Shameless v. Apologetic

The following statement may make people who know me snort a beverage out their nose, but I’m really uncomfortable promoting my work. The reason for the disbelief on the part of my friends is the blaring, may I say ballsy, “Shameless Shilling Campaign” I create for each of my book releases. Ironically, my discomfort with promotion is the whole reason I created this tongue-in cheek campaign. When I realized that a lot of the book marketing heavy lifting would fall on me, I felt like I had two choices: apologize for incessant promotion… or own it. I took a deep breath and went with owning it, but in a way that’s also got a hint of apology to it. You know like, “Hey, I’m hitting you up to buy my book in a funny way, ha ha, hope you don’t mind and even enjoy the ride!”

I tiptoed around promo paths with my first two releases, then fully committed to a Shameless Shilling Campaign – heretofore known as an SSC – with my third book, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING.

Here are a few samples from my other SSCs. I’ve had more fun with some than others. I think the campaigns where I’ve been able to utilize personal photos – thanks to my graphics wizard Hunter Martin, who can photoshop, which I can’t do – are the most successful.

I even got my kid into the act for one SSC, using past Halloween pictures, but only ones she approved.

CAJUN KISS OF DEATH, my 7th Cajun Country Mystery, officially launches tomorrow. Since you’ll be receiving a shameless e-blast about it, courtesy of the Chicks. I’ll spare you the SSC for this release. But as long as publishing will have me and no one is shaking me by the shoulders while yelling “I CANNOT TAKE ONE MORE GRAPHIC ABOUT YOUR FLIPPING RELEASE!!!” the SSCs will continue. Oh, what the heck, here’s one for CAJUN KISS OF DEATH…

And an utterly shameless blog for my upcoming events! CLICK HERE for info on my Facebook party tomorrow night and TWO virtual panels on 8/13 and 8/19 featuring other fab, funny cozy authors!

Okay, I’m done being shameless… until my next release. (Buhwa ha ha… evil laugh 😉 )

Mark Baker will tell you that timelines sometimes confound me.

Readers, what are your takes on marketing? When does it get annoying? Authors, how do you handle it?

35 thoughts on “Shameless v. Apologetic

  1. I’d be most bummed if the SSC ended! I love the pics! I found you here at the Chicks. Following one lady led me to you all. Though you’re all special, (and you are!) I look forward to your SSC pics. If I’m tired, cranky, or just don’t want to see anything further online for the day, I just get off the computer. Promotion and marketing are a part of your job. Every job has something dislikable. It may not be “fun” but it is necessary. You keep rocking it! You do it very well, so you keep that curly-haired head held high and plug away, I think most of us love to see it. I do!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. As long as we’re being shameless, did I mention that today is launch day for the latest entry in my Natalie McMasters series, Killers! ? It’s $0.99 on Amazon for a limited time, and on Kindle Unlimited. My best tagline: Naked and Afraid meets Hannibal Lecter. What’s not to like?

    I know that promotions can become tedious, especially on websites or FB pages devoted to other content. Conversely, we as authors know that we can write the best book ever published in the history of humanity and get zero sales if no one knows it’s there. Furthermore, it’s in the nature of promotions to be somewhat intrusive, because we’ve all become so ad-saturated in the modern age that it’s darn near impossible to get people’s attention. If I could do this reliably and make them smile at the same time, I probably should be making six figures at a Madison Avenue ad agency. But I try. And if I do have to chide someone for excessive promotion, I try to do it gently and with charity. Been there, done that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a reader, I love authors whose creativity shows in their books and sales campaigns (and book covers). Chicks is one of two blogs that I follow. In both cases, the sense of fun or whimsy or intellectual challenge that comes across is what makes me interested in reading the new books, even when the book content isn’t always in the same arc because of a particular storyline. For cozy mysteries, this is particularly true so please keep all those shameless selling activities coming and best of luck with your new release!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Personally, I like marketing and promotion and wish I had more time to do it better. I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and I long ago realized I’m not “selling” anyone anything. I’m letting them know I wrote a book about whatever and maybe they’d be interested. After all, I’d never have known about the white chocolate lemon bread we bought the other day without the bakery telling me about it. Or my cool yoga strap. Or the park with the lake that has model yacht races. If people like my books, great! If they don’t, that’s okay too, but how will they know if I don’t tell them they exist?

    Liked by 5 people

      1. But I’m not sure about that lemon chocolate bread. Two flavors I totally love – on the fence about blending them. Kind of how I feel about chocolate cream cheese frosting.


      2. Oh my gosh … it’s SO GOOD. Both the lemon and the chocolate are very subtle. Like one bite is a bit lemon-y and the next tastes like chocolate. And then I turned some into stuffed French toast with balsamic fig glaze and about died from deliciousness!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve long been in awe of your SSC and your ability to market yourself, Ellen. And a little jealous, too, since I’ve never been able to pull it off nearly as well.

    Congrats on the release of CAJUN KISS OF DEATH!!! Yay, you!! Yay shameless shilling!! xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

  6. LOL. I’ve been reading a lot of books recently where the author clearly paid no attention to timelines. Don’t worry, yours isn’t one of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Happy Launch Day Eve, El!! (Well, afternoon, I guess.) Looking forward–and of course we all love seeing as many pix of you as possible. I don’t think I’d seen the one with the tidal wave. (Is that what it is? Or Sharknado?) Can’t wait for tomorrow (get some zzzs)!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love your SCCs! They’re so creative. As another author who dislikes marketing, I just tend not to do much of it. Luckily I don’t have a publisher wondering why I’m not pulling my weight. Happy almost book birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s