Book marketing is an arcane, occult, complicated endeavor the defies my understanding. I "get" some parts of it: blogging, tweets, blog swaps, book/author events, etc. I do some of it. I need help with all of it. Therefore, I'm in the market to hire a new book marketer.
First, let's get this out of the way: I like the publicist I worked with for 4-1/2 years and have no complaints about her service. She did everything she promised and more. I understand that no publicist or marketing expert can guarantee sales. She did grow my Twitter following from nonexistent to a few thousand. She did grow my Facebook outreach. Her efforts increased visits to my website. She helped with placement on blogs and other author-shared promotional services. Between COVID-19 and dismal book sales, I discontinued her service; however, I have and continue to refer her to other authors whom she might benefit.
So, what am I looking for? Here's a quick list:
I'll continue to supplement the marketer's work as I've always done. I'll seek out podcast interviews and schedule them. I'll seek out in-person author/book events, register, and participate in them. I'll seek out blog tours that work with my genre. I'll continue posting in this blog.
If you're a book marketer or know of one who can help with the above tasks, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
Every so often I expound upon the expectations, reasonable and unreasonable, the clients impose upon the writers and editors they hire. So, here we go again.
Clients with unreasonable expectations will always be disappointed in the writers and editors they hire. For best results and a continued good working relationship, respect is necessary.