They say to follow your dreams, and my dream is writing. However, the world’s perception of writing or authors is much different than the reality. You would think that with a title such as writer or author that your primary function is to write or author material…or put another way, to work with words.
Let me dispel that notion right now. A writer’s or author’s job is not to create the written material, it’s to sell that material. Whether you’re a self-published author or an author that is a member of that exclusive publishing house group, your job is salesperson not writer. (Trust me, junior authors to senior authors of publishing houses still have to sell their material…senior members just don’t have to work so hard at it.)
We need to formulate a marketing plan, and “hoping people will like my book and buy it” doesn’t constitute a marketing plan (I know, ’cause I tried). Even the “maybe word of mouth will be enough…” plan isn’t enough. Nope. You have to actually figure out what avenues for marketing books are available, who the contacts are for those different venues, create something that would make these contacts want to publish or use your material, and then hope that people will watch your video, read your marketing blurb, your ad, or find your web page, and then buy your book.
It’s getting out and giving talks to small or large groups, it’s getting your name noticed, and it’s definitely not what I wanted to do when I decided to become a writer. Why? Because I don’t want to be in the spotlight. I became a writer because I like being in the background. If I wanted to be in the foreground I would have chosen a career as an actor or something, not a writer.
Sure, I could hire someone to do all of this marketing hoo-ha for me, but it’s hard to convince yourself to pay $$ someone when you’re not making any money. Yes, I’ve heard the old adage, you gotta spend money to make money, but in this economy, maybe you just gotta dig in and do it yourself.
So, I’ve pegged a couple of book marketing sites, gotten some books from the library, and am assiduously trying to follow the advice I’m finding. Of course, since none of my sources agree on a specific approach, and I’ve never successfully marketed any of my books (or blogs) before, this is all trial and error.
Maybe, if any of this works, I can spend more time writing and less time selling…because trust me, I do not want to be a salesperson. Definitely not my thing.