4.The reality is that there are 750,000 authors on Amazon alone. Each producing several books. They are your competition, and many offer their books free or for 1.99 or less.This cheapens the book market considerably, and hence cheapens the value of books in general–at least for the fiction market.
After book marketing for over a year now and aggressively using my resources–time and money to market my books–Keeper of Reign, and then Dead Dreams– both award-winning novels and have been best-sellers on Kindle–I have learned a few things. If I had to do it all over again, which in a sense I would have to do with my future books, I would change some tactics I had used for marketing my books.
(I don’t know what it’s like for non-fiction books, but at least with fiction authors we face some major battles–this is not to say that we cannot overcome the battles but that they are hurdles that require much time and effort. Dah!)
Things I wouldn’t have done on hindsight in my book marketing efforts are:
1. Hire a publicist or PR firm,–unless you have thousands to waste (which i don’t and regret now) they are useless as most of the time you’d have to do all the follow-up work and if you are like me–busy beyond belief and have hardly any time to write–the follow-up would be just one more thing for you to add to your plate and would not help in propelling book sales. If you do have a team of hired help this could be different, naturally.
2. I would not have hired New Shelves (or any Distributing companies) as again this is a waste of time and money. Empty promises and lots of rah-rah but no results.
3. I would choose where to advertise wisely. There’re only a handful of places that could help move your book’s rankings. Bookbub is one of them and it looks like even the traditionally published books are being advertised there–these authors or their publishing houses are giving away free and 99c books there. (I know because I’ve downloaded some of these books! Although I have not had the time to read them–there are just too many books given away for pennies each week.)
What I would do.
I strongly believe that if you feel you want to still continue in this author-writing business the best book marketing strategy is to write as many high-quality books as possible–hiring editors, and quality cover designers for each one– and once you have five to ten books under your belt, then market them all at one go.
Why? because the efforts to market one or ten books is the same. And if you think about a publishing house…how do they market their books? They have a team of people to look over the books, strategize, advertise, and handle only marketing. Book marketing is a full time effort and a full-time job in itself. And even with that –time, effort, professionals, money, distribution channels–they have many, many books that flop! In fact, most of their books are a bust. That’s why publishers are not willing to plonk down the cash or back authors as they used to in the past decades.
So how do we, indie-authors, small timers, stand a chance?
Where am I going with this? I have an idea and I will write about it in a few weeks. Maybe it’ll help us…maybe not. But it could be worth a shot.