As a mystery book author, I have received a heck of a lot of advice. My mysteries need to be available at every book store in the country, I need to sign at every one of those stores, I should give talks to every library and bookstore who will have me and all of this should be done in the first two weeks after the book is published. It's all pretty interesting if impossible to achieve.
And frankly, I'm at the point where I wonder just exactly how well all of this works anyway. I personally have never bought even one book because of advertising or even because of reviews. I buy books that others who read what I do tell me about but mostly I buy books that I think will be keepers--ones that I will want to read again and again. What that means to me is that the for the most part, I've read others of that author's books and loved them all. I am occasionally disappointed with this method, but not often. Usually, this results in a very small bag of books that I want to give away.
I have seen a lot of authors give readings, most of those didn't happen in the first few weeks after a book was published. I've been to a number of signings. They aren't all that interesting, really. I've bought books in both cases, and sometimes I won't buy a book, because the author did something to turn me off. One author, whose name I won't mention, did a reading with several other authors. During her reading, the silence was palpable. While the other authors read, she chatted with folks and made so much noise, I couldn't hear the other authors. I didn't buy her book.
So all of this is the long way round to saying I think promo is necessary, and I have and will do promo, but I am giving myself permission with this book to make mistakes and take it slower. I've already sent Safe House out to slews of reviewers even though it won't be in print until late spring. And I'm already trying to line up signings and interviews and blog tour hosts. But maybe it doesn't all have to be done in the first two weeks. Just maybe. What do you think?