I’ve come up with a new marketing slogan for my novel, No Time For Kings.
NOT GRANDMOTHER APPROVED.
Both my grandmother and Tara’s read the book, and while it’s received very positive reviews from the majority of readers – including glowing recommendations in San Francisco Book Review and Portland Book Review – neither of our grandmothers were especially enthralled with the novel. I know mine was put off by the violence, profanity, and sex and I suspect those same elements contributed to Tara’s grandma’s lack of enthusiasm. Rather than stew over this, however, I’ve decided to embrace it. Doesn’t the lack of such an endorsement lend to its appeal? Doesn’t it make you want to read it even more, knowing that its edginess was simply too much for an older crowd to stomach? I want to have “Not Grandmother Approved” stickers printed up and slapped on the cover! I’m dead serious.
My friend Mike said, “Now you just need to have your book banned.”
Michael, I am officially hiring you as my Public Relations Correspondent, because that is freakin’ (sorry, grandma!) brilliant. Can you go to work, getting school teachers to loathe it? (It shouldn’t be that difficult, considering my protagonist starts dating her daughter’s middle school teacher who happens to be a recovering alcoholic. Surely this sends a negative message that just might inspire a few teachers to want to ban – or better yet, burn – the book).
Maybe I can insult the Taliban while I’m at it and have a Fatwa issued against me, Salman Rushdie-style. The book is about terrorists, after all! Granted, they’re home-grown eco-terrorists, but that’s just a minor detail. Surely those damn pea-brained knuckle-dragging idiots in the Taliban won’t be smart enough to figure out the difference.
There. I’ve laid the groundwork. Top of the Bestseller charts, here I come! (And no, I’m not worried about having to hole up in a safe house. I’ll bet I could have a pretty luxurious safe house with all the money that’ll be rolling in soon).
This is great. More than a year after publication, I’m still coming up with marketing schemes.
One thing I did recently was drop the price on the Kindle version of No Time For Kings. By 67%, no less. After researching pricing strategies for e-books, I decided to set the cost at $2.99 (it was going for $8.95 before). I think it’s important to be competitive in today’s marketplace, and $2.99 is a low enough price to entice people who might otherwise be on the fence. I’m only pricing the e-book that low on Amazon, but then again, that’s where the majority of my sales have come from. If you already bought the novel at the original price, I apologize, but hope you still found it a worthwhile investment.
Unless you’re a member of the Taliban and bought the book at the higher price. If so…HA HA! Suckers!!!
(Marketing is a 24/7 job).
Click here for a link to the Kindle version of No Time For Kings.
I also decided that I’ve rested on my laurels long enough, and have begun a new novel. I tossed around several ideas – a character-driven portrayal of the grunge movement circa 1992, a drama about the search for the supposed Woodstock baby, a high-concept time travel fairy tale – before settling on a project closer to my heart: it’ll be a sequel to No Time For Kings. Or rather, a continuation of the series. I like my characters, having spent years developing them and getting to know them, and figured there are lots of dramatic situations a strong-willed female investigative journalist in Portland could get herself into. The book will be called Crimps and deals with illicit drugs, political corruption, and a secret network involving the infamous Shanghai Tunnels that lie beneath Portland’s downtown streets.
Sounds like another one that won’t go over well with the grandmothers. Yay!
I’m still working out the plot details so progress will be slow for a while, but if I can have it finished by next August – in time for the second anniversary of No Time For Kings – I’ll be happy.
Since I’d like to continue writing books, I broadened the scope of my Facebook page, transforming it from a No Time For Kings page to an author page. Feel free to “like” it here.
If you’re a self-published author, I’d be interested in hearing how you decided to price your book. Do you feel that a low price gives the impression of inferior work? How low will you go? Would you ever give it away for free? What marketing strategies do you use?
If you’re a potential reader, would you be more likely to buy a book that is Not Grandmother Approved?
And if you’re the Taliban, will you kindly go pound sand?