Friday, March 30, 2012

Where's Waldo ... uh ... Carla?

As a new published author in today’s world, we're expected to do a lot of advertising of our own book. The publisher will provide some … well, a minimum for a newbie. The ones that are already selling like popsicles in 100 degree weather, they get the larger and more frequent ads.

Okay. I understand that. Publishing is a business and I’ve been in construction sales for over 30 years. If anyone understands that, I do and don’t have a problem with it. Technically. But I'm human with all the flaws included and have to remind myself about this.

Anyway, think of it like this, if you own a shoe business and you have a choice between Jennifer Anniston wearing your shoes on the red carpet during the Oscars and me wearing them to a local book signing, who would you chose? Be truthful. Right! Me! NO, no no!! I’m kidding. Jennifer. She’ll get you more sales.

So what do I do to get the word out there about my books?  I get on my website, (, Twitter (@carlaswafford), Facebook (Carla Swafford, Author), Goodreads (Carla Swafford – do you see a theme yet on how ot find me?) and blog (here and http: and anybody else’s blog. I post, ‘book, and tweet funny comments, provocative ditties, hot excerpts along with chatting on-line with anyone who’s willing to show me the least bit of attention. I can tell you I’m thrilled, even if it is someone I don't know.

My day job funds have been cut nearly by a third but I spent a couple thousand dollars last year on trying to get the word out there by giveaways, entering contests and advertising. Thank goodness, they’re tax deductible as my last child is out of college and we can no longer deduct her. This year, I’ll include two conferences and more of the same. That amount will double.  Obviously, the money wasn’t well spent as my first book sales were just okay as I have learned.

Now I’m not telling you all this so you will feel sorry for me. I’m not the only one in this same speeding car heading for a cliff with money fluttering out of the sunroof. Several newbie and experience authors are suffering the same fate right along with me.

But you know, I’ve wondered if I disappeared for a few weeks and asked my friends to send out messages like “Where’s Carla?” would that create enough of a stir that thousands of dollars didn’t? Truthfully, I’m afraid to find out. What if I heard “Who’s Carla?” or "What's a Carla?" 

Or worse, “Who cares!”