What do you do after publishing a book? You promote until you get sick of the following terms:
- Social Media
- Blog Tour
- Banner Ad
- Word of Mouth
That’s only a short list and I’m sure everyone will have their own. My own thoughts on marketing is that it is always changing and the best thing you can do is put out another book. If you don’t have another then interviews and guest posts to promote your book is the best option. Tweets get lost in the shuffle a lot and Amazon promotions require a lot of research and work, but even then it might not work for your genre. You have promo sites, but many of them closed up shop last year and the ones that survived are engorged with new books. So, you have a lot of saturation to fight through.
In fact, the biggest cause of saturation is finding something that works. One author finds a great idea and proves that it works, but then you have everyone rushing to use it as well. Remember 99 cent books? Great way to promote or get people into a series, but you had a wave of people churning out 99 centers with no editing to make quick money. That hurt the 99 cent brand. Perma-Free gained a stigma as the author not having faith in their own work, which is not necessarily true. You had authors releasing 99 cent excerpts to entice people and that backfired when people tried putting out entire books in 99 cent increments that came off as money grubbing. After all, paying 99 cents for every chapter of a 20 section book will be more than paying $3.99 for the full thing. So, you always seem to have a group that sees a useful marketing move as a way to make cheap money and running it into the ground.
One thing I have worried about with marketing is that I become part of the background for various sites. Having a long series, I show up on many sites and do a blog tour every 4-5 months. That’s not counting Bedlam and Ichabod Brooks, so it’s almost like I’m always there. You know how people get sick of celebrities that are always in the news and seem to have a new movie every few months? That’s what I always fear happens to me, but without the adoration and fame and ability to buy pizza without guilt. You need to come up with some variety, which is tough when you don’t have unlimited sites and blogs to promote on.
I also have the issue that I’ve written about so much to promote my books that I’m not sure what to write about. I’ve explained every character, gone into my world-building, and analyzed every tidbit that I can think of. Usually for my own blog, but I used to do a lot of guest blogs. I still get the urge, but I can never think of a new topic these days. So, you can run into marketing burnout. It’s a tough balancing act too. You can do limited marketing and expect people to flock to your book because you know it’s good. Yet, there are so many good books out there that you can’t depend entirely on your blurb and cover art. On the other hand, you can’t scream about your book everywhere until you’re blue in the face. It can come off as being too pushy and people might tune you out. So, you need to find balance, which is unique from author to author.
To this day, I find marketing to be the hardest part. Doubt I fully understand it or know what I’m doing because I’m too in love with the creation side of things. I’ve been told that I turn off when the work side of things get too rough and slip back into my imagination until I feel normal again. That makes marketing the tougher part of the author path for me and it gets more difficult every time I use a topic or site. Hopefully things reset with a new series though, but that’s next year.
So, what do you think about marketing? Any tips for other authors? What do you think about marketing as a reader?