Writing a book is one thing, marketing it is another. If I’m honest, I much prefer writing – even editing – rather than marketing, but it is the devil I need to grab by the horns.
I have read numerous articles both on paper and on the web, on how to promote oneself and the book in question. But I have always learnt better by modelling rather than just reading alone. But I no longer work as part of a team where I can ask someone to show me what to do. I am, of course, part of a virtual team with Winter Goose Publishing in America, but I can’t grab their hand, guide it to my laptop and say, “show me please.”
FaceBook and Twitter are mentioned frequently, but I can’t just use use both mediums to say, “look at me, buy my book,” I would lose friends/follows rapidly, and quite rightly so.
What can be disconcerting is that the web is bulging with authors trying to get their book noticed. What makes someone stand out more than another? Is it a eye-catching book cover? Is it a string of 5* book reviews? Is it a succession of novels to the author’s name? All of this issues count, and yet it must be more than that.
I am astounded when someone I don’t know on Twitter or FB – or at least I believe I don’t know – leaves a review on Amazon. I wonder where they found my book? Of course, I can’t ask them, but it would be a great learning curve to know what works, and ultimately what doesn’t.
Marketing is rather like searching for a shooting star. I can look towards to sky and see the stars, but the one I want is elusive and I only manage to see by luck. I can hear some of you screaming that marketing is not a matter of luck, but hard graft and intelligent use of the web. I agree!
However, I believe there is also a certain amount of luck needed too. Luck in that someone spots your book, falls in love with it and spreads the word. Or luck that an agent or publisher find your book intriguing, or even luck that your genre is flavour of the month.
Someone told me that they marketed their own book and sold 200 books in one month. I have asked her to show me her strategy, but I’m still waiting to hear from her. I will pass on the information as soon as I have it, as I’m sure we could al do with a little help in that area.
I was hoping to be a bit more market savvy before my next novel comes out in Feb 2013. I do at least have some more time before then, but I’m aware that working with an editor is very time consuming, plus I’m writing another novel at this moment in time, whilst trying to be a competent mother, wife, cook, homework wizard and housekeeper.
I have found services who will advertise my book for a fee, and they look very tempting. I have an advert out now in Mslexia, and I’ve also advertised in the local community magazine. I intend to pursue some of these avenues, especially when I have two books to sell. Some of the products that are available are too complicated for me to follow and understand. I don’t know whether that reflects badly on the product or on me!
I wasn’t born to sell wares, I was a nurse – a giver – and I now find I’m floundering in these murky waters. And yet all authors have to tread these waters, even the successful ones, so why should I be any different?
Perhaps someone out there has more answers than I do, answers that I can understand!. I’m hoping that someone can hear me now!
Happy Word Flow One & All
Each day I learn more about writing and marketing
One thought on “Can Anybody Hear Me?”
Hemmie, you have a lovely daughter, you must be a happy mother! Thanks for sharing your marketing angst with us, I must say I fully agree with you! To say “buy my book” is idiotic, one just can't do it!And it demonstrably does NOT work on Twitter at all (nor anywhere else for that matter).
I'm not a nurse like you but I worked 25 years for the United Nations in the area of humanitarian assistance and development aid, so I know what you mean when you say “I wasn't born to do that!”
I've just published my second novel A HOOK IN THE SKY, following on my first which in the end acted as a sort of “test”: I did quite literally everything wrong yet I spent hours and days trying to do it right! I blogged about different marketing techniques (including John Locke's famous “loyalty transfer” – see his KIndle ebook “How I sold One million copies in 5 months”)
There's jut one thing I found out to work (a little): KNOW your audience, know who you're writing for and write for them. And keep writing, your next book will help to sell your previous one! That's especially true in this digital world where books stay up forever on digital shelves instead of being taken down an thrown away as happens in the physical world (published books in paper form have to make it in 3 months before they're called back and forgotten forever…)
And btw, that's a big marketing plus in the digital age: you know you've got more than 3 months to “make it”!