Book Marketing - Love it or Hate it?
Whenever I have spoken with other authors about marketing books, not many of us enjoy this process. We enjoy writing but abhor marketing our titles. For me, as a marketer and web content manager, I thought I would like the process of marketing. In reality, it's a hard slog and if you want the rewards then you have to keep slogging away.
I published my short stories and debut novel in November and December 2019, so since then I have been marketing them. To say it is time-consuming is an understatement yet I know there is no other choice if I want to sell a decent amount of books. With the novel, The Decision They Made, I am donating 50% of book sales to The Alannah & Madeline Foundation. The story has two characters who are abused as children, which is the tie-in with the Foundation. They work with abused children.
Many authors believe that if they find a traditional publisher, then the publisher will help with marketing. They do to a point, but their role is more to find a wide distribution, it's up to the author to do the heavy-lifting when it comes to having their book found once it is published.
I'm still in the trial and error phase of marketing my writing. My website is my main marketing tool, along with #amazon, #twitter, #instagram, #facebook and bricks and mortar bookstores. Copies of my books are also in selected libraries. Sales are going quite well considering I am a relatively unknown self-published author. The #COVID #Pandemic has also had a negative impact on sales.
The error part of my marketing was trying the traditional route of sending out media releases. This was not effective, especially as it coincided with the #coronavirus #pandemic. The only news the media was interested in was anything to do with the virus. This is understandable of course, but still disappointing.
Launching a book is a big part of an author's armour to market, and again, my launch was the victim of the virus. The date was set for 26 April 2020 and I was delighted it was going to be held at Berkelouw Books Leichhardt. Well, as you can guess, the launch did not happen on that date. The launch did eventually go ahead in September 2020, but it was limited to forty people. I had a hundred people on my invite list. Considering the limitations, the launch was a success, I sold books and forty people did attend.
Writing is my passion, I enjoy the process of seeing a story come to life. I market because if I don't then no one will know my stories exist. So, the marketing process can be a chore and I prefer to write rather than do the marketing, and I know this is the case for many authors. Once you do have a marketing plan, then stick with it and try to enjoy the process. The rewards will come, maybe not as fast as you would like, but nothing comes easy. This is especially true of the publishing game and the self-publishing sector can be even more about trial and error. So, if you love it or hate it, book marketing is an essential part of selling books.