Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh, those cold calls

I'm a tad behind the curve, I think, with Leaden Skies coming out in July, but I finally settled in to doing a serious round of calling to set up events for the first month and a half after its release. For many of these, I'll be part of a "group event" (usually two or three, sometimes four authors) ... which is a great way to go about these things, in my view.

I don't know about other authors, but I really have to psych myself up to pick up that phone and call. (Usually requires a cup of coffee at hand, a pad of paper and pen for taking notes, and a bit of chocolate for encouragement and courage).

Sometimes the calls go well, and sometimes not so. On the plus side, I had three great chats today: One with the chief librarian at Lake County Public Library in Leadville about my trip up there in early August (it's all coming together, little by little), another with the editor of Colorado Central magazine (the monthly magazine for people who choose porches over porsches) and a third with Chris from Clues Unlimited Mystery Bookstore in Tucson.

Then, of course, there are the not-so-great calls. But I try to be philosophical: If someone isn't interested, that's okay, It does no good to brood. Just move on to the next one on the list.

For some great tips on how to approach newspapers and so on, I recommend reading Tips for Book Reviews by Betty Webb, on the Murder Must Advertise site. Great advice, no matter what kind of books you write!


Galen Kindley--Author said...

I found most of the folks on the other end of the phone are generally pretty decent. If I can pitch myself as a “local” author, that somehow is very helpful…not sure why. Of course, playing the local card is not always possible.

I liked the link you included and have bookmarked it under Good Things to Remember. Thanks for sharing that.

Keep callin'

Best Regards, Galen.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Ann, for sharing about something I suspect is difficult for most authors. I have spent most of my professional life making these kinds of calls for clients. That was hard, but doing it for myself, sometimes I feel like my arm weighs two tons and the phone is on Mars. This class is a convenient distraction from making those calls.


Elle Parker said...

This is another perk of Ebooks - just about everything of this nature is done through email, so I don't have to face that cold call, and I know I won't be getting someone at a bad time, because my email just sits there until they're ready to read it.

Elle Parker

Gayle Carline said...

Wow, thanks for the link to the tips. SO very helpful - and timely!

Good luck with your cold calling, too.


Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I also hate making those calls. Thanks for the link to the Tips for Book Reviews. I found it helpful.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Patricia Stoltey said...

I hate talking on the phone for any reason. To cold call people and ask for a signing--torture. Unfortunately, I need to be doing a little of that myself. Thanks for the link on reviews. Gotta get with the program.


Julie Lomoe said...

I admire your courage in making cold calls - that's something I tend to avoid, to my detriment. You go, girl! And I will definitely check out that article on Murder Must Advertise, a site don't visit often enough.

I like the look of your blog with the big phone illustration,BTW.

Enid Wilson said...

Thanks for the advice. I work in marketing and I sure know about the good and bad days of cold calling. The best way is to move on when we receive the cold shoulders. My boss told me if you were chased by a mad dog in the street, it's best to avoid it, rather than kicking it in return. You are quite a planner!

In Quest of Theta Magic

N A Sharpe said...

PR is one of my weakest areas. I admire your ability to do it. While I thoroughly enjoy meeting readers, I do not enjoy calling to set it up and asking people to buy my book...but it is all part of the process.

I enjoyed reading this post - lots of great tips here.

Ann Parker said...

Hello all ...
Yep, picking up the phone is hard for me, even when the people at the other end are folks I know! I just tell myself that it will get easier. And like everything that you do over and over again, finally, it does.
And I'm a very shy person, so if *I* can do it ....

KK Brees said...

I like the "local author' aspect. Sometimes it's really helpful to have moved a whole bunch during your life!