If I’d wanted to be involved in marketing, I would have worked for an ad agency. After all, I’m articulate, creative, artsy…
The thing is, I’ve never liked marketing. Commercials annoy me. I find very few entertaining, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought anything (at least knowingly) because of an ad. In fact, I’m a bit of a rebel. I’ve probably NOT bought something because of an ad. And I really hate self-promotion. I don’t like talking about myself, I don’t like selling myself and my books. The best I can manage in person, unless someone specifically asks, is handing out bookmarks. (Thank God for bookmarks!)
But I’m also a very practical, problem solving person, and I realized that my books weren’t going to be read if people didn’t know they were out there. Fortunately, the buffer of the interwebs keeps me from having to market myself face to face! And it does make it possible for me to sit here on my couch, feet up, a Vitamin Water Zero (lemonade) next to me, in shorts and a tee shirt, and get a couple of months of marketing and promotion set up, paid for, and confirmed. IN A DAY. If you have Paypal (and if you don’t, I’d highly recommend it!), you can literally book all your ads for the next 6-8 weeks from your living room (bedroom, pool side, etc). That’s not a bad job.
So what do you do? Well, thankfully indie authors are incredibly generous (at least in the fiction realm) and it doesn’t require a whole lot of research to find places to promote your work. I made a list and posted it, and there are many others. Shelley Hitz at Training Authors has a great list of 47 places to promote your KDPS free days, including a list of 9 for Christian books specifically that I found very helpful. The Author Marketing Club has a free book submission tool for your KDPS free days that’s great.
I use iCal, which is part of my Mac free apps, and syncs with my iPhone calendar. I have different color codes for PAID advertising (red), FREE advertising (green), and to list my free days and giveaways (purple). As soon as I schedule a free day plan on KDPS, I immediately start booking promotion. I also try to look at the current month, and the next one or two months, and see what’s coming up. If I find that the next month is totally blank, which I did recently (and wrote a post about it here), I try to get at least one thing scheduled for each book quickly, so that each book has something that brings it in front of potential buyers during the month. With one or two books, this won’t take long at all. With six, it takes awhile! But remember: people can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists!
Since I don’t love marketing, I do it in this marathon session, once or twice a month. That way, I know things are scheduled and happening, and I don’t have to think about it. On a daily basis, I tweet and put a few updates on my Facebook author pages (one for fiction and one for non-fiction, although I’m not sure that’s a great idea… I may combine them). That keeps new content going, and I try to post a LOT more content than “ads” for my stuff. If I have a free promo or sale going, I do play it up a few times a day. Otherwise, I don’t mention my books all that often. After all, there’s a link on my Twitter profile (and links here and on my website). I want exposure, but not to the point where people get mad when they see my name (my personal max is probably 6-8 tweets, with RTs and replies, and 2-3 Facebook posts).
Basically, you’re stuck with it. Since you’re stuck with it, you might as well learn it. And if you have to learn to do it, you might as well try to get good at it, since you’re the beneficiary of your work! That’s my philosophy, anyway. I’m still in the learning phase, but I’m infinitely better at it than I was a year ago. How about you?
Yep, I’m a bestseller! (What???) And you can find all my books on Amazon!