Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How Not To Market Your Work

Nosing around a few sites, I stumbled across Self-Publishing Review (SPR), where I found this little gem, Six Ways You Are Ruining Your Book Marketing Campaign.  This is worth reading.

About one-quarter to one-third of your time will be spent writing your book.  You'll spend an equal amount of time in editing your work, which is finding and fixing the places where auto-correct suggested the wrong word and you accepted its suggestion without looking.  Then there's the grammar and the pot plot holes you left with a promise to fix them later - and, well, now it's later.

So you've got a great book, or at least a finished book.  You create, or (like in my case) you buy a cover, then you put the whole business out on Amazon and wait for some big name Hollywood producer to call you and offer several million for the film rights of your brand new, Cinderella story, NYT runaway best seller, and big time money maker, which you've title Hundred Proof Gin for the Real Man's Soul.  When that doesn't happen, you check sales and see that you've sold two copies: One to your S.O. and one to an unknown aardvark who fat fingered his keyboard and now wants his bread back.

Your problem is that you didn't advertise.  For every day you spend writing, you'll spend a day trying to get the hoi polloi to buy and (you hope) read your magnum opus, then give it a six star review on Amazon.  But, see, no one knows you and your work exists.

That's where advertising comes in.  Sadly, you are not Don Draper.  If you were, you'd be working in New York and getting paid an incredible salary to come in to the office when it suits you, get hammered by two in the afternoon and sleep it off on the couch.

Truth be told, you enjoy life in the basement and the company of your cat, an undemanding purr-box who sits in your lap and occasionally helps you type.

Being no expert, you try advertising your book, and then wonder why sales don't spike.  This article points out why.  I especially like the second reason, consulting amateurs and treating their advice like that of a professional.  Would you go to one of these basement dwellers if you suspected you had cancer?  Or wanted your 401K to perform better?  Or maybe you need a few grand by the end of the week, and want a nice race track tip.  These guys would have it, right?

Read the article, then draw your own conclusions.  Or, if you lack the skill to draw, read the writing on the wall.

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