So I’ve got a couple of readings lined up. Both are regular reading series, both slots will be real short.
But I’m trying it out as part of the “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach. Readings are definitely outside of what I consider direct marketing and promotion opportunities.
It’s easy to burn your time. Too easy. So I try to concentrate most on direct potential. In other words, I’m pitching a subscription series that presents short stories for download. So I consider the stuff of blogs and banner ads to be direct. The reader’s already online and can stay online and directly access my writing.
A beautiful billboard over the expressway sounds awful sexy. But it’s hardly targeted. And can I expect drivers to scrawl out a website, or tell it to Siri, and then go to a computer, open up their note, and visit my site? Sure, it’d be a blast to see my ad hanging above I-94, but that’s about as direct as hawking tombstones at the auto show.
Same idea applies to print ads. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine is one terrific market for my work, but it’s not only pricey, it’s one step removed from my physical marketplace. People don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Gee, I better go find me a hard-boiled detective series.” So I’ve got to go looking for them, and the closer I can find them online, the better.
So readings qualify as indirect undertakings. Can I really expect to discover a whole new world of followers from a 15-minute read? Of course not. But when you’re struggling to get established, I guess you’ll try anything. You’ll put it out there anyway and every way you can. More is more. Even one subscriber at a time. One plus one is two. Two plus two is four. You can’t get away from math.
There is one more argument for reading that actually goes beyond publicity . It sounds like a gas.