I realise as I write that this should have been my first ‘Confessions …’ post, because marketing starts way before publishing. I knew this vaguely before, but four months following publication of my debut novel, I now know it for certain.
For me, at times, the idea of marketing has become overwhelming, practically paralysing. The thought, ‘I can’t do enough, so what’s the point in doing anything?’, has inveigled its way in and almost brought me to a halt. I am, therefore, going to try and break things down here into bite-size points. I am hoping this will assist me (especially in the run up to the publication of my second novel this Autumn) as much as it helps my readers.
Your author platform
Unless you have massive dollops of luck, your book won’t sell itself, YOU have to do it. YOU have to be visible and out there. This is scary for some and exciting for others, I find it both by turns and sometimes both at the same time.
It’s never been easier to build an author platform through blogging and social media. I’ve had a website and have blogged regularly for years. Prior to launching my novel series, I gave both a bit of an over-haul. I chose to move to this wordpress website/blog as I find it easy to use and it is essentially free (though I pay annually for my writingourselveswell domain name). There are, however, loads of website/blog packages out there, plus many skilled people in design and all-things web, if that’s what you decide to spend your money on.
My prime purpose in life is to write and I want to keep the amount of time spent on marketing to a manageable level. I have, therefore, decided to stick to one website and one identity. I haven’t, for instance, set up a Facebook page for my book on top of my own personal page. Every aspect to your author platform has to be kept fresh and up-dated. Updating my website, writing a blog post once a week and keeping up with my Twitter and Facebook are enough for me.
I also think it’s about preferring quality over quantity. I’d prefer to bring people to me because I have something of worth to offer, and I know I can only do that if I restrict my activities.
There’s loads of advice out there about building an author platform. Here’s a starting point I can recommend: https://katemcolby.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/building-your-author-platform-what-when-and-why/
I have found Kate M Colby a great source of wisdom and advice, we also did a blog tour together (more on that in later posts). I wish I’d read her post on pen names a little earlier: https://katemcolby.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/building-your-author-platform-how-to-choose-your-pen-name/ Kate Evans is a ridiculously common name, and perhaps if I’d read Kate M Colby’s guidance before publication, I might have gone for Kate H Evans. I’m still wondering if it is too late to change.
Next week more on marketing …..
Meanwhile, do look at my novel, ‘The Art of the Imperfect, the first of a series of crime novels set in Scarborough, http://goo.gl/5r9WBv
Marketing is definitely tough! It’s difficult to find that line between putting yourself out there too little and too much. However, I think your approach is solid. Quality over quantity is a smart strategy, and you can always add on or scale down later. Keep up the great work! Now I need to go back and read some of your other “confession” posts!
P.S. Thanks for the share. I’m glad you’ve found my posts helpful so far!
We all wish we could go back and change something or do something different. But even those who have all the answers, don’t have all the answers. Who knows, maybe Kate Evans will turn out to be better than Kate H. Evans. Or more likely, maybe it won’t make much of a difference at all.
The frustating thing about all the writing advice out there is some works well with some genres and not with others at all. It depends! And that doesn’t fit into an easy list! Gah! Plus, it’s the folks who are making fresh roads, paving different directions and coming up with creative new ideas that are the ones that usually stand out. At the end of the day though, regardless, it’s a lot of work.
Thanks for your thoughts, Lani. How very true, we never know what difference taking an alternative path might have made, we just have to follow the one we’ve chosen and enjoy where it leads…
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I understand though, how frustrating it is to self-publish and try to put yourself out there. I waver between trying to be patient and being patient 😛
Yes and trying to celebrate what I have achieved…
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