This is a rant about marketing in the self-published world and let me tell you, it sucks ass. Marketing is the hardest part when you are an indie author because you’re doing by yourself. Not only are you writing and editing and doing cover art and all that other good stuff, you’re also going to events and trying to market yourself to your audience.
I’ve only been a published author for a year so I don’t know the good side to marketing yet because I don’t have enough experience with it yet. From what I’ve seen and heard from other authors is that the most important thing is to network and go to events. You make other author friends who will help you and support you through social media. Through that you’ll get more event opportunities and get out more to find your readers. Also, as I’ve said before, you have to realize your first book is a sacrifice. Giving it away for free is the best way for people to get to know you as a writer.
A few times I’ve paid for those online marketing programs and I will tell you right now it’s all bullshit. Well, I’d say at least 90% bullshit. I’ve spent a great deal of money on them and most of them are terrible and a waste of time. I’ve had readers tell me they’re more likely to buy an indie book if they meet the author in person. So if you’re thinking about spending money on an online promo I highly recommend you ask people who have used it before about it before spending the money.
The reason I decided to write up this little advice (even though I really don’t know my ass from my elbow yet) is because recently people have been telling me how they think I should be advertising and marketing. I appreciate when people help me, I love getting opinions about what they think will work for me. What drives me up a fucking wall is when people tell me I should do something and it’s not as simple as they think. If you want to help me, help me, don’t just tell me how easy it is and that I’m failing at it.
First of all, I’ve been working on my marketing crap mostly by myself. I’ve been finding the events and running promos through Goodreads and Amazon. If you think I’m doing a bad job I don’t understand why you’re okay with telling me that, but then you don’t do anything to help me. Some people seem to think getting your book on Barnes and Nobles shelves is simple. Just type up the information they want and send in a book, right? Wrong. Very wrong. Barnes and Noble is a business. They want to put books on their shelves that they think they will sell. If you don’t have the right numbers, they’re not even going to read your work. It’s much like sending your book to a traditionally published company. Half the time it just sits on someones desk for months at a time. More likely than not, you have to build yourself through numbers for these businesses to take you seriously because all they see is an investment.
So to anyone who decides to pop out of the wood work and give me advice on my marketing, I will ask you to read this blog post first. If you have a plan to actually help me, I will gladly hear it, but don’t be an ignorant ass hole and think it’s so easy to do something.