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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mary DeMuth on Marketing

Mary DeMuth gets a little crazy sometimes with publishing-itis. So she writes pieces like the above to keep her sane and away from the men in white jackets. In between, she writes parenting books and novels. Her recent novel released last month: Daisy Chain. Everyone MUST buy it because she says so. She will end her bio by saying she enjoys writing about herself in the third person. You can find her Royal Craziness here: Or if you dare, you can choose to be mentored through the publishing journey at The Writing Spa.

This post is dedicated to all those faithful Tax Peeps who pare down our book earnings. Happy April 15th, all!

I’m an expert. I have six books under my writerly belt, and can throw my marketing girth out there for all to see and admire. Why can I say this? Because I received my first royalty check—which I promptly spent on socks at WalMart. Which is why I am starting a new marketing endeavor aimed at those illustrious folks who proudly call themselves Midlist Authors. It’s called MAD: Midlist Author Dictators.

Here’s how MAD works. We midlisters have tired of every conceivable marketing method known to computer-huggers everywhere:

• We’ve shouted on Shoutlife.
• We’ve given and received ridiculous gifts on FaceBook (hugs, gardens, little cyber-bits of foof).
• We’ve blogged ‘til the cows came home, and then we took movies of the cows and hoped to start a viral revolution on You Tube.
• We dusted off our amateur movie skills and made B-level book trailers.
• We’ve spoken to book clubs, fielding questions about that pesky scene (that we don’t remember writing) on page 154.
• We’ve paid handsomely for a website whose visitors consist of our grandmothers, four stalkers, and ourselves (which counts for most of our hits).
• We’ve paid printing companies mucho bucks for business cards, bookmarks, t-shirts, auto decals, and mugs. (And we’ve cleared out a closet and a garage to hold these items.)
• We’ve spoken to groups large (12) and small (1), and solicited email addresses for our gem of a monthly newsletter—only to have our subscribers rebel by unsubscribing and vowing to never read any of our books.
• We’ve twittered away entire days, telling our seven followers the intricacies of our days, how much we’re writing, what we had for breakfast, and what exactly the dog ate to make him throw up those colors.
• We’ve given away free books to people in Nigeria in exchange for 540,000 dollars. (Well, a book and also all our account information).
• We paid handsomely for a professional picture only to discover the picture actually looks like us. (We opt for a picture taken in high school when sags and wrinkles didn’t exist).

So we’ve worked hard, we midlisters. And what has all this toil brought us? Nothing. So we’re starting a revolution. We are now MAD! (Midlist Author Dictators, in case you forgot the acronym.) Here’s how MAD program works:

• We read books about dictators (benevolent and not so benevolent) and figure out what made them tick. We take notes. We puff ourselves up. We practice on our dog, trying to make him do new tricks. Once we’ve perfected that, we go to the next step.
• We take what we’ve learned and create an empire where we are our own dictators, forcing the general populace to buy every one of our books. This includes backlists and the books we bought for 25 cents from our publisher because they were destined for the fiery furnaces of destruction.
• We rule benevolently (hopefully . . . There is that thing about absolute power corrupting absolutely.) And then we retire in the Cayman Islands off all those meaty royalty checks. (But we have to hire someone to decipher them because, for the life of us dictators, we can’t figure those puppies out!)

So there you have it. A new marketing method for a new generation! Midlist authors unite! Get MAD! Dust off your dormant dictator and have at it! Your very future depends on it. If you can’t sell books the old fashioned way, you may as well dictate. And if you fail? I hear WalMart is hiring greeters—their own micro-version of crowd-control-cart-distribution monarchy.


The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.

In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.

Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.

17 comments:

lynnrush said...

NICE **smile**

heather said...

About those cows--want to trade some milk for some of my fresh veggies (when and if my veggies grow)?

Katy McKenna said...

Laugh, laugh, laughing over here! And hopefully some chickens will come home to roost, in addition to cows. I too will have veggies for barter, and your chickens would make me happier than your MAD cows. :)

Long live MAD Mary!!

Robin Shope said...

This is really funny! Don't enter me in for the drawing since I already have the book...but had to comment about how I nodded my head and chuckled over this one.

Mary DeMuth said...

You all make me happy!

And I don't need to win a book. Got a shelf-full here in Texas.

BTW, check out Michael Hyatt's blog today with last year's top sellers. Big names sell. Which means that we dictators better get to dictating!

Jeanne Damoff said...

Cute, Mary! My fave is the size of the groups you've spoken to. A few (thousand) more speaking engagements, and you may empty that personal shelf. ;)

I also have a book, so don't need to win.

xo, J.

Gina Holmes said...

Look forward to joining your ranks soon... not. Ha. Very funny and I'm sure, all too true. Thanks for the laugh and laying it out there. I'm MAD now too!

Cindy Thomson said...

So funny, and too close to being true for comfort!

But it also makes you think--why am I doing all this? I think a lot of marketing just has so little impact. But then, I just read Randy Ingermanson's ezine on marketing and the ROI (return on investment.) Still I'm happy to a Mid-list author and not out of print (yet).

Thanks for making me smile today, Mary!

Mary DeMuth said...

Jeanne, You are my laughter inspiration.

Gina, welcome to the MAD club!

Cindy, glad to hear I made you smile.

Nicole said...

"• We’ve spoken to book clubs, fielding questions about that pesky scene (that we don’t remember writing) on page 154.
• We’ve paid handsomely for a website whose visitors consist of our grandmothers, four stalkers, and ourselves (which counts for most of our hits).
• We’ve paid printing companies mucho bucks for business cards, bookmarks, t-shirts, auto decals, and mugs. (And we’ve cleared out a closet and a garage to hold these items.)
• We’ve spoken to groups large (12) and small (1), and solicited email addresses for our gem of a monthly newsletter—only to have our subscribers rebel by unsubscribing and vowing to never read any of our books."

Hilarious, Mary. Well done.

{I'm still hacked about the "bright new literary talent" in the blurb. "New": get real. Should've used "powerful" or "insightful" or something more you.}

Mary DeMuth said...

Well, to Zondervan, I'm new! And new sounds better than old!

Carma's Window said...

I do believe writers get hit the worse. Do you write humor? If not you should.

My favorite is "we blogged 'til the cows came home.....etc."

Carma

Mary DeMuth said...

Carma, you are my new favorite person. Since I write such hard topics, it's a refreshing break when I can write humor.

Ane Mulligan said...

And the winner is ... Cindy Thompson. :)

Cindy, if you'll email me at ane@anemulligan.com and give me your snail mail address, we'll get Mary's book off to you.

Jessica Dotta said...

Mary, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed that post. That's destined to be a Novel Journey classic.

Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks Jessica. Always glad to contribute to the classics!

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