Marketing is not my forte. That’s an understatement.
Like every author, I want my books to sell. Every single one of us dreams of hitting bestseller lists. Repeatedly. The reality is that most won’t and I certainly haven’t.
The reality of indie publishing is that an author uploads his or her book along to compete with thousands of other books uploaded that same day, more than a million uploaded in the previous 12 months, and tens of millions available earlier than that. The ocean gets wider and deeper, so the indie author’s one book is but an insignificant drop.
That’s where marketing comes in. It makes a book and/or author stand out from the overwhelming competition. Marketing strategy analyzes the audience and the market and finds them, then employs tactics to get their attention and build demand for that product–the book. Demand then converts, one hopes, to sales.
My basic understanding of marketing doesn’t translate into skill or inclination. I salute those who find the challenge exciting and who excel at it. Me? I’d rather muck stalls than devote my time and energy to marketing.
Because I know my limits and understand the hard necessity of earning a living, I hired a social media marketing consultant in 2016. I have no complaints about the service I received. She did everything–and more–that she promised. Unfortunately, book sales did not increase. They plummeted. My goal of generating sufficient book sales to pay for her service was never realized. When business took a steep downturn in 2020 (thanks, Covid-19), I could no longer afford that service.
Since then, I have maintained some of the marketing effort, such as blogging. I generally post a blog once a week here on this website and on LinkedIn. I also post every weekday on LinkedIn. I’ve used virtual book tour services, blog swaps, Facebook advertising, Amazon sales promotions, Amazon advertising, and other venues to build awareness and, I hoped, demand for my books.
Nothing seems to work.
Is it the sub-genre? Perhaps my writing stinks. Or maybe we’ve not done a good enough job at targeting the right audience and engaging in the right marketing tactics.
I truly believe that my work is good. After all, I’ve built a freelance career on it. People hire me to write (and edit) for them. The few reviews that my books have acquired are generally positive. To add insult to injury, I’ve read bestselling books by bestselling authors that were rife with copy editing errors and poorly written. These books have dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews, most of the glowing.
What am I doing wrong?
I need a marketing guru to take me on, to handle the marketing for me. I not only want to be a published author, I want to be a bestselling author. I want to actually make money from book sales. Yes, when it comes to authorial dreams, I want it all.
Who’s game for that challenge?