Thoughts On Marketing

A question was posed, by one of my Facebook friends, concerning writers and marketing.

How do you market yourself on a limited or next to non-existent budget? Are there things to avoid? Things that are a must-do?

If you’re like me, you cringed when you read the word marketing. A myriad of stereotypical, shady characters appeared in your mind’s eye. Snake oil salesmen, pesky popup adds and my personal favorite, pushy writers tweeting nothing but ‘buy my book.’

As a writer, there’s a fine line I walk when marketing my work. There are writers who believe if you write it, they will come. I don’t live under the illusion that readers will magically show up wanting to read what I’ve written. How can they when they don’t know it exists? Books are products and products are sold. How do you sell products? You have to market them.

Social media, websites, blogs, newsletters, book signings, attending conventions and conferences, these are all tools to raise awareness of your presence. Do I have and use these tools? Yes.  Am I saying you need utilize all of these? No, you need to find what works for you.

Social media is hard for me, I don’t think my life is interesting, but I enjoy interacting with others. I find THEM interesting. The little things they post about their lives allow me to connect with them on a personal level. Meeting them in person at signings and conventions tightens that bond. I’ve met some really great people I would have never met had I not put myself out there. I like that, what I don’t like are those who do nothing but blast ‘buy my book.’ It’s an instant guarantee that I won’t buy their book. Something that has stuck with me is a response to all the ‘buy my book’ tweets; Make me like you and I might be interested in your book. You need to make that connection between writer and reader. Life is about connections and so is business.

To me, the most important part of this business is my reader. Those who like my writing and even those who didn’t, play a part. They may not have liked it, but they might know someone who would. If they did enjoy it, they’ll tell others.

In my opinion, the answers you seek are avoid spamming your readers with ‘buy my book’ and work on building lasting connections.

Word of mouth is the Hokey Pokey of the book world. Other people talking about your books, that’s what it’s all about.