I’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of writers who are about to release their first book, or have already released their first book, and have zero marketing in place. Nothing, nada, oftentimes less than zero. They remind me of the college kid who walks into a final with a hangover and a broken pencil, hoping to pull the answers out of their you know where.
Unless you are a genius and your work is the best book ever in the history of the entire world (and if you think it is, you need a lesson in humility), you need to market your work. Trouble is, most writers have absolutely no idea where to start. Here’s just a quick smattering of the questions I receive in a given week:
- Isn’t marketing just a ‘buzzword’ that doesn’t really apply to me?
- Do I really need a blog? I’m too busy writing real books.
- Social media is stupid. It doesn’t sell books. Why bother?
- When should I start my marketing? I don’t even have a book yet!
I could write a book on these few topics alone (and I’m starting my marketing book for authors now,Tough Love for Whiny Writers, out by summer with Booktrope), but I’ll address these issues here now and give you some tips where to start.
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There’s been much teeth-gnashing in the indie community in the last month with lots of posts about quitting, about income dropping with Kindle Unlimited and the new EU Tax Law, about this or that changing.
There’s also been a rash of super blog posts, and in this article, I want to round a few things up and add my perspective to the mix.
On the end of the gold rush and the year of the quitter
Kris Rusch has restarted her excellent Business Rusch posts, so immediately go and read them and subscribe. In her musings on what indie authors learned in 2014, Kris names 2014 as the ‘year of the quitter,’ when many authors discovered that writing is hard, publishing is hard and making a living with your writing is hard.Achieving real success is also difficult, the gold rush has ended and that there is definitely a mid-list indie.
My take on this is to nod my head in agreement.
I never thought writing was easy, and after 6 years of blogging and creating online, and 3 years of doing this full-time, I know that success is hard. I still haven’t met my initial goal of matching my income from the day job. But then I was 13 years as a business consultant, and the first 5 years of any new business aren’t exactly boom years!