This morning I have been deep in the re-writing of The Art of Breathing, the third novel in my crime series. Writing, it’s what I enjoy, it’s what I have some talent and skills in. This afternoon, I am returning to the vexed question of marketing and preparing for the launch of the second in the series, The Art of Survival.
Marketing leaves me feeling helpless and hopeless. There are parts which give me enormous pleasure. For instance, Saturday saw me at the Book Corner, a splendid little shop in Saltburn, ambushing unsuspecting customers and giving a short talk on crime fiction. Getting good reviews of my books and disseminating them is also delightful. But as for the rest, it’s a thorny briar on quicksand.
I have read most of the advice available. I know about the power of three, that generally people will act only having been told three times about something. I know about being timely and relevant, about looking out for anniversaries and events in the media to tie the marketing of my novels to. I know about being friendly and helpful on social media and trying to link with others. I know about raising my profile as a writer through blog tours or offering to contribute to other websites/blogs. I have tried as far as I am able to put some of this advice into practice.
Without the recent changes in technology which have allowed for easier indie publishing and for reaching a potential audience through social media, I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing at all. On the other hand, I do feel like a very small leaf of mint in a very large pea soup. There are, perhaps, too many books out there, and too many people trying to flog them.
Social media isn’t the whole story, of course, and I believe it is rare for Twitter and Facebook to be the medium by which books are sold. Traditional media has a much bigger role to play. Hats off, then, to the James Bond Spectre marketing team who managed to get coverage of the film’s launch on every BBC news programme last Friday and a James Bond book read on BBC Radio 4 this week. It was a stunt as breath-taking as many which appear in the Bond films themselves. What a difference it would make to indies like me if just some of that marketing time/space on TV and radio could be more evenly distributed.
My strategy for this coming launch includes:
- various local events, including a signing at WH Smith in Scarborough on the 21st of November and a talk at Filey library on the 1st of December.
- A goodreads giveaway (https://goo.gl/pIfyF9) and a Kindle promotion this week only for my first novel in the series, The Art of the Imperfect.
- Copies sent to local and national media for review.
- A moderate blog tour.
What are your tips for marketing indie published books?