I spend part of every day playing ball in the family room with my dog, Duffy. The routine is, well, routine. I throw the ball down the hallway, he catches it and runs back toward me, then at some point, he starts to chew on the ball. This is a bad sign. I know he will then wedge the ball underneath the coffee table. Having wedged the ball firmly, he paws furiously and whines until I extricate the ball, yell at him about it, and we start the process again.
He knows that pushing the ball under the table will result in not being able to retrieve it. I know that he will push the ball under the table and I'll have to dig it out.
Which one of us is more insane?
I'm only asking these questions because I'm asking myself similar questions about being a writer. What processes do I keep repeating that never worked in the first place?
For example, when I published Freezer Burn, everyone was designing and distributing bookmarks, so I did, too. I handed them out, at signings, book festivals, libraries, you name it. Did they increase my visibility and my sales? I haven't a clue.
And yet, I designed a bookmark for What Would Erma Do. I haven't ordered them yet, because I'm wondering, especially in this digital age, are they worth the paper they're printed on?
Given the fact that there is an estimated 300,000 books being published this year, and not counting the bazillions of books from years past that people are just discovering, I'm wondering how to maximize my exposure without having to post that sex video. (Just joking. REALLY.)
If you're an author, what kinds of things are you doing differently to get people's attention? If you're a reader, what is turning your head in today's market?