I pretty much agree with everything Steven says about book promotion. I paid a bunch of dough to sell at the Tucson Festival of Books and lost money at it. I enjoyed meeting readers, though, so there is that!
A few months ago I thought I’d give another try to advertising at a convention that I couldn’t attend. I wish I could’ve been more optimistic about the idea: Two years ago, I sent a box of beautifully-printed promo cards to a convention, paid to be added to every swag bag at the con; the entire box was lost; I was refunded my distribution money, but naturally I lost the printing cost… and no one ever saw a single card.
Nevertheless, I decided to try for something I knew would be seen: placing ads in the con program book. Everyone gets a book—many people even hold on to them as souvenirs of the con—and assuming they were printed well, it would result in nice snazzy ads in the hands of every convention-goer.
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