A few thoughts on release day
Today’s the day I’ve been looking forward to–and dreading–for a year or more.The e-book version of Nocturnal Revelations is now available (the print version will be available in two weeks.) I’ve known the current story arc of the Nocturnal Lives series was drawing to an end. In some ways, I’ve been working toward this point from the moment I typed the first words of Nocturnal Origins. In other ways, I’ve dreaded it and even mourned it. Now that day is here and I’m not sure how I feel.
I’ve lived with these characters for years. Mac Santos is part of me. I know she isn’t going away, but she won’t be the driving force in future books. Not like she has been in these. At least I don’t think she will be. But what do I know? I’m just the writer. Myrtle the Evil Muse will tell me–when she’s ready–what for them next evolution of the series will be like. (And, btw, she is already formulating something in the back of my brain. I’m getting hints of it when I’m not working on the next project.)
And that next project is. . . .drum roll. . .
Battle Flight is a prequel of sorts for the Honor & Duty series. I’ve taken the three short stories written in that universe and am expanding them, tying them together and weaving them into a novel that will explain more about what drives Ashlyn Shaw and those around her. The book is already available for pre-order and will be released next month.
Yes, next month. No, I haven’t lost my mind but I am ramping up my publication schedule. After ten months of real life demands slowing the writing, and the publishing, down, life is finally getting back to normal. That means getting back on track. It also means getting out those books that have been delayed because I haven’t had the mental space to write like I should have.
And that brings me to today’s topic. Yes, I really do have one. Promotion. I suck at it. I know I do and I know I need to work at it. Like so many writers, I would much rather write than climb onto social media to ask people to buy my books and leave reviews. I forget to schedule paid promotions ahead of publication dates because, duh, I’m writing and I suck at promotion.
But it is something we must do. Hence the pimping at the top of this post.
It is also something we have to keep researching and not blindly rely on what other people say when it comes to what works. The truth is what works for one author might not work for another. Not all of us can afford to pay for ad campaigns using sites like Bookbub and Fussy Librarian. Some genres do better on certain ad outlets than others do. It takes work and it takes time and, depending on what we do, it takes money.
Some writers I know have done well with their FB ads. For me, I can’t justify the cost. Too many of the people I know use things like FB Purity that blocks many of the ads. Others scroll past the paid ads, ignoring them like they do the ads on Youtube, where they click the “skip ad” link as quickly as possible.
So what should we do to promote our work? That’s the million dollar question.
I wish I had the million dollar answer.
I do have an answer about what not to do. What you don’t do is blindly follow what someone says you should do without thinking objectively about what they say. Ask yourself if they write in your genre. Are they new authors or well-established authors with a solid fanbase? What you don’t have to worry about as much is if they are indie or traditionally published. In this day and age, traditionally published authors have to do as much promotion as indie authors do.
In other words, if someone tells you not to promote your work on your social media sites, including your blog, more than 20% of the time, ask why they say that. What are their reasons and justifications? What platforms are they discussing and how often do they post on those platforms? Are they saying to take into consideration everything you post across all social media platforms or not? Is there a difference between how often they post leading up to and immediately after a new title is released vs six months after a release and when there is nothing new coming out in the near future?
Then, look at their own social media feeds and see if they are living up to the advice they’ve given you about how often to promote your work. If not, ask yourself why.
In other words, be a professional about taking advice about who to run your career. This is the same way you should approach everything about your writing, from what sort of machine you should write on to what programs you should use to how to promote to continuing education. Ask questions. Do your research. Make informed decisions on your ROI, whether that is on monies spent or time lost to attend a con or workshop.
And now I need to take my own advice, find my over over to my personal blog and do a little promotion there as well. But after coffee. Then it’s back to work. I have books to write and promotion to schedule.