Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Marketing Plan: Must or Myth

Actuallly, the title of this blog is a bit misleading. Obviously, if you're going to write a book (and unless you're a best-selling author for one of the mainline publishers), you're going to have to market it. I mean, get out and sell it. And therein lies the problem.

So what have I done? Not as much as I should. I have business cards and brochures which I hand out to almost every contact. I do book signings. I've set up the requisite three social media sites--Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. I've also joined Linked-In, though I'm not sure I'm making the correct use of it.I have a website. I have a website, which I'm pleased to say I keep updated--most of the time.

I have a file drawer full of marketing information--good information. I subscribe to several marketing email newsletters and always find great ideas in them.  Four writing journals arrive in my mailbox throughout every month--more marketing information and great ideas.I have author pages at various sites and, when I think of it, use their free advertising offers.

The thing is--I don't consistently make use of all these resources. Let's face it--for someone who was brought up to keep quiet and in the background, marketing my books--and myself--is a painful process. But it has to be done. Edits have to be done, too. And galleys. Real life has to be dealt with. But the fact remains, marketing is a must if books are going to sell.

 Right now I find myself with edits for two books--obviously, my submission timing was skewed. I'm more than grateful for the contracts, and doing the best job possible on the edits is top priority. I'm also involved in a personal project--getting out a directory/memory book related to the recent church youth group reunion. And, I have another cozy mystery begun, the fourth of six, and if I don't keep up with it, I'll run out of material for my critique partner to read at our weekly meetings. I also keep thinking about the drawer full of short stories which need a home--besides the drawer, that is!

Do I have a marketing problem--or a time-management problem? I suspect it's the latter. Would anybody out there with the same problem like to weigh in?

Meanwhile, here are my link offering for this blog--well-worth checking out and using (do I hear myself?)

Sandra Beckwith--BookBuzz
The Savvy Bookmarketer

UPDATE: Amber Leigh Williams' guest at The Cozy Page today has some great tips on marketing.


Calisa Rhose said...

My goodness you are one busy woman! I can't offer a solution but I cheer and applaud your efforts! Good luck with the two contracted revisions!

Susan Macatee said...

I haven't found the ideal answer for marketing either. Besides maintaing my own website, I also try to keep up with my blog, blog regularly about history topics at a group blog, post excerpts on yahoo loops and entered my last two published books on contests.
I made some money on the books, but not as much as I'd hoped.

I now have a new release coming soon, but am still waiting on the galleys, after which I'll get a release date. I'm going to investigate some of the groups for readers I belong to, to see if I can do some reasonably priced advertising on their sites.

Beth Trissel said...

Excellent post. I'm knocking myself out with various promo on the net, but not getting as much response as I would like. Sigh.

Judy said...

Great to have some feedback, ladies! You just boosted spirits--I needed company in the swamp of self-doubt and knowing-I-should-do-more-but-how-and-when! Thinking of setting aside certain days for certain things and nothing else. Will let you know if it works or not!

Emma Lai said...

Marketing is a time-consuming process, guaranteed to bog any author down and draw her away from her passion--writing. But, of course, you are right, it has to be done. I just try and make it as fun as possible for me, so it doesn't feel so much like a chore. That's my only suggestion.

Good luck on edits. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with your submission schedule and everything to do with the editors' schedules. :) As for your short stories, I know a place if you want to shoot me an email. emmalai(at)emmalaiwrites(dot)com.

Lynne Marshall said...

Judy - this is clearly the most painful part of writing. We're left on our own to make sure people find out about us. I wish I could afford a personal assistant to do all of this stuff, but then, I'm not Nora Roberts!

Vonnie Davis said...

I find myself spending too much time promoting with too little results. And so I worry if I'm doing the right thing. I blogged like a fool for 3 weeks after my book release, sometimes 2 and 3 blogs a day. Overkill to the max. Before long people got tired of hearing from me. I'll ease up on my efforts for my next release.

I have my blog, my website, facebook (which no longer interests me) and twitter. Even so, I feel the only people I'm reaching are other writers. How do we reach readers? That's the thing. How???

Margo Hoornstra said...

Every word of your post hit home with me. I love writing almost as much as I hate marketing. And, Vonnie has a point, are the results worth the effort? Hard to tell.

Perhaps the answer lies in doing what you enjoy and hoping for the best.

Congratulations on the contracts!

Judy said...

It's all true, what you say, Ladies. I keep hoping to stumble on the magic formula one of these days. If you find it before I do, remember, it's share and share alike!

K9friend said...

Everyone insists that there's plenty of time to get things done with proper planning. So far I have not been able to figure out proper planning.


Judy said...

Proper planning--ha! I only got done what I needed to do this past week by forcing my backside to stay put in the desk chair (no lappy on lap in comfy recliner) and staying at it for hours! Some of which was printing out articles on marketing, which went into file drawer---where they're doing me a fat lot of good! Ladies, we need to move to an island and concentrate on marketing--there's strength in numbers!