They tell us authors that we have to advertise our book, story, blog, etc. I had that point driven home again at the Oxnard Steampunk Fest recently.

It’s a nice little fest with live music and many great steampunk outfits.

Wandering around the Fest I saw a sign pointing down some steps to presentations. The presentations were being held in the basement of a classic restored house. I like going to presentations, you never know what you’ll learn. There were problems, the Fest did not have the program flyer ready to hand out the first day of the Fest. The program would have listed the time the presentations were going to be given and what they were about.

Attendance at the presentations was light (people didn’t show up). A classic case of; if they don’t know about it, they won’t come. They missed some good presentations.

It wasn’t because the presentations were held in a basement. The presenters needed to advertise. They needed to put a sign or banner, no matter how crude, up pointing to the underground rooms telling the attendees about the presentations and when they were. They needed a come on (called a landing page in advertising). This is just like your book, even if the reader likes what you write, if they don’t know it exists or what it’s about they won’t buy it. The presenters put up with low turn out, rather than going out and doing something to get more people to come to their presentation. If someone lets you down you have to take up the slack and do it yourself, even if you paid the person to do it.

Hundreds of books, courses, and blogs have been written about advertising your book or presentation, but if you don’t do anything you won’t get new readers. What’s the best thing you can do. That’s a moving target and depends on so many things there is no one answer. But doing something, even if it’s not the best thing is better than doing nothing. Life is too short to do nothing.

Be prepared. Have book marks, post cards, business cards ready to hand out. Keep a white board in the back of your car. Keep markers (in several colors) handy. Keep a flip board in your car. It’s crude and simple, but it means the difference between attendees and no attendees or sales and no sales.

It’s hard work getting out in front of people, some of the presenters were dressed in steampunk outfits. Outfits they put a lot of work into. Outfits that screamed look at me. Yet they would not take the extra step and advertise. It hard work doing something that someone else should have done, but you got to do it. If the other authors are not doing it and you are, then your book will be selling when theirs are not.

Remember doing something, even if it’s wrong, is often better than doing nothing.

Stay strong, write on, and advertise.
Professor Hyram Voltage