I’ll start off with a big confession: I have zero practical marketing experience. And I’m not
that thrilled to learn. Like most of the writers I’ve come to know through social media, all I really want to do is write, hang my book out there, and have it magically appear in the hands of countless readers. To my chagrin, there’s a step in between “hanging the book out there” and it being read by those throngs of soon to be adoring fans. I have to do stuff. Some of it seems fun. Some of it, well, not so much. But I’m a big boy. I know that there’s a business aspect to being a writer. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance spreading the word about my upcoming novella without embarrassing myself and looking desperate.
Almost everything I’ve read about marketing books has been clear that I need to be active promoting my novel when it comes out. BUT I have to be careful not to wear out my welcome. I’ve been on Twitter for a year now, but most of my friends and followers are also writers. While that is very cool, and very constructive, we want to target readers, right?
The reality of the situation is that I do not have a lot of money to sink into a marketing plan. To complicate things further, I have a full time job that inexplicably expects me to do the labor it hired me for, which is not writing fantasy novels. Oh, and I also have to keep writing new stuff. So I have to develop a plan to apply scarce funds over a narrow time frame. Sounds pretty daunting to me.
So this is what I’m doing. Note, this is not me giving advice, since I have no idea how successful I’m going to be.
Yes, I will use Twitter, and I will use Facebook. But the fact of the matter is, I’ve come to know and like a lot of my twitter followers. I don’t want to turn them off by bombarding them with yet another plea to buy a book. So I’ll use that sparingly.
Book review sites. I’ve been researching sites that accept indie works, and that review fantasy. I have a handful identified. If anyone knows of any sites that review fantasy, I would appreciate the tip.
Facebook and Goodreads advertising. I’ve read some underwhelming reports on the success of Facebooks ads. I’ve heard nothing about Goodreads advertising (although that looks more expensive). The good thing about Facebook advertising is that you can actually visit some sites (like facebookadscoupon.com) that will sell you a $50 voucher for less than $8. So if the ads don’t turn up much, you’re not out too much cash.
If there is anything at all clever about my strategy, it’s that I’m releasing my novella about six months before my first novel, which is set in the same fantasy world. My hope is that the lessons I learn over the course of this next half a year will teach me a thing or two that will help when I finally release SHADOWS AND BONES. And maybe I’ll have convinced some readers that the followup to The Prince of Graves will be a must read. After all, the best marketing tool is writing a good novel, right?
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share?