I love writing…always have, always will. There’s a sense of accomplishment when you type the last word on a manuscript and send it off to your publisher.
But there’s a part of being a novelist in today’s world that baffles me. Writers also have to be marketers. When there are eight million books on Amazon alone, you have to find ways to draw attention to yours.
My day job has always been in city government. It’s not a place that requires marketing. Your product is service and you don’t have competition, so you don’t have to fire up the creative juices and advertise. But if you did, what would you say?
“If you sign up for our fire services, we promise to hose you.”
“Get a cop to your house with just three digit dialing…911.”
“Our water won’t make you pucker.”
“You won’t fly to the moon on a pot-hole-laden roads in this town.”
You get the point.
Business groups traditionally are in charge of visitor-enticing slogans (and thankfully so). So I have absolutely no marketing experience and have struggled with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the content of my own website, let alone designing ads for romance bloggers or on-line booksellers.
I did create a slogan for my website that I like. It’s “Books that make you fall in love over and over again.” I could change it, but I think I’ll keep it.
The Internet is brimming with marketing tips for new authors. Number one? Keep a supply of business cards with all your social media links on them as well as bookmarks with the cover and blurb for each of your books. Hand them out everywhere. Do I do that? No. Haven’t made any.
Do I have friends who pre-read the books and post reviews the day of the release? No. Have I asked all my friends to sign up for my quarterly newsletter, right on the front of my website’s opening page? No.
Have I asked all my friends to look up one of my books on Amazon and to scroll down to my author picture and click the word Follow underneath the picture? No. If I did, and I got enough followers, Amazon would promote me free of charge.
I do participate in an occasional virtual Facebook party (usually I get a half an hour) and I give away a gift card or a book. This has increased readership. Whenever I have been asked to attend an actual event to sign books or speak, I’ve picked up readers.
The all time best way to pick up readers (the experts say), is word of mouth. Write a good book and your readers will recommend it to others. I believe that. I also believe that a new author who writes a good book still has to get those first looks and it’s done through marketing.
For me that means I must set aside time each day to tend to business cards, bookmarks, website content, Facebook Author Page content, and other social media. It also means asking all of you who read my books to write reviews, follow me on Amazon, sign up for my newsletter (if you haven’t already).
Most of all, it means writing better books and hoping the day will come when at least one will take off. So here’s one link http://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com.
Yay, I started!