The Challenge of Marketing as a Writer

You can't do it all!

This guest post was written by Eloise Hamann. Eloise loves to imagine and longs to live in a world filled with justice and fun puzzles. Her passion for puzzles led her to become a mathematician. Her passion for imagining and justice led her to become a writer and political activist after retirement.

It seems more people are trying to sell writers marketing and other products than there are writers. The challenge is not drowning in attempting to drink from the proverbial firehose. After a dizzying long learning curve, I’ve found my path. I wish I had a shortcut to share, but I did learn a few things.

You can’t do it all, and you don’t need to. In fact, if you try, you’re likely to throw your hands in the air, throw your book on Amazon and do nothing to market it. I believe your marketing strategy best depends on your goal, your strengths, and what you are most willing to do. By goal, I mean how many books do you want to sell? Enough to make a living or just enough to make your efforts worthwhile? I have a modest goal of wanting a reasonable number of readers and hopefully cover expenses. Preparing a quality book and marketing can be expensive, but good marketing begins with a quality product unless you are a celebrity.

I made the choice of publishing independently, which directed some of my other choices. I ignored many warnings of the type:  “you won’t look professional if you don’t . . . “ because only agents and publishing companies care. Readers want to believe they are buying a good book. They don’t care what my email address is.

I write a blog because I like to write and want to attract followers who like my writing. I’m not convinced accumulating followers on every single social media site is worthwhile. I use only two and they are linked to my blog/website.

I took advantage of free webinars, but I was very selective about buying an entire course. I bought one on building an email list by giving away two books and that path made sense to me. I got as much information on Amazon ads as I needed from a free webinar.

I’ve learned a lot from networking with authors like me, who are not trying to sell me something when they praise one approach and warn me against another. Collectively, Bay Area Independent Publishing Authors (BAIPA) understand Amazon and Facebook practices, both two- ton gorillas in the bookselling and advertising industries. I was able to reduce the number of freebies to one, by participating in a free anthology to garner access to a large list of readers interested in my genre.

There is awesome support online for learning how to use software like MailChimp, WordPress, Bookfunnel, Smashwords, and competitors, which you can find by googling.

There is no easy path. Marketing takes work, but maybe even more patience. Tell yourself if you do a little a day you’ll get there. It was hard for me to adopt that attitude, but when I did I became more at peace.

So dive in, find your own path through the seaweed, and don’t diverge from the path until you’ve used it to publish one book.

Eloise Hamann loves to imagine and longs to live in a world filled with justice and fun puzzles. Her passion for puzzlesled her to become a mathematician. Her passion for imagining and justice led her to become a writer and political activist after retirement.

As a volunteer for Child Protective Services, she wrote the short story, The Foster Princess, Eloise describes her first novel, Inhabitedas Stephen King teams up with Garrison Keillor.

Readers loved the characters. Her poetry and short stories have been published in four anthologies: Tides, Beyond the WindowCaptivate Audiences to Create Loyal Fans, and Glimpses.

 

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