To Market, To Market . . .




To sell a fat book . . . Well, all right, mine tend toward thinnish books and novellas, but as a writer, marketing continues to be a closed book to me.

But those Mean (and more successful than me) Writers are going to try to make me act like a businesswoman and get out there (and in here) and sell books.

They have no idea how hard that’s going to be.

I mean, here I am a sweet (more like shy, but . . .) little (fat) old (barely!) lady (well, female) tucked into my cozy office with story ideas pinging off off my time constraints and prior commitments to the ideas that didn’t bounce off . . . I mean, they expect me to actually work at selling stuff?

I mean, they’re saying things like “Cover reveal at least a month ahead of actually publishing.”


Say what? I generally finalize a cover a few days to a week ahead of stopping waffling around and poking at the finished, edited, formatted manuscript. Now I have to do covers one and preferably two months ahead of time? Eep!

And pre-orders! There’s more time before getting up the nerve to push the button!
This is going to be agonizing!

Next they’ll be telling me I have to get everything out in paper!

And I think there was something about announcements _and_ reminders.

I do, by the way, already have a mailing list! Ha! I’m up on one thing at least!

Website? Well, yeah, I have a website. In fact I have two. Okay, yeah, that one’s so static it’s got dust on it. I’ll . . . do something about it. (grumble, grumble)

The other one’s sort of a hang out for my beta readers, so I won’t advertise it to the public, even if it is trivial to find it.

Wait! Wait! They want teasers and such. All fancy like a blurb on a wrap-around dust jacket! Ha! _That_ I can do. See?



Well . . . all right, I may need to cut the verbage down a bit . . .

 

And basically . . . That’s how the successful writers do it. So we all need to get our acts together and start doing it!

 

17 comments

  1. Eek indeed! But I think the scariest part of Amanda’s letter is where she suggests that as well as straightforward marketing, she also wants “fun posts about what you’re doing.” I’m just not that interesting!

    1. I know. I mean, this was a few hundreds words of whine. Entertaining? Uh . . . Well, I’ll be giving it a try. What can go wrong?

    2. So that is what the “sharing memes” guys on facebook are trying to do!

      Lesson to learn from that– avoid politics, avoid virtue signaling, and for the love of all that’s holy, don’t pick fights! I’ve got a good half dozen authors that were on my “need to checkout” list who showed they’ve all the mental depth of a leaky kiddy pool, so I’ll spare them my icky, bad-think tainted money.

      Maybe “this is something I saw that was neat and inspired me” type stuff? Anne Stokes does an awesome job of that, although she does art, not words.

        1. The mere fact that the neighbor has peacocks seems worth talking about. Why? Where does one even get a peacock? Are they difficult to care for? I’ve heard they are annoying, but how?

          1. The same way one buys other barnyard fowl. At least that’s how Flannery O’Connor added them to the O’Connor farm.

          2. *pulls out a bullhorn and yells into it, in tones usually associated with kung fu demonstrations*

            kai-YAH! kai-YAH! kai-YAH! kai-YAH!

            They are pretty, though; you can get them from the same places that let you order chickens or guineas.

    3. Not only am I not interesting, my hobbies tend to be things that are actively off-putting to most of the sci-fi/fantasy community. I have secrets that are even darker than my politics.

    4. ‘fun posts about what we’re doing’…

      driving in circles?

      mind you, earlier than i used to because they’re paying per-ride bonuses…

  2. Wasn’t it just a few years ago (after Hugh Howey’s huge break-through with _Dust_, and the success of _Twilight_) that the Big 6 publishers were insisting that writers start with a large social media following, then sell lots of books as indie, and then approach (with agent) the publishers about a contract?

    I’ve been trying to recall the sequence, because even at the time it seemed a bit bass-akward to say “Get lots of followers on social media, then write a book that sells kajillions, then talk to us.”

  3. TxRed…”the Big 6 publishers were insisting that writers start with a large social media following, then sell lots of books as indie, and then approach (with agent) the publishers about a contract?”

    Sounds very much like those companies that pass on acquiring an interesting startup when it could be had for a hundred million or so, then are desperate to get it after it becomes famous and the purchase price is in the billions…

    1. Although in that case, at least the companies do seem aware that the purchase price is now much higher than it would have been. The publishers seems to think that they can just swoop in and claim 90% of the profits from this already successful author in exchange for…um, hang on, let me see…I’ll get back to you on that.

      The sad thing is that in many cases they seem to be right.

      1. The only thing they had going for them was getting the books into the bookstores, and marketing them.

        And they mostly did a piss poor job of both of those.

        But yes. They were using the general public and Amazon.com as their slush piles and slush readers. Now apparently they’re all Woke.

  4. I can be brought to generate the cover as soon as the final edits are done, and as soon as my brother the graphic artist can be bothered to do the cover for the final page count. So, maybe a month to finalize, once it’s all done?
    Seriously, I just notify the readers and a couple of book websites, kick them out and … well, on to the next.

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