Our guest today is Lisa Alber, a Hibernophile whose first novel, Kilmoon, was nominated for the Rosebud Award for best first novel. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation writing grant and a Walden Fellowship, and was recently included in the bestselling anthology, Eight Mystery Writers You Should Be Reading Now. Lisa lives in Portland, Oregon, but later this month she’s off to Ireland, where she’ll probably drink too much Guinness—all in the name of novel research, of course! Her second novel, Whispers in the Mist (August 2016, Midnight Ink) is available for preorder.
Anything to do with marketing, publicity, and self-promotion can be overwhelming. Most of us would like to be left alone to, well, write. I like to hear other writers’ tales from the promotional jungle, especially when there’s a new idea that might resonate with me and be fun at the same time. We can’t do everything, but it’s good to know what options are out there. Thought I’d share what I’ve recently experienced.
Exploring the Rule of Seven
I have a theory about self-promotion. Namely, that we throw as many things out there as we can—Facebook viritual parties, guest blog posts, bookmarks, and so on—in hopes that something sticks. Please, we say to ourselves, let my name magically propagate through the hoards of readers out there who I know would love my novels.
I’ve heard it said by “experts” that our names don’t stick in readers’ heads until they’ve been exposed to it at least seven times. Seven! I don’t know who these so-called experts are, and I’m convinced that no one knows what truly works at any given time, for any given author, but I’m open-minded. I’m willing to toss my name into the literary grab bag over and over again.
The rule of seven has become official enough to have a Wikipedia page—I kid you not—and an official sounding theory associated with it: “effective frequency.” As with any unprovable theory, this one has caused some controversy. How many exposures constitute the optimally correct number? Is it really seven?
Not long ago, I realized that in the past year, I’d been invited to participate in three joint book promo-y projects, which struck me as interesting and perhaps “a thing” that’s going on at the moment to help us land our optimally correct number of exposures. I call it “hive mind self-promotion.”
So what am I talking about exactly? [Read more…]