I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to the new year. Considering the number of sweets I’ve consumed over the past week and a half I should be flying on a sugar high, but in reality I’m exhausted.
My journey with Providence has reached the countdown stage. The ebook will be available in less than 2 months and the hardcover in less than 3 months. This is the time to rev up the marketing of the book, and I know this is my weakest area. Even though I am traditionally published, I’m still responsible for much of the marketing. I’ve been watching my fellow authors at work and am astonished by what many of them do. They have a mega-giveaway drawings for anyone who will follow their website, they enlist friends and acquaintences to vote for their books on lists to get their books moved up higher on the lists, and they ask friends and associates to review their books on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. When I question the effectiveness of these and many other approaches, I’m told it’s time for me to join the real world.
In many ways, I recognize I am naive when it comes to book marketing. I still believe the best way to sell books is to write the best book you can. Word of mouth will help tremendously if someone reads the book and loves it. I choose my own books by browsing bookstores and libraries and listening to suggestions from friends. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book because someone has tweeted about it or written their personal reaction to it on a blog. When I worked as a librarian, I did often check Kirkus, the Horne Book, SLJ, and PW reviews to make me more aware of what was available, so I get the importance of those reviews.
In the real world, however, people don’t always do things the way I do or think the way I think. Many, many people read the tweets, the blogs, and the personal reactions on reader websites. They give readers a sense of community and the readers enjoy being a part of it. My new year resolution will be to try to merge my world with the ‘real world’ and embrace the changes this entails. I don’t think I will ever be able to ask a friend to review my book, a 5 star review from the author’s good friend seems a bit hollow to me, but I will be grateful for those (friends and strangers alike) who choose for themselves to review it. I won’t be giving away a flat screen TV, but I’ll give away some signed copies. I will continue to explore new ways to connect with readers and hopefully help them connect with me.
What do you find works for you in the real world? As an author, what helped you reach your potential readers? As a reader, what draws you to a debut author?