Selfpublished Amazon Author’s 2017 Resolution: Screw Marketing – I Prefer to Write!
If you’re a new self-published author or you have a newly published title, you can probably relate to the difficult challenges of trying to market and promote your book. Book marketing and regular promoting is definitely needed if you want your title to get any kind of exposure, especially on Amazon. This has been my goal, ever since I published my newly released title Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer). I strategically listed my dark urban drama in Amazon’s popular Mystery, Thriller & Suspense category, as well as the coming of age book section. But more than proper book placement is required if your title is ever going to be discovered by readers. This brings us to the whole concept of doing more book marketing.
Frustration the Enemy
When it comes to the issue of successful book marketing, the real enemy is “frustration”. This is something that has become painstakingly clear to me; thus the reason for this post.
I’ve had past discussions on the subject of self-published authors who do their own book marketing. In previous posts, I discussed the issues of time and energy. I noted how if a self-published author is not careful, they may end up spending countless hours devoted to fruitless book marketing activities. In the beginning, when you first start marketing, you tend to tell yourself that ALL your collective efforts will certainly amount to something in the long run. The only problem is; it takes a WHOLE lot of time and energy to accomplish just a LITTLE progress. Besides that, the little bit of progress you do make usually takes a lot of time before you see it. The result is the kind of frustration that makes you want to stop writing altogether, let alone stop marketing your book.
Warding Off the Blues
As crazy as it may seem, sometimes instead of being happy after finishing a book, some authors actually have to ward off the blues. It is not unusual for a newly published author to go through a series of negative emotions after finally completing and publishing their work. In a former post, I referred to this tendency as the book marketing blues. While there are a number of reasons that I believe this syndrome occurs, the challenge of marketing and securing book reviews is definitely a big part of it.
After successfully completing such a huge feat as writing and publishing a book, there is an internal need for a BIG change or something BIG to happen to mark this accomplishment. As the author; you hope that something BIG will be reflected in a lot of book sales or book reviews or even high Amazon ranking. You want and need for someone other than you to realize what you have just accomplished. It can be very depressing when nothing significant happens and your life just seems to go on; business as usual.
A Balanced Approach
In order to keep your sanity about the obstacles that come with book marketing and getting reviews, you have to have a balanced approach. When you look at social media sites and other platforms where authors get to toot their own horn, there are endless new titles being promoted every day. The reason for this is not just because these authors want to sell their books. What they really want is that BIG something (from the previous paragraph), so they don’t end up with the book marketing blues. But doing more marketing is not what is going to make those blues go away. A balanced approach is what will help.
I learned a good lesson about the need for marketing with my first novel (Experimenting With Murder). Relatively speaking, I did very little book marketing and promoting of the title, to my own detriment. That is why I thought for sure that more marketing efforts on my part would surely benefit my Skipping Childhood novel. I began promoting the title before the book was even released and I’ve been promoting it ever since. But even now at such an early stage of the book’s life, I’m starting to feel the burnout effect. And why wouldn’t I? I’ve been marketing, promoting, monitoring sales stats and Amazon rankings, trying to network with other authors and potential readers; not to mention blogging about the book and related subjects.
All the above book marketing activities and more are necessary to building buzz and securing followers who may convert to sales. This is the reality of what it means to try and make your book a success and so far, I haven’t found any easy or alternative solution. The biggest problem I personally have with all of this is the fact that most of these activities require you to wash, rinse and repeat. That means that your book marketing efforts have to be constant and ongoing. For me, that’s a problem. I don’t want to get mired down in all these book marketing activities that always seem to interfere with my actual writing. Striking a balance is not easy but it is definitely necessary!
Just Keep Writing
At this point, as excited as I am to see the success of my latest novel, I’m more interested in keeping my desire to continue writing. Now that Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer) is finished, I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I miss the characters and the feeling of being swept up and taken somewhere else every day and night. This is what happens when you get absorbed in writing a manuscript. Right now, I’m still in “write” mode, and all the problems and challenges of marketing seem to disrupt that feeling. That is why I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what, I’m going to keep writing and try hard not to keep looking over my shoulder to gauge my success.
I came across a new software that I plan to try when I start my next book. The software is called: The Novel Factory and I’ll be checking out the free trial to see how it performs. I’ve already determined that “Predator’s Revenge” will be my next title and I plan for it to be a follow up to “Skipping Childhood.” Based on what I read about the software, it should really help me to arrange my thoughts better and whip the whole novel into shape in an organized way. I’ve been wanting to get started on the new book, but I’ve been preoccupied with book marketing, almost to an obsessive degree. But when I read about this software, I got excited and now all I can think about is starting Predator’s Revenge. I’m ready to keep writing.
Passive Book Marketing
I don’t plan to give up entirely on my book marketing and promotional ideas for “Skipping Childhood.” But I do plan to find ways to do more passive marketing; whereby I can set some wheels in motion, and leave them alone to turn. Watching your sales and stats and all the like can be beneficial, but if you’re not careful, watching too closely can do you more harm than good. That is why this self-published Amazon author’s 2017 resolution is to say “Screw book marketing. I’d rather be writing!”
So while I plan to keep marketing, and blogging, and posting comments about my new book, I also plan to implement the very best form of book marketing that I can think of, and that is to write another book, and another and another and another….