With a new book out my mind turns to youthful thoughts like – how the heck do I promote and sell this darned thing? It’s a concern I have with every book and now, with not really doing shows these days it makes it all the froggier. I have talked about this on here before, many, many, MANY times before, so this isn’t a new concern or topic but it feels as relevant as ever.
HOW to sell has always been a big sticking point with all things creative but especially us folks in the self-pub game. Without the backing of a publisher that might fund promotion and marketing and appearances it’s up to you to figure all that out. I can’t say I mind that, to be honest because the books I write are living things – so long as I am a living thing I suppose – and they deserve better than to just get pushed aside after a promotion window closes. The HOPE is that one book will hit and lead folks to the others. Word of mouth of a kind.
I did the social media promotion while I was active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but frankly I don’t want to sell to friends and family. I’d love them to WANT to read my work but that’s like your buddy constantly inviting you to his band’s shows. Yeah, I get it, you’re playing. I’m not going. STAHP! That doesn’t mean I don’t root for them, or that I don’t support them but that I am not into their stuff or can’t afford to keep paying out to keep them rocking.
Same thing happens with all art.
Not everyone is going to be into my writing, I get it, so I don’t want to keep pounding on people about them. HEY! New Book Out, Here’s A Link! That’s all I’d do. Better that than to harass everyone with posts, and messages, and all that as if I am a glorified panhandler. This is how I roll. No judgment on how others do things, just how I do it. I have been at conventions where folks were so pushy that it ruined it for everyone. And it works, on some people. They need that push. They like that passion. And if you have a great pitch or personality then get it. I just am not that person. I am not pushy. I say it on here all the time that I want organic interest. Not forced. Like, you never want to be that person that someone ‘fakes it’ for, if you can dig, and I don’t want that for my books. If someone is interested, I am happy to talk or pitch, but I let them browse and hope my covers reel them in.
I am sure, absolutely sure I have lost sales because I soft pedal things. And that stinks. But it’s better to me than having people hate read a book they got talked into buying.
But how do I do it?
Using my site.
I did Facebook ads a few times and never made a dime. I don’t have the money or interest to keep spit-balling in the hopes that something sticks. It works for some, and good on them, that’s great, it just never worked for me. I am not going to grump about it and project or kick myself in the shins about it. Just is what it is. It’s competitive and there are a lot of us out there competing for eyes against the heavy hitters in the industry. I still wish there was a way that made sense though on how to move forward with everything.
It’s like we’re all rubbing the same lamp, hoping for different results and confused when we don’t.
I have been at this for a very long time and all there is is forward and that’s what you do. You keep trying, you keep pushing, and you keep hoping something breaks through. I am hoping that with a little brand identity, with eyes like yours friend, and with a little luck you never know. The good thing is I have the content, a little bit of everything for everyone so something should work. A lot of us really fail because we give up. It’s the giving up that kills your progress and chances. The easiest thing is to give up. It’s that drum beat all creatives here – giveupgiveupgiveupgiveup – and all you can do is march to it. Make it a rallying cry. Make it the beat to which you move.
Just never let it win.
I get it, odds are against my ever ‘breaking through’ as a creative but I don’t regret the journey and the rewards it has offered. Friends. Fun. Memories. Journeys into myself. Travels into the world. That’s what it’s all about. I may be forgotten as a creative, as an author, but I won’t forget the long, winding path that took me to whatever end is ahead of me. Being creative and putting your work out there is hard. Miserably hard. Atop that it’s scary because what if they hate it? For me though, I do like they say – don’t read the comments section. I hope folks dig my work but I am not going to dig around in reviews to see. I do what I do and some folks will dig it and some won’t. it is what it is.
I am who I am and I will keep at it.
If the music fully leaves me then I hope I’ll have the grace and wisdom to take a seat but for now it’s time to dance. It’s time to invite you to dance with me. Sure, it’s awkward, it’s weird, and sometimes it’s creepy but it’s always fun baby, it’s always fun.
Now let’s dance.