily goodness of Spam will anoint your affliction with wholesome high-caloric goodness.

      Dying of the Bubonic Plague?

      Eat Spam.

      It won’t cure your plague – but at least it tastes good.

      Dang it.

      Now I want spam.


  3. Marketing books is unlike marketing any other product on the planet. The most annoying thing about it is that two authors can take the exact same steps and come up with two very different results.

    This is why I hook up with corporate sponsors on Twitter. It’s meaningless in the long run, but in the tiny case that they were serious, it’s one more avenue to try.


    • Oh you bet – there are WAY too many variables to ever be able to say what will or will not work for them. That’s the cool thing about putting out e-books – the rules are changing all the time so we’re all constant beginners in this game.


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