Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get Your Message Across

See this yellow-backed vehicle? The owner of this car was seizing an opportunity. Written on the back is a message that says, in essence: okay, while you're sitting in traffic behind me, why not write this phone number down so you'll have it when you need it. The number is for a towing company. I thought it was a fine piece of advertising. I felt as if I was being addressed personally.

(Sorry about the worse-even-than-usual quality of the photography: it was one shot with a cell phone on a rainy day while driving a car with a dirty windshield with hand-painted morning glories on the hood and my arm in the way.)

My own car has a license plate that says SISINDIA for my novel Sister India. But that's really more for fun, for vanity, than anything else.

I'm wondering what other surprising inventive everyday ways there are for a writer/artist/entrepreneur to get his/her message across. Some artists cringe at advertising and self-promotion. Though we vigorously want publishers and galleries to invest heavily in promoting our work. And some madly promote and then pretend to be shy.

To me, to create the work and then decline to help it out into the world is like not taking care of the dog. It's falling down on the job.

So this past week I started running a wee ad for my critique services for writers. Never did this before. It's one of those little boxes on the right side of a Google page, the copy below, but with lines around it.

Get Book Feedback
Intensive Report: Novel/ Nonfiction
From NYT Notable Writer

The "NYT Notable" means that Sister India was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Google Advertising wouldn't allow me to use the whole name in the ad because of trademark worries or some such.

So far it has appeared 65,937 times (when someone enters a phrase like "feedback on my novel"), been clicked on 11 times, and cost me $9.59. Haven't heard yet, that I know of, from anyone who clicked it, but we'll see. It's kind-a fun, like having a fishing line in the water.

If you like this post, please bookmark it on del.icio.us, share it on StumbleUpon, vote for it on Digg. Thanks so much.


Debra W said...

Hoping that your bold little step into Google is very successful for you!

Peggy Payne said...

Thank you, Debbie. I expect to be a household name by the weekend at the latest.

Mojo said...

How synchronistic. I just had a remarkably similar conversation with a friend only yesterday. One that inspired me to pen this post. She won an award for her work, but couldn't bring herself to post about it on her own blog. I couldn't convince her so I did the next logical thing. I did it for her.

Because in this case, I really, really felt like it needed doing. And if I was wrong, it's a trade I'll make on any day that ends in "Y".

Anonymous said...

What a gutsy cyberleap!! Our organization has ventured into adwords with great success on a very limited budget. Amazing that a whole industry has cropped up to consult on google adwords.

How was Sister India promoted?

Peggy Payne said...

Mojo, I love your enthusiasm about other folks' successes. And your friend certainly does deserve the kudos.

Anon, if you have any secrets you want to pass on about getting your organization's success with keywords, do feel free. Thanks for the encouragement.

Sister India was mostly promoted by placement in front shelves of Barnes & Nobles, good reviews, and co-op advertising with stores where I was doing signings. I also personally sent little gifts of colorful glass bangles to as many bookstore owners as I could.