By Judith Briles
An email from an author arrived on my desk Monday morning … an email that echoed countless emails, phone calls and in-person chats with authors. My emailer didn’t want to put any moneys into marketing his book.
Now, this was my first contact from him. I didn’t know if he had already spent a boatload of moneys or hadn’t spent a dime. What I did hear was that he was ready to pull the marketing plug … and let his book go down the drain. I called him and what I heard is what I’ve heard more times from authors: I hate marketing … I just want to write. And he told he that he was working on his next book. In fact, he shared that he hired an editor to convert his first book—the only book—the one that he didn’t want to market—into a women friendly version.
Hmmm … he has the money to pay a content editor to transform his book into another version; yet he doesn’t want to invest in his first book to create sales. Does any of this sound familiar? Could you be an unfit book parent?
Let’s face it. If you want book sales, you need to market.
Book marketing takes work. Lots of it.
Authors sometimes don’t want to hear what works in creating a successful book marketing campaign—campaigns that include the creation, the marketing and the sales of a book … they would rather keep doing the same thing … the thing that has produced no results. Which is usually sitting on their tush.
Or if they did try “something” and it didn’t work, that they then choose to sit on their tush because nothing else will work.
Or, if they had cost overruns in creating the book (and just who is responsible for that? —yes, dear author—it just might be you), they refuse to do anything to support/market their book once they have all those books sitting in the garage.
Stop the Insanity … And please, pass me the barf bag so I can continue …
Okay … you are thinking … Don’t barf … I’m open to marketing. But I don’t know where to start.
Start with the What’s next question? Of course, the answer to What’s next? has to be marketing and selling of it.
- What’s next is educating yourself—learning what other authors are doing that works …and doesn’t. Following the best-selling authors and top influencers in their blogs and social media and studying what they do and mimic where appropriate.
- What’s next could be getting help. Virtual assistants have become the right hands, eyes and fingers of many authors. I’ve done several podcasts via my radio show, AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing. Click on this link to download a podcast about working with a VA.
- What’s next is to stop rationalizing, making excuses and justifying why you can’t market it. My belief is, “Yes you can.”
- What’s next is connecting with others—it’s a huge shout out time. Anywhere … everywhere.
- What’s next is telling the world:
- in person
- with your connections
- with groups that you belong to
- with creating a press release and doing a push with it; so using the town hall of marketing: social media
- What’s next is for you, dear author, to commit—recommit—to your book and yourself.
I’m tired. So … we all are. The creation of a book can lead to Book Fatigue Syndrome—I get it, you need a rest. Take a week or two off … but then, it’s back to work.
I’ve already committed so much money, I can’t put another penny on my credit card … What were you thinking in the first place—that if you just held a copy of your finished book that the world would flock to the stores, the Internet, your website, your front door, you, to get a copy? Get over it—you need expert marketing help … starting right now.
I just want to write … This is so yesteryear. No author gets to do the ostrich bit these days. Part of authoring is connecting with potential and ongoing book buyers. It means marketing, marketing, and more marketing.
I hired the wrong person … Yep, it happens. We all have at some point, including me. Lick your wounds—determine what went wrong in the process—then get back to work.
I don’t know how to do all this social media stuff… Welcome to the crowd … but there are those out there that do … and guess what—they are part of the book marketing campaign—your book marketing campaign. Your book budget.
Yes there is marketing overwhelm—so much to do in what seems so little time. Yet marketing is stretched over a period. Can you get author and book marketing fatigue? Of course. Wise authors work in projects, get help where they need it and get that it’s not an all or nothing basis. Effective marketing can be in nibbles. What needs to be consistent is a plan behind it.
Too, too many authors abandon the book ship early in the process. And what do they do? One of two things:
- Many start another book—maybe a variation of what they just did. And what will happen when they finish? Most likely, desertion.
- Others walk away … MIBA … missing in book action, abandoning mega hours of blood, sweat and tears and what could be a great book—desired and needed.
In effect, you’ve become an unfit author/parent. What are you thinking? Stop the insanity. Today. Now.