Hello again, and happy Friday, everyone! :)
Portrait of a Sunset has officially launched, and it has been a busy week promoting the book. I have been asked in several interviews what the hardest part of writing is, and I would have to say it is exactly that: promoting the book once it is finished!
As an author, I LOVE the writing process. Even the stress of trying to find time to write the book and the overcoming of writer’s block is beautiful in its own way, because it is all a part of the process. What I don’t love, though, is marketing. I have never been one to “toot my own horn,” as they say, so it is hard for me to contact people and post on websites telling people to buy my book. I always come off too timid, as if they would be doing me a favor by buying my book (which they would), or as if I don’t want to inconvenience them by asking them to pay to read my work (which I don’t), as if my work isn’t important enough to deserve their attention (which is!!).
But, whether they are self-published or published through a traditional publishing house (I fall under both of these categories), in today’s world, the task of marketing falls almost completely onto the writer’s shoulders. So, I have to suck it up and hawk the book, even if it makes me feel like I am cheapening the story by turning it into something that can be sold, instead of the piece of my soul that it really is (dramatic, I know. Did I mention I’m a writer?).
So, the next few weeks will be devoted to developing a better marketing strategy. There are thousands of websites out there with tips for promoting books, and the key is to find the way that works for me, and for this particular book. For my first book, Chase and Charlie, Facebook was a fantastic marketing tool. I was able to grow my “author platform” and get lots of likes on my author page, but this doesn’t always translate into books sold (It is good for the self-esteem, though!). For Portrait, though, it is proving harder to get through to the audience I accrued, because everyone’s newsfeeds are so saturated with other things (does anyone happen know who is running in that election this year?) that my posts and links get hidden as soon as I post them.
My working theory for now is that the best strategy is one that involves both word of mouth and an online presence. I am requesting reviews from bloggers and the local newspaper in my hometown, but I also have to really start selling myself and my book when I meet people in the real world as well. Either way, it is (and I am) a work in progress, but I know that I will eventually find a way that works. Perhaps my quiet, unassuming air will work to my advantage… and if worst comes to worst, I can just buy a big box of my books and sell them on the street corner!
Stay tuned for more of my thoughts on the writing and publishing process (if you’re interested, I’m not obligating you to do anything, I swear!!), and be on the lookout for news – I have a Goodreads giveaway in the works, so one lucky person could soon win a free copy of Portrait of a Sunset!
In the meantime, if you have any writing or marketing tips or experiences to share, let me know in the comments! Or, you can watch the amazing book trailer I made here. (See? I’m getting better at this stuff already!)