Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Problem Of Self-Publishing: Self-Marketing

I may have noted this before.

Writing a novel is difficult in terms of time: it takes hours to days to weeks to months to get over a hundred pages written unless you dedicate entire blocks of time to it. Part-time writing spreads out over the calendar while full-time duties elsewhere - professional or personal - take priority.

Editing isn't as bad with time or effort, but psychologically draining. Writers are terrified of finding flaws on paper that made so much sense in the mind. Once you can get past that mental block, the rest is easy.

Neither of those problems compare to the third one writers face: Actually getting people to read your works.

Let's be honest: I write so people can read the stories I've got in my head. I have a story, think it might be funny, I type it up, I put it out there, I see if anyone gets a laugh from reading it. The whole point of a story is to share it.

So how do I get it out there that I've got these stories that people can read (at a reasonable cost)?

This is the part I'm not comfortable with. And I see a lot of fellow writers in the same situation.

Writing can be an introverted, personal affair. A lot of writers - the artistic sensibility - tend to be introverts. Marketing - the "buy my book!" part of the cycle of life - is all extroverted.

With a new ebook out, I'm looking now for places that can market it. I'm thinking along the lines of "professional" or at least respected review sources that can take a moment to say "oh hey, this guy has this new book about superheroes if you got an interest go take a look". As a librarian, I know about review sources like Booklist and Publishers Weekly, but I also know that PW charges to list self-published titles in their previews section.

This is where the big publishers - or even the small press types - have a leg up: they have marketing offices that handle all of this, with ties to the retailers and advertisers. I'm just wondering if self-publishers have a legal, safe place to get the same kind of effective (and honest) marketing service but at an affordable rate. I've dealt with a marketing group for Print-on-Demand once, and was horrified by what they offered. It was ALL they offered: a mass email spamming service. (I think since then they'd expanded to cover professional reviewers and retailer connections, but by then I didn't want anything to do with them on that).

If anyone's got any suggestions about how I can get the word out for Body Armor Blues, I'm willing to hear you out. Thank ye.

1 comment:

JHarper2 said...

Paul, I have found that Lindsey Buroker at http://www.lindsayburoker.com/ is a successful indie writer and marketer who devotes a lot of time to how indie writers can market. Also real discussion on what works and what doesn't and how it changes over time.
The Twitter handle is : https://twitter.com/GoblinWriter
The Passive Voice also has a great lot of analysis and advice.
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/

All the Best
JHarper2
Horde Forever!