Alphabet Blogging Challenge Day 13
It’s day thirteen of my blogging challenge. I’m enjoying it, but it’s more challenging than I expected and definitely more time consuming.
The letter is M
and the the topic is MARKETING
For this post, I’m going to recycle (with adjustments) a previous post which some of you might not have seen:
Sometimes it seems the only thing that matters these days is MARKETING.
You have to network, plug, sell, tell, promote … on and on … you have to be out there shouting from the rooftops: Look at me! I’m here! If you’re a writer that means ‘building an author platform’.
Writing, by its very nature, tends to be a solitary business, especially if you are a fiction writer. You create worlds and people, you give birth to them on the computer and hope that they live on the page. These worlds and characters often seem more real to you than the actual world you inhabit.
But then the book is finished. You have to say goodbye to these people you have lived with so closely for so long, but you love them – and you want other people to love them. But how will they love them if they don’t know them? And that’s the rub! You have to leave your solitary state and tell people about your book. You have to build an author platform!
In earlier times, that was a simpler process. For a start the publisher did most of it for you. You’d go to the launch, do a few readings in draughty halls and silent libraries, and hope readers would find your book. But in the 21st century – that’s not enough. There’s TECHNOLOGY.
Yesterday [in January 2012] I went to a talk organised by my local Society of Authors group by a career psychologist, Denise Taylor on Marketing Your Book in the 21st Century. The significance of the topic was shown in the numbers of people attending – about 50 people crowded into a smallish room, when usually only 15-20 attend the meetings. The talk was very good -Denise spoke about promoting your book on amazon, websites, promotional material, blogging, networking on facebook and twitter, videos on YouTube, virtual book tours – the list of possibilities is endless.
I came out energised and determined to do more, do better, do everything. However, what made me laugh was the remark I overheard afterwards in the car park from one elderly attendee to another: ‘Do you know, I just can’t be arsed!’ And sometimes I know how she feels.
Update: I’ve definitely wearied of the whole marketing/promotion cycle – and it shows! Sales of ‘Unravelling’ have slumped in recent months. I’m told that’s par for the course for first-time novelists, two plus years after publication. But I still can’t help feeling disappointed especially after the accolades the novel has received. But the problem is you can spend all your time promoting – in some form or another – and not writing.
Marketing is important, but for the foreseeeable future, ‘Unravelling’ must either sell of its own accord or languish. I’m going to concentrate on ‘The Piano Player’s Son’. And writing the next one!
Categorised in: Blog