Promoting Immortal

The month in summary

It has been quite a good month for Immortal, the little novel that could, but only after six years of couldn’t.  On penalty of death, I can’t mention specific sales numbers, but if you count both the books bought through Amazon and from my personal supply… well, we did okay.

And now we’re in the dead zone.

The dead zone

I was expecting this.  Once the friends, family, acquaintances, launch party attendees, fellow writers and coworkers all got their copies, sales would have to rely on the terrifying Everyone Else.  People, in other words, that I don’t know, have never spoken to, and don’t know me.  Some of the Everyone Else certainly DID buy a copy this month, just as there are many friends, fellow writers and coworkers that did NOT buy a copy in October.  Nonetheless, for Immortal to make that leap it’s going to have to find its way into the hands of people that found out about it from other people, or read a review, or found it on Goodreads, or saw the press release, or discovered it some other way entirely.

This will take some time.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself when I pathologically refresh the Amazon page to see what the sales ranking is.

How can you help?

You can pull me away from Amazon and remind me I have to finish editing Hellenic Immortal.

Also, if you have read Immortal by now– and you liked it (which I’m not assuming)– tell people about it.  Like, until you become annoying.  Here’s an example:

Christmas is coming!  Wouldn’t Immortal make a good gift?  Of course it would!  Buy ten copies!

See?  That was obnoxious, but it got the point out.

Amazon and Goodreads reviews

Also, Amazon and Goodreads reviews are an easy way to help.  Both allow customers/users to post reviews of any length and a ratings system.  The more reviews, the more likely it is to help someone coming to the page for the first time.

And you can say anything you want.  Just maybe don’t say I told you to do it.  That might look bad.

And now I’m off to check the sales ranking again.  There should be a rehab program for this.

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No Comments

  1. Tracey on October 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I understand the obsessiveness, Gene, and I hope that the sales continue to grow. I have not bought my copy of IMMORTAL yet, but I will soon. Is it available in bookstores? My friends and I have a habit of putting books face out when we find it in stores since they’re much more likely to be picked up that way. I will go put it face out in all the stores near me if it is.

  2. genedoucette on October 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    That’s a great practice! It is not yet in bookstores; hopefully in the next 1-2 months it’ll spread out to brick-and-mortar stores, but for now just Amazon.

  3. Tracey on October 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Let me know when it’s in stores, and I’ll be happy to do it! In the meantime, I’ll pick up my copy on Amazon.

  4. EJ Knapp on November 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I curious why you don’t have a Kindle version of your book.

    • genedoucette on November 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      A very good question. The answer is: it’s going to happen, I’m just not positive when right now.

  5. Robert on December 7, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Gene, as a long standing member of the publishing industry I’d like to give you some advice. I posted these comments in your About page as well. You should take some time to think about how you are promoting your novel, Immortal, and those that you enlist and encourage to support your book. I have read numerous tweets over the last several days that are definitely not helping your cause and reflecting poorly on your image. Personally, I don’t have the time to follow a string of dim-witted tweets full of sexual innuendo, I don’t need to read Immortal to “get laid”, and I don’t care to be inundated by other unfunny and ridiculous taglines. This kind of promotion is unintelligent, insulting, and will only serve to hurt your image as a legitmate and credible author. I strongly suggest you spend some quality time thinking about your social media identity, brand, and reputation and checking out other authors that know how to promote with style and class. Hopefully, your writing skills are better than your advertising and promotion, but after what I’ve been reading, I’m not so sure.

    • genedoucette on December 7, 2010 at 10:12 am


      First, thank you for taking the time to comment. You raise some interesting points, and answering them may require a full blog post. But first, let me clarify:

      The tweets were not mine; they were from enthusiastic readers who were looking for angles to interest people in looking at the book.

      The goal of anyone trying to drum up interest by way of a vehicle such as twitter has to keep in mind that any “pitch” tweet has to be interesting enough to be retweeted, or it will only go out to the people already following the tweeter. Likewise, those people already following aren’t going to be interested in seeing the exact same tweet every few hours or days; they will zone out, or stop following altogether. So each promotional tweet has to be interesting, and worth repeating.

      The goal, in other words, is to create a buzz. And the only way to do that is to keep it in front of people’s eyes and to drive them to the places where the book is sold. And sometimes, this means people try angles that in retrospect are ill-advised.

      Thanks again for writing.

      (Note: Thanks for reposting this here; I’m going to remove the one on the About page as this is a more appropriate place for this conversation.)

    • Angela Perry on December 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm


      Perhaps you are trying to help. That’s nice of you. However, I certainly do NOT agree with you.

      First, you say you are in the publishing industry, yet you don’t leave your full name or provide any credentials. I am also in the publishing industry. I’ve been a professional writer and editor for 12 years. Lots of people are in the “publishing industry.” I’ve seen people who published an ebook claim they are publishing professionals. That doesn’t make them qualified to criticize book promotion techniques.

      Second, in order to see that “string” of tweets, you had to be following Dorothy. She always tweets like that. Her followers are fine with it. We find it funny. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t follow her. So why are you following her?

      Third, you are in the publishing industry and you are judging Gene’s book by what one of his readers said? Seriously? I have read the book, and I can tell you it is a fantastic first novel. It’s well-paced, the characters are three-dimensional and interesting, and the writing itself has a superb style and clear voice.

      If you really are in the publishing industry as you say, you should read the book before judging its quality, and you certainly should not judge a book by how a single reader reacts to it.

      • Robert on December 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm

        First, the fact that I did not provide my qualifications and wish to remain anonymous, for professional reasons, is no reason to imply that I am not qualified. You might even be surprised.

        Second, I made no mention of anyone in my feedback and was, instead, providing my opinion on the context, language, and themes of the tweets I read over the last few weeks. I am free to follow whomever I choose on Twitter, whether or not I like their content and tweets. Questioning who I follow and jumping to the defense of others on Twitter is clearly missing my point.

        Third, I am not judging the quality of the book and only expressed my doubts based on the impression I was given through the Twitter interchanges and pitches I read.

        Yes, as Gene stated, you need to “create a buzz”. It’s really a question of how you do it. Image and reputation are critically important for an author that is actively using social media networks as a marketing tool. The image you create is formed almost exclusively by your words and associations. How you nurture and promote your image using language and content to positively market to the largest audience possible is a personal choice that every author will need to make. History of success tells the story.

  6. Kate on December 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    In the publishing industry but doesn’t know the difference between imply and infer. Hmm.

  7. Wordtinker on December 8, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Dearest Robert,
    I am NOT in the publishing industry. I can’t string two scintillating sentences together in cogent form to save my life, so I don’t write, either. I converse. I converse with people from every socio-economic level of society on a daily basis. The people with whom I converse have taught me a few things, and I feel compelled to share one of those lessons with you. I don’t want to do it, but I can not stop myself.

    1)Perhaps you don’t, but the general public recognizes the difference between an author and his fan-base and really doesn’t give a rat’s patootie if someone other than their current favorite says or does something that is not entirely in keeping with their favorite’s personality and brand image.

    Dorothy is awesome. She has a unique voice that is unmistakable regardless of the media she uses. You don’t have to say her name, just think about her in an unflattering way as you paraphrase anything she’s said and you’ll piss me off.

    And by the way, it’s her slightly off-kilter style that has put Gene’s book on the “to read” lists of 43 people in the last week. Why? It’s because I like Dorothy’s snarky edge. I also like Mr. Doucette’s work, and I mentioned Immortal in passing to a friend the other day. Word-of-mouth works like wildfire. Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-friend. That’s all Dorothy did. You should take lessons. Gene needs the sales. Wait, perhaps I should check with him before encouraging you.
    Gene? Do you want an anal-retentive’s help promoting your book?

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