Many NANO authors and other indie authors with new releases will often come down with a case of the book marketing blues.
This happens when authors complete their manuscripts, only to discover that there’s much more to publishing a book than simply getting the writing done. Marketing and promotion is really where all the hard work comes in. No one wants to hear it, including me, but the reality is; it’s not unusual for a new title to take up to two years before starting to gain some momentum. All the experts say that even this kind of timeline will be dependent on just how much time the author is willing to devote to marketing.
The above viewpoint, and slight variations of it seem to be all I hear when it comes to having a successful novel. It seems almost unbearable, the amount of hard work that goes into trying to gain exposure and recognition for something that you’ve already poured your soul into. The challenge to try and get your book into someone’s hand, and then have them talk about it continues to get harder and harder.
Comes with the Territory
For unknown or unpopular authors and titles, the book marketing blues basically comes with the territory. No matter how excited you are to finally upload your work and publish your book; be prepared to have a little air let out of your sails. Just like the thousands of NANO writers who completed this year’s challenge, I too released a new title on December 1, 2016. The book, Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer) is now available exclusively on Amazon, via their KDP Select program. Since that time, I’ve been monitoring book sales, while trying out a number of different ad campaigns and book marketing services. The results are far less better than I anticipated.
Although I didn’t participate in NANO, I have no doubt that lots of those writers are probably facing the same book marketing blues that I’m having myself. This is especially true when you’re a first time author, but even though this is my second novel, the whole marketing situation is still discouraging. I learned two years ago (when my first novel: “Experimenting with Murder” was released) just how foolish it is to expect your numbers to soar overnight. It didn’t’ happen then, and it’s not happening with “Skipping Childhood”.
One thing I’m determined to do this time around is to stay focused on the big picture; which is to always be writing. When you’re so wrapped up into trying to market one product, it can make you lose sight of your actual brand. I believe that my “Charm Baker” brand is good enough that people will love it, once they actually discover it. So I can’t afford to put all my efforts into marketing just the first, second, third, or even fourth novel.
Out of all the book marketing methods I’ve read about in order to help gain more book sales, is the method of “creating another book, and another, and another…” That is a philosophy that makes sense to me and definitely one that makes me feel positive about the outcome. I’d rather be doing something proactive, than simply waiting around for people to find my book and buy it. There’s nothing more proactive than writing another one. That’s why, believe it or not, I’m just about ready to sit down and get started on a sequel to “Skipping Childhood”.
My plan is to continue talking about and marketing my newest release, but not to waste any time starting the next book. So far, I’ve posted and positioned “Skipping Childhood” in many of the same places that most new authors submit to: Goodreads, Kindle Boards, etc… I’m using both paid and non-paid book marketing services, and I’m doing what I can in the way of social media (although this is probably my least effective resource).
Some authors really benefit from social media book marketing, those who have a large following on one or more popular sites. I personally believe you can end up wasting your time and efforts on social media if you don’t really have a following. I’ve lost time and energy trying to navigate social media sites that I don’t ordinarily interact on. I think it’s important that each author focus on book marketing activities that are not foreign to them and that they actually enjoy. These are the things that you’ll continue to do on a regular basis.
Prevent the Blues
You can prevent yourself from getting the book marketing blues if you find effective activities that you really enjoy. If you enjoy making videos and want to market and promote your book in that way, than get good at doing that. You don’t have to try EVERY book marketing activity that you read about; just the ones you actually want to do. For instance, I operate a blog called: “Skipping Childhood (Ramblings)” and it is a companion blog to my book. The whole blog is devoted to topics related to the book, but it allows me to do what I love best; talk, share, and give my opinion on things. My “ramblings” on the blog cover all kinds of thought provoking issues, all related to my book in one way or another.
I’ve given myself a whole long list of topics to choose from whenever I write a post for the Skipping Childhood blog. The cool thing is, everything I discuss all comes back to the book, including the characters and scenes it contains. This is one way that I’ve found to help get rid of my book marketing blues. I feel confident I’ll stick to it, even if I tire out and stop doing all the other marketing activities. This kind of close scrutiny of the book has helped me discover so many new things about the topics, about myself, and even about the book’s characters. I look forward to this type of marketing each day, instead of dreading it.
Now, what about you? How will you chase those book marketing blues away, now that your new title is published? Feel free to share your thoughts.