Kenneth Weene works through a small publishing house through which he and other authors do their own marketing. Learn more about that, Kenneth’s book trailers, and his advice on how to properly use social media in your marketing efforts.
1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book. Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.
Set in a small bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne tells the collective bittersweet stories of the people who make the place their home – people who have not fallen off the social ladder but who are hanging on desperately at the bottom. These integrated stories of men and women, who may not be successes but who still are so very human, offer laughter, pathos, and a sense of camaraderie.
2. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
My books are halfway between traditional and indie publishing. All Things That Matter Press is a small house so we, the authors, have to do the marketing ourselves. But as a publisher they offer cover design and editing as part of the contractual deal. They take no money but make their profit from our sales. Would I prefer to move to a “larger” house, one that could provide more marketing service? Sure. But I do appreciate the sense of family that we have created. The owners of All Things have been very supportive, and many of the authors work together and are wonderfully supportive.
I must admit that I would never want to self-publish or go with one of those “indie publishers” that sell their services. That would feel like I was their mark rather than their valued writer.
3. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
Like most authors, I do everything I can. I am very active in the social media. I have trailers and do audio posts of my work. I don’t have my own blog, but I do a lot of guest blogging and interviews like this one. I also do Internet-based radio. Of all these, my guess is that the social networking and the radio are the most effective. However, that is only a guess.
I would give one piece of advice to others: If you are going to be active in the social media, be sure it isn’t all about your writing. I limit myself to ten percent about my writing, ten percent about my friends’ writing, and reserve the remaining eighty percent for everything else in life. That means people see me as a real person and not simply a marketing process.
Another important piece of advice if you are using social media: join groups. Especially on Facebook and LinkedIn. Become part of the process. Comment on others’ posts. Be involved.
4. What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment I’m working on the edits of a new book, The Stylite. My editor says it’s the one they’ll someday be studying in grad schools. From his lips to God’s ears. I’m also researching for a piece of historical fiction. At the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. government developed what were called Indian Schools, boarding schools designed to “reeducate” Native American kids and turn them into good “workers” for the larger culture. I came up with a story that is based on that program. Red and White will take more research, but it is coming along.
Of course, those larger projects are constantly interrupted by poems, short stories, guest blogs, and many other momentary projects. For example, I was recently asked to tell a campfire story at the summer camp which many years ago my parents ran. That will be this summer, so I have been working on that story. It is, I think, quite good. Hopefully the kids at the camp will think so, too.
One thing I can never resistis an opportunity to tell a story. There are a number of my pieces on SoundCloud. If you’d like to listen to one, I particularly recommend this one, which is one of the shorter chapters in Tales From the Dew Drop Inne, and this one, which is one of my favorite stories.
5. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
I write literary fiction, particularly literary fiction that captures the tragi-comedic quality of life.
6. How can readers learn moreabout your books?
I do have a website, authorkenweene.com.
All three of my books are available with reviews on Amazon. They are in print, on Kindle, and, if you wish, on Nook.