Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Marketing Challenge...

...especially for an author (me) who has chosen the hard way to publish (as if other ways are easy).

I have self-published (without backing of a traditional press) a literary-ish (difficult to market even for a traditional press) gothic-ish (a dead genre) trilogy.

So how do I connect readers to the reading? What has worked? What has not worked? What won't I do?

Won'ts/Not worked:

1) Blow up my social media feed with exhortations to buy my book or follow me because I'm an expert in "this" or because my writing is so "that." Social media is meant to be social, not MEdia. There's plenty of that online already. It turns me off. I'm sure it turns others oof, too.

2) Keep doing the same thing over and over and over if it's not working. Example: craft fairs (unless I ever auxiliary craft items to sell, in which case craft fairs would be a marketing opportunity for me). One member of WriteOn Joliet says she does well at craft fairs. I have not.

3) Author events that aren't part of a larger event. Example #1: Coming into the venue where I am the only draw. I'm sorry stunning enough for people to take a chance (I hear objections from loved ones, but it's true). Example #2: I did well at Indie Author Day at the Plainfield Public Library. Organizers planned conservatively (a small room with about fifty chairs set up for the author panel). The day consisted of a one-hour author panel and then one hour to browse the authors.

4) Paying an exorbitant price for table space. I almost never make the money back. Exception: My mother paid almost $300 a few years back to be part of a three-day craft fair at a local mall. We did well the first two days and almost made our money back.

5) Spend so much time marketing that I lose sight of writing.

What's worked:

Consistently? Nothing.

Moderately: Again, being part of a larger event.

Ironically: random online purchases (go figure), especially overseas. This last doesn't surprise me, as that had been my hunch when I began the series.

And yet: I have a small tribe of extremely devoted fans (i.e. not my family and friends) that LOVE this series and exhort me to push the marketing.

The challenge:

Finding ways, and then encouraging, other authors to find their ways, to connect their books to the right readers. I have a hunch some of it might be genre specific, but that's okay.

I'll keep you posted of my progress (or lack thereof...)

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