Marketing Strategies That Don’t Work #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration #WritingPrompts

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “We’ve shared marketing tips that worked for us. What have you tried that didn’t work?”

For the first few books I published, I created cell sheets and sent them to bookstores across the state. I also put together a press release and sent it to newspapers. Although the local bookstore in Sheridan, Wyoming, has always responded favorably and a few regional newspapers have done an article on me here and there, I’ve learned that most newspapers care only about what goes on in the community they represent and don’t give a darn about what happens anywhere else unless, of course, it’s a story of national interest. I even contacted my state public radio conglomerate, to no avail.

Now, when I publish a book, I do what works. I contact my local radio station that has a talk show on community affairs and schedule a spot there. I hold a signing at the local bookstore, and I deliver a press release to my local newspaper. I also use my blog and website to promote the book and appear on podcasts and other online events. These tactics seem to draw the most readers. I’ll no longer waste time on marketing strategies that don’t work.

How about you authors out there? What marketing strategies did you try that didn’t work? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?






Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

9 thoughts on “Marketing Strategies That Don’t Work #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration #WritingPrompts”

  1. What a good topic, Abbie.
    You are so right – it is that personal contact that gets results.

    I was one of those little kids who grew up selling. When I wanted my first camera, I raised my own money to get it. This was my lifestyle from early on – when I wanted anything, I figured out how to make money to purchase it. Selling always turned me on because I loved helping people find what they needed. Being involved in our own community and doing volunteer work makes a difference. Regional newspapers love to print feature stories of creative people who make a difference. When I am doing anything important like an art exhibition, winning awards, or releasing a new book, I put together a publicity package and send it to the regional newspapers – they nearly always do a feature article.

    I love to sell and learned so much during my time at Neiman Marcus. High-end selling is an art, and it’s something I love doing. I used to think I would be coming to spend my day here even if I was not paid for it.
    Knowing I’d be meeting so many people and helping them get what they needed really kept me engaged.

    When I think about it, I’ve been in selling all my life – in every job I had. Selling is profoundly personal, and Zig Ziglar always said,
    “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

    Another thing that might be very productive for writers is seeking grants.
    Learning how to write grants and create projects that will qualify for assistance is a very productive activity for anyone in the arts. I was a grants specialist for a college, an executive director of a museum, and a professor at a college. All occupations that bring in finances for special projects by individuals or institutions. I also served on boards that made decisions on the grant applications of individuals in my state (PA) and institutions, so I know that there is always money for creative people with outstanding projects. Any time we can connect with other organizations in joint projects that will enrich our community, it’s a good way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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