Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book promotion

This proves that blogs work very well in pushing your books. At the moment I am sitting at number one in the Amazon pre-order western charts. And all this on the power of my successful blog, The Tainted Archive.

Charts here -


Chap O'Keefe said...

The book trade's marketing experts must be scratching their heads over this! A new writer, with no track record, tops pre-orders in his genre with a hardcover book still four months away, outstripping orders for paperbacks by some of the very top names in the field.

Moreover, the book is published by an independent family firm in London, interested almost exclusively in library sales, and the competition is published by international corporations, headquartered in New York.

It's exactly what they -- publishers, sales reps, buyers for chains -- have always told us could not be done. So how was it?

Let's look at as much of the book as we are able, sight unseen: a title, a cover, a blurb.

The title is a good one, but it has been used before at least three times. The cover is generic, and is an excellent piece of art, but only as many other covers are. The blurb hints at themes that are not especially original. For example, the spoiled and despicable son of a rich man is an element I last used myself in Sons and Gunslicks.

No answers there then.

Gary gives the most probable explanation himself -- his blog, the Tainted Archive. It's as simple as that.

Gary has tended his blog tirelessly for months, promoted the western genre relentlessly, and piqued curiosity with prominent positioning of his book's cover. We have also been allowed a taster of his fiction online -- e.g. at Beat To a Pulp. Gary comes across as an interesting, enthusiastic, likable, helpful person. He also reminds us here that you can see him on TV. Therefore, we all can't wait to read his book. That, I figure, is the sum of what it has taken to outstrip those whose appeal is based on years of work and selling: the Thompsons, Sharpes, L'Amours, Parkers, Comptons and all.


Yep Keith you've hit the nail on the head - I believe I've used my blog cleverly in creating a readership for my book. This is great news to me personally and of course to all Black Horse Western writers. YOu yourself sell out quickly so maybe we'll be able to tempt some enterprising publisher into buying the paperback rights from Hale.

Beth Elliott said...

This sounds like a story in itself, Gary! You perhaps have another bestseller there in a How To... book.

Well done - and keep us posted.


Mick Parker said...

Well done, Gary. But how do you attract people to your blog? All I have on all four of my blogs (Third Secret, Squidoo, Twitter and Goodreads) is zero comments. Correction, I have two followers but they are both Hale authors! I'll just have to keep on trying.


I don't think of it as a blog. I try and think what would be interesting to read if I'd just bought the perfect magazine. And then I try and produce something that would be worth paying for - oh and visit as many blogs as possible and leave comments when you can. The visits will soon pick up.

Nik said...

As most of us know by now, blogging takes time - time away from other types of creative writing - but it can pay off, as Gary has shown. He's also very generous with his time, devoting it to the many interviewees featured in his blog. Well done, Gary!
Nik (Ross Morton)



I'd say that overall I work equally on the blog as on whatever project I have going on. These days with such a powerful tool as the internet it is part of the modern writers life. If it had been around back in the day then I think Conan Doyle would have been googling.

Ray said...

Gary has been very clever and I can't fault his marketing - and, with four months to go, could change the face of the western. It might sound crazy - but a western in the Top 10 Bestsellers - anything is possible.
So take a look at what he's done.
An article on his grandfather Jack Martin - and how he chose the name for his book.
A subliminal picture with a cactus and a throw away remark.
A cowboy on a horse guarding his books.
Numerous articles on different subjects - and tucked away in there is the Jack Martin name.
You Tube - videos
Once 'The Tarnished Star' was accepted then articles would mention both title and author somewhere - the eye goes over the words but the brain picks it up.
As soon as the cover picture turned up - it is everywhere on his blog.
And how many times has anyone noticed 'Arkansas Smith' creep into the script - or that the You Tube video is around.
The thing is that Gary has been publicising his books longer than anyone thinks.
And he has built up great support from other BHW writers.


That's very true Ray - and as you noted I've started trickling Arkansas Smith stuff through too. Hale are delighted by the way. But I also think what is important is to become part of the greater community and support each other's projects. We're all with the same publisher so we're all in its together.