For the last few weeks I have been going around in circles trying to make decisions about how I should spend my very meagre advertising and promotion budget and how best I can market Holding Paradise. (Out 27th February 2024.)
The writing and editing part is all well and good, it's the best part about being an author but it isn't all there is to it. I keep asking myself questions like: Who is going to buy my book? Who is going to like my book and what if, after parting with my hard earned cash, I don't even break even? Am I a failure as a writer? Is my book no good? Should I go back to the idea of becoming a ballerina?
I'm hoping that with only weeks to go before publication day, I'll get more sales than the handful I presume I'll get from friends and family. But why have I been running around like a headless chicken trying to give Holding Paradise a fighting chance against some major competition in Women's Fiction? It's because I'm an author and authors just don't do marketing - do they?
From what I can see, The 2 Main Reasons Authors Find Marketing Hard boils down to this:
When a person decides to write books and make a living at it, they usually have little to no marketing skills.
Just the word marketing sends shivers up my spine. The same can be said of every writer I've ever spoken to. When you dream of becoming a writer, all you see is you at a large desk, writing away, overlooking a scenic view, there is peace and quiet and everyone knows to just let you get on with your masterpiece. And by the time your masterpiece is ready, the world is waiting to read it and publishers are fighting over the right to publish it. Which will all be down to that post on Instagram a year ago when you happily announced that you were considering writing a book, so watch this space folks.
Well it's not like that in the real world. In the real world, no one cares what you're up to, the doors of publishers and agents slam firmly in your face and everyone you know is like:
And then there's this:
If you want to write and sell books, you have to accept you're running a business
And this goes for authors whether they are self published, traditionally published or a mixture of both.
If you want success, however you want to measure it, you have to be committed. You may have passed all the writing courses in the world, won awards and know all the tropes but until you leave the comfort of your writing room, no one will ever know your book exists.
Author must commit going back to school when it comes to marketing their books. Yes, reading and writing and learning the real meaning of marketing. Learning the difference between marketing, advertising and promotion. All this and honing your writing craft so that you have the best product possible.
Think About Yourself As An Artist And A Businessperson
Easier said than done and I'm not sure I've actually cracked it yet. But what I can share with you is a list of resources that have helped me and might help you, too if you are a writer serious about making money selling your books. Just because you want to make money doesn't make you a sell out as an artist. If you think you're art is worth it, then go for it!
These are just a few I can think of and that have helped me. I hope they help you, too. But the biggest take away from this is, don't leave it until you have a finished book that you want to sell, start learning how to market your book now and save yourself some time. You might also consider joining The Society of Authors and ALLI
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Holding Paradise out 27th February 2024 on Amazon. Find out more. Click Here!