Friday, January 12, 2018

Writing: Marketing

One of the biggest surprises for authors is that writing the best book possible is only part of the battle. In addition to editing and revising, which sometimes comes as a surprise to the fledgling writer (after all, it was good enough to get a contract, so why does it need to be changed?), there's the marketing of the work. This includes choosing a great cover, getting the word out, and (gasp) some giveaways of copies.

For the individual who has a contract with a "traditional" publisher, this is usually taken care of by the marketing department, with some help from the author. But the more experienced writer soon learns that the old adage is true: No one (not even the publisher) is any more interested in sales of your book than you are. So if you want those sales figures to stand up to analysis, you have to expend some effort.

I discovered long ago that I had to be at least an equal partner, if not the majority shareholder, with my publisher in such an endeavor. This is no knock on them. It's just the truth. Authors have doors open to them that might not be apparent to others. And since I've indie-published a book and four novellas, it's been entirely up to me to get the word out on those. It's been a great experience and has taught me a lot, but it takes a good bit of time. Fair warning to those embarking on these seas.

Today you can read about me and my latest novella, Surgeon's Choice, by clicking on this site from Southern Authors Magazine. (They said it would be up by 6:30, but it wasn't there when I checked--sorry). I've also been interviewed by Laura Davis on her website, where a randomly chosen winner will receive an ebook (this site has a US-Canadian-foreign audience, so postage can be a consideration).

Websites where you have a chance to win a copy of this book (or an Amazon gift card if you've already bought it) are also noted in my last and my previous post (and you'd better hurry in some cases). Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to revising my next novel, Guarded Prognosis, which I hope to release this summer. Oh, and maybe do a little marketing, as well.

Tweet with a single click: "Is marketing a book important?"


Patricia Bradley said...

Great post. What do you think your best marketing tool is? Other than writing another great book. ;-)

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, when I first started out in this writing thing, it was a given that everyone who got a book published would publicize it via a book launch (mine had a special cake, and was held at a local bookstore), a blog tour, and signings. I've done all these, but I no longer look favorably on book signings and I don't push for wholesale blog tours. Right now I think the best marketing tool is to increase brand awareness by turning out the best books possible, augmented by a small group of very good influencers who will post about the book, tell their friends, talk the author up at their church and/or local library, and spread the word on social media. Times change, and unfortunately, authors have to adapt. Thanks for your comment.

greg fuller said...

This is a great post. I think a great marketing tool that you use is listing our titles you have composed. If a reader, like myself, enjoys one of your novellas or novels...I'd be tempted to purchase the other titles.