Monday, June 1, 2015

Your Writing Career - Taking The Next Step

For many writers, the day comes when you think, hey, this is a little more than a hobby. More time goes by and you decide, you know what? This writing thing is serious business.
You put yourself on some kind of schedule and you decide you’re gonna be disciplined if it kills you. You might get close to all out catatonia as you balance work, family and your writing regimen. You stay the course and begin to release books, but without a massive promotion drive, the books sputter and sales fizzle. You begin to realize that few are the books that have non-stop sales without some kind of ongoing marketing or promotion. Exposure is critical when you’re unknown and trying to build a readership.

The fact is, promotion takes money, but the internet provides unlimited research material that helps with the decision making process and finding the best deal.

·         Say you need book covers? Fiverr has a host of cover artists that provide service starting at – you guessed it – five dollars.

·         Need a blog tour host? Google is your go-to unit and if you want to get close and personal, Facebook is a great place to find individuals and businesses that provide this kind of service. Type in book promotion as you would with any search engine and potential sellers will pop up.

·         Looking for someone to run your promotions or host a book release party? You can find many outfits via search engines or Facebook and your writing buddies are also a source for checking out service providers.

·         Want to find book clubs to expand your base of readers? Facebook is a good source as well.

·         Have people who like reading your books? Start a group on whatever platform you like best and encourage them to share your work and add others to the team.

Do your research and also be mindful that regular book releases help to keep you on your readers’ TBR lists, but with the number of writers in the marketplace, it pays to find what methods work best for you and utilize them. 

Just this past weekend, I took the time to find out how to include a free book as part of my welcome message for those who subscribe to my newsletter. A small step, but it adds value to what I’m offering and yes, I’ve had people signing up for the mailist.

Gone are the days when we can afford to keep our nose to the grindstone and ignore the reading public until we have a new book for sale. In the world of publishing, it’s not necessarily the best writers who have repeat readers, but those who find a way to keep themselves relevant and in front of those who are buying books.

Have you made the decision to take your publishing efforts to the next level? Are you doing enough promotion and marketing? What has worked well for you in selling books? 

Don't forget this Wednesday is our IWSG post day. Get ready to share your doubts and words of encouragement with all the other IWSGers!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is the key. Keeping yourself in front of people. You can't just promote a book and then hide from the public until you have another one. Promoting involves networking and building relationships.

Murees Dupè said...

I do hope to take my career to the next level, which would be publishing my novel. Hopefully it will happen soon. Now I know just how important promoting actually is. Thank you for the tips above.

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, have to promote, promote and promote some more. Can sure be a pain in the rump, but needs to be done

Bish Denham said...

The self-promoting is the hardest part for me.

Christine Rains said...

Marketing is the toughest part for me too. I never think I'm doing enough, but I only have so much time! The few things I know that have definitely worked is holding a Goodreads giveaway and giving away the first book in my series free.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No hiding - get out there and market!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I stay active on social media and do some small blog tours. It is tempting to just forget it all and write but more is required.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joy - it's exactly as you say - keeping your head above water and waving to all you meet, greeting and including them in all you're doing. Be there and they will come ... hard work, and ongoing .. but they will come ... cheers Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hi Joy. Yes I've stopped faffing around and am now motivated to get my books out there, but it's always been the thought of promotion that kills me...I hate the idea, but know that it's a necessary evil. But once you have as many books as you have out there, I thought things would get simpler with cross promotion and a steady readership. No?

Denise :-)

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

Thanks so much for all the great tips. I'm a total newbie and can use all the help I can get. I'm self publishing my very first book as we speak.

AJ Lauer said...

I guess I am a bit of an outlier on this.. I find it easy to get wrapped up in the promo and marketing and learning about it all. But then I sometimes find I've frittered away a day learning and haven't written a word. What I really need to do this month is get focused on *writing* more so I have more to market than a book and a short. Of course, even though I'm fascinated by the process, I always feel there's more I should be doing for marketing purposes.. Agh.

J.L. Campbell said...

So tru, Diane, building those relationships are key.

You're welcome, Murees. Glad it helped you.

True, Pat. It's not my favourite thing to do, but promotion helps sell books.

Bish, same here.

Whatever works for you, Christine, I'd say stick with it.

Thanks for that, Alex. Good reminder.

Susan, that's good. I'm wtih you are getting lost in writing, but the other stuff won't do itself.

Hilary, yes, the hard work has to be done. There's no getting around it.

Hey, Denise, I'm still looking for my market. Admittedly, when I look at the romantic suspense books on Amazon, I realize that people read one and then the next. Still, I find that when I promote I sell books. When I don't, it shows in the lack of sales.

Keeping it Real, We are glad to help in whatever way we can. Enjoy the journey.

AJ, I fall in that trap too. I'll start making a teaser and get on social media to share it and waste writing time. Balance isn't easy and a heavy helping of discipline is needed in what we do.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My career is going thru a draught right now, but I've been doing this for 27 years so maybe that's ok. I still think a writer needs to stay on top of business if at all possible, regardless of how they decide to approach marketing, creating, etc..

Michelle Wallace said...

I'll win the lotto and then just hire a company to do all the marketing/promotion... voila!