Sunday, August 31, 2014

Writing and Marketing

 You write and write and write hoping that one day someone will like your work and want to publish it.
Then the day arrives when you receive your first contract. This is exciting. You’ve arrived. You work with your editor and the book is published. Then you write another book. The same publisher wants that one as well. You work with your editor and that book comes out and now your publisher sends contracts for two more.

You have one finished and ready to go. The other one? Mostly a dream in your head that you proposed to said publisher. What to do? There was a time when you would die for a contract. Now have one—with a deadline. Not quite in the game plan.

You write and write and write and hope your proposal comes out the way you imagined it would.
Then, of course, there is keeping up with marketing all those books your publisher published because the books are worthy of being read.

As one of my friends asked me recently, “How do people find out about your books if they don’t know you?”

Good question. For all that writing and writing and writing, one hopes that readers are waiting to find your books. You have to give them clues, drop some breadcrumbs, so they can.

You hope that five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads will help, but not everybody who loves the books also write reviews. You must figure out a way to ask them politely, “If you liked my book, would you please write a review?” If they don’t write a review, does that mean they didn’t like the book or simply that they don’t know how to write a review?

Then there is Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Time spent in those places might encourage a few people to read your books. Teaching creative writing programs at the local library is another outlet, as is conducting workshops at writing conferences.

So then, if you’re doing all of the above, when do you find the time to write and write and write? You have to find the time for bother of them, then stick your backside to the seat in front of your writing station, be it a computer, typewriter, or yellow legal pad, and do it. After all, this is the part you love.

I confess to having a deadline rapidly approaching and still have seventeen thousand words to write. And the US Open Tennis Tournament is on, DRVing as I write and write and write.

And fortunately, my husband can cook.

Veronica Helen Hart is the author of the Blenders Series of books published by Champagne Books: The Prince of Keegan Bay, Swimming Corpse and still to be completed Safari Stew. She is also the mother of: Elena-the Girl with the Piano and The Reluctant Daughters from Double Edge Press. Her works can be found at Champagne Books and Amazon.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Mass internatinal markets can be reached by well timed "deals", blog tours and using social media to alert the public to your style.

In truth, you sell yourself, make yourself interesting, and then slip them a book: "Free if you'll write a review" gets some reviews. However, only the first six on Amazon are read, so having hundreds is not the goal.

Big Mike said...

Sadly, most self promotion requires significant effort yet provides little return. For example, I'd heard so much about contests, free giveaways, bookmarkers, newsletters and a host of other topics yet when I tried them and correlated with site visit data, the return was insignificant. Of The dozens of promotion activities out there, those actually work can be counted on one hand. doesn't mean ya give up, just discover what work's/doesn't for you and focus on those efforts.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Gabriella Austen said...

As with you, I begrudge the time I spend publicizing my books, but as Mike says, we have to spend the time doing it.

Olga Godim said...

I totally agree. Lots of time but very little return for all out marketing efforts. How do people find our books? Or should we resign that they don't?

Carmen Fox said...

I have a presence on facebook, and some people have even liked the page for my book, which is due for release in Feb. 2015. But there is very little engagement. That's because people would rather spend time engaging with big names. Makes sense.

Still, you plug away. But it takes up so much time, some days I don't write at all.