Sunday interview: Lee Goldberg

Californian Crime novelist Lee Goldberg‘s latest books are The Man with the Iron-On Badge published by Five Star and Diagnosis Murder: The Past Tense published by Signet.

1. What kinds of marketing have you done as an author?
Beyond my website and blog, I do the usual round of booksignings and speaking engagements/luncheons/seminars. I also attend the two major mystery conventions — Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon. On top of that, I send out a bimontly enewsletter to my mailing list of about 1000 folks and review copies of my books to publications, websites and blogs that my publisher might over look .

A few months before a book comes out, I send a personal letter to booksellers and key “opinion makers” in the mystery genre (fans, reviewers, bloggers, authors, etc).

2. What marketing have your publishers done?
Next to none, beyond sending out review copies and listing the book in their catalog.

3. What did you learn during your experiences of trying to market your books?
Your primary target isn’t the reader… it’s the bookseller. If you can get them excited about your books, the readers will follow.

Another thing I learned is to use my time wisely — don’t accept every booksigning or speaking opportunity. Ask yourself whether you will either a) sell a lot of books or b) accomplish valuable networking with booksellers. Otherwise, it just isn’t worthwhile. Often I will go to an event knowing I might not sell lots of books at the time but that the effort will pay off down the road.

4. What’s the most successful piece of marketing you’ve done?
Face-to-face meetings with booksellers in their stores and at the mystery conventions.

5. What advice would give for authors starting out with marketing their books?
Don’t be all about selling your book. Relationships are more important. If you can establish relationships/friendships with sellers, reviewers, and other authors, it will create the all-important word-of-mouth that truly propels sales.

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