The thought of marketing a book can be overwhelming to consider. Just when I think I have a handle on marketing, I learn about something new that hasn’t even been on my radar. When that happens, I take a moment to knock my head against the wall a few times, and then I tend to charge forward with abandon. That is one of many character flaws. I’m an actor, not a thinker. In other words, I act, generally without thinking. I don’t consider how deep the water is until I’ve already jumped and am a few inches away from breaking through the surface.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a series of marketing blogs that will 1) help me focus my efforts, and 2) save you all from the same painful mistakes I’ve made (over and over).
A while back, I was lucky enough to chat with Jae (author of Backwards to Oregon, Something in the Wine, and about a thousand other books) via the magical Skype. We spent about an hour, and during that time, she shared her thoughts on marketing. Jae has grabbed the brass ring of lesbian fiction in that she successfully transitioned from full-time (insert other than writing career of your choice here) and part-time author, to full-time author. She shared the one critical piece of marketing that, in her opinion, every author should make a priority.
Today’s lesson, girls and bois, is on the very most basic form of marketing for any author, but especially an author who has just released her first novel. The best, most effective thing we can do is so simple we often overlook it.
Ready for the answer?
Write a short story. Write a novella. Write another novel. Just write.
Authors with a backlist will tell you that sales of their previously released books will spike any time they release a new book. A reader picks up a book from a new-to-her author and loves what she reads. She immediately goes to the bookstore or online in search of more works by her favorite new author.
Does this mean an author can lock herself in her wee writing cottage and say to hell with human interaction? All I have to do in the marketing world according to Jove is write. As appealing as that may sound to the more introverted among us, the answer is a loud and resounding no. Authors still need to crawl out of their shells and poke their heads up from time to time.
And that brings us to the rest of the wild and wonderful world of marketing. Next time, we’ll hit another basic. To blog or not to blog.