Many of the self-publishing blog posts, articles, and books I’ve read make a comment that expresses the sentiment, “Authors struggle with promotion and marketing,” or “Marketing is where the real work begins.” This is based on the general idea that many, if not most, writers are introverts.
Where I’m sitting right now, I couldn’t agree more. I feel completely out of my element. Where do I go? What do I do? Do I even want to peddle my work?
When I was in grade school, one of the clubs I was in, and it may have been Girl Scouts, had a fund raiser where we had to sell decorative glass candles door-to-door. I absolutely hated it. I remember thinking, I will never get a job where I have to sell things.
And look at me now.
In high school I was a cheer-leader. And every Friday during football or basketball season we had to sell a certain number of “tags,” for, I think it was, 25 or 50 cents. They were a football or basketball sticker attached to a ribbon of about 2 inches wide by 5 or 6 inches long printed with a very spirited message like “Blast the Bears” or “Cream the Cougars.” Students were encouraged to buy and then wear the tags to build interest in the upcoming game and rally team spirit. Quite pragmatically, it was a lucrative fund-raiser for the cheer-leaders.
I hated having to sell all my tags. I had to spend the morning, and sometimes the whole day, before and between classes trying to coerce or cajole fellow classmates into forking over 50 cents for a tag. I’ll never forget the two quiet guys who sat near me in my homeroom, my early targets. I think their names were Nick Simpson and Ned Steinke, or maybe Nick Steinke and Ned Simpson; it’s been a long time. I didn’t know them outside of school, or outside of my homeroom, really, but they were kind, and sweet, and rather quiet, and always willing to buy my tags.
Looking back on my fairly short self-publishing journey, I’ve faced a lot of challenges. But the book has been written, edited, rewritten, re-edited, formatted into print and ebooks, a cover designed, summary and blurbs generated, and an ISBN assigned with a bar code generated. My book is for sale in print at Amazon.com, (and surprisingly to me, at B&N online), and as an ebook on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook (although there is something very funky going on with the title that I will have to get to the bottom of), and Smashwords in multiple formats. I discovered today that the ebook is even for sale in other countries, giving me a little chuckle. Check out these links:
Dancing in Heaven in the DE Kindle store and France Kindle store
I have so many Dancing-in-Heaven-for-sale pages out there that I am trying to figure out how to keep it all straight. You would think books would be flying off the shelves or ebooks would be shooting across the airwaves. You would think the books would just be selling themselves.
I believe what I read; now is when the real work begins.
Today I’m going to re-read Chapters 10 and 11, on platforms and promotion, in April L. Hamilton’s The Indie Author Guide. I’m familiar with the material, having read it before, but this time I’m taking, as my college professor Dr. Bobal used to say, copious notes.
All advice, suggestions and/or help welcome and appreciated.