Promotion and the Telephone Game

I can now officially check the box off for published author of a novel-length story. Woo hoo! And I have to say that thanks to all the friends I made on Facebook, my launch party was a success, as were my initial sales. Now, comes the hard part. The part that is completely out of my hands. And it’s called the telephone game.

If you’ve never played this game in grade school, I’ll explain the rules. You stand in one long line. The teacher whispers a phrase into the first child’s ear. That child whispers it into the next child’s ear, then they whisper it into the next child’s ear, down the line, until you reach the last child, who says the phrase out loud. What makes this game so fun is how messed up the phrase gets by the end of the line.

At least that’s what I thought made it so funny. When I was in 2nd grade, I happened to be the last person in line. It was Christmas time, so the phrase was “Santa climbed down the chimney.” I wanted to be a comedian. I figured, hey, no one is going to know where the message mixed up. There’s twenty of us! So I changed it to something like “Santa fell down the chimney.” Of course, the person who whispered it to me instantly yelled out, “That’s not what I said!” There went my great plan of anonymity. And it didn’t really help that we were working toward a prize as a class if we got it right. Yeah, I wasn’t voted most-loved student that day.

So after that drawn out example of me making a fool of myself, let me explain how the game of telephone has to do with promoting my book. You see, I have about 1,000 Facebook friends. Of those 1,000, probably 100 see my posts, which means my ads/teasers only reach a hundred people. The same hundred over and over. I’m sure they’re getting tired of seeing them, and I’m not making any new fans that way. Enter the telephone game.

How it works is that any of the hundred friends who have read The Glass Ceiling (and liked it), would then tell their Facebook friends, “I just read the most awesome book. You NEED to read it!” Then those friends would tell their friends, and thus, you’ve made a large game of telephone spider-webbing in all directions. It kind of reminds me of a graph you’d see in the case of an epidemic. Of course, this is a happy epidemic, not a zombie apocalypse, world is over, epidemic. It also looks eerily like a pyramid scheme. But we won’t bring that up. (Another epic fail of mine.)


This “telephone game” is what every debut author counts on, especially those that come from a small publishing house (like me) or are self-published. We don’t have our agents tweeting about us ten times a day or a large publishing house pushing our book out to major reviewers. We will only be known by WORD OF MOUTH. And as we’ve seen with many self-published authors, word of mouth works! In fact, it works quite well. It’s just a matter of getting the telephone chain started.

I ask you, friends who have become new fans, to help start the chain. If you like my book, tell people. Your mailman, the waitress, your son’s English teacher, your local librarian, and yes, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads,or whatever social network site you prefer. It all starts with YOU. You’re my front line, hacking and slashing through the millions of other books out there, to get Heart and her friends to the top. To get her story known.

Okay, that may be a tad melodramatic. But I’m a writer. What did you expect?

So do you, my fine knights, accept the quest? Virtual cupcakes for everyone who steps forward! Yay!


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