Day Late And A Dollar Short…

I may have used this title before because these days it seems like I’m always a day late and more than a dollar short. I used to blame it on the boat—you know—that big red money guzzling machine that creeps along at eight miles an hour and eats greenbacks for dinner.
Now I’m the one to blame.

I’m learning to be an indie author and there’s a cost attached…in time as well as money. I write the books, format the books, upload the books to various markets and then the real work starts. It’s called marketing.

I lucked out when I sold my first two books to a boutique publisher. The staff did all these things. But I still had to learn to do some of the marketing myself.

Marketing is not something you learn when you get a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in public administration. Public officials don’t market their products. How would that sound? Exceed the speed limit and get a clearly-printed, palm-sized ticket? Pay on time for a penalty-free water flow? After ten flushes get a discount on your sewer charge? Doesn’t quite have the same ring as BOGO (buy one get one).

When I set out to write fiction I was under the impression success meant having an agent and a contract from a big publishing house. Now I know that’s not true. I have friends who’ve sold millions of books on the Internet. One recently announced she’d paid off her house. All of them have dozens of books out…all self-published.

An independent author’s costs (or investment as Capt. Mark likes to call it) are for professional editing, and cover design. If you’re not a good marketer, you can pay someone to set you up with professional reviewers, blog tours, Internet book parties, and a host of other devices to get your book to stand out amongst the million or so on Amazon and other sites each day.

I learned early how to Tweet, to put posts on Facebook, to share nice posters and sayings. I’ve even posted many pictures on both platforms.

But the ultimate marketing tool is in my hands. Write a good book. Word of mouth is the very best marketing one can get.

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