Ahh, the dreaded “m” word: Marketing. For many authors and other self-employed artists, the word creates a feeling bordering on disgust. It might bring to mind pictures of overweight men in polyester suits, hair slicked back, hand out, shark-smile in place. Or maybe the term reminds us of those terrible telemarketer calls, where–no matter how politely you refuse the service or product–you end up having to hang up on the caller because you can barely get a word in edgewise.
I recently conducted an unofficial author survey (i.e. of my friends who are also authors) to ask what they believe they need as an author, or what help they could have used when first starting out. Most of them replied, “help with marketing” and made mention of the fact that they “greatly disliked,” “didn’t have time for,” or otherwise dreaded marketing their books.
Is that one of the reason that so many authors today still seek traditional publishing packages instead of choosing to self-publish? There could be many other reasons of course, but from what I’ve been hearing/reading, it seems that unless your name begins with S and ends with King, you’re likely going to be doing a lot of book marketing for yourself, traditionally published or not.
While there are loads (and loads and loads) of blog posts, websites and chatter via social networking sites regarding the “how to’s” of marketing one’s book, it still seems to be an area where new and (sometimes) better information continues to flow. Daily. So how does an author determine what best practices to choose in regards to marketing?
This post isn’t going to offer helpful information or potential solutions. Instead, I’m hoping it will open up a dialogue, a way for all of us to share what’s worked/hasn’t worked in our own marketing efforts. Feel free to offer tips, links to resources or other items of interest in the comments section. And thanks in advance for being part of the conversation.
J.P. Choquette writes suspense novels and markets them on a nearly daily basis from her office in northwestern Vermont. In her free time she enjoys making junk art, being outdoors and spending time with family … as well as reading up on the business side of writing.