The Pros and Cons of Marketing Your Book – Marketing Mondays

November 19, 2012 Marketing, writing 1

This is a new series on the blog and it will deal with, wait for it…book marketing.  For this week I’m going to start out slow and give you the pros and cons of marketing your book or books.

You’d think that there would be no cons, but that’s not entirely true.  I’m a big marketer – I’m into this stuff. I like to sit around and think up ways to get people involved in my products, and then think of more ways to get them to buy my products.  Sometimes I use pricing to do this, sometimes I send newsletters, and other times I actually pay for services.  I don’t do that very often because it gets expensive, but every once in a while, it a good thing to do if you can target the right market.

But not everyone feels the way I do.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there’s a significant portion of writers who hate everything to do with marketing.  So, I have to make my case.

The reasons why book marketing might not be the best use of your time are:

You could be doing something else.  I mean, obviously, regardless of how well you multi-task, you can only do one thing at a time unless you have some automated systems like the various ones available for social media sites.

In the writing world, this means you could be spending your time writing more books.  And that’s true as long as you’d be writing books during that marketing time in the first place.  If you’re just going to sit around procrastinating, you might as well do some marketing while you’re at it.

Take me for instance.  Five minutes ago I was writing a scene for book four in my Junco series, but then I remembered that I wanted to start this new series, so I put that aside (I was at the end of a scene anyway) and got down to work and here I am.

So for me, this was good timing.  I am tossing around another idea in my book, something I needed to do a little research on, and since I’m not quite ready to sit down and do that, might as well chug out a blog post on marketing.  (Which is, BTW, marketing)

OK.  This is pretty much the only reason not to  market your book.  So if you spend all your free time writing, good on ya.  I don’t,  I tend to want to check Twitter and Facebook and e-mail and Goodreads rankings or how the hell are all my Giveaways doing blah, blah, blah.  You get the idea. I do not spend all my time in the day writing.  So I market while I’m screwing around in all those places.

Here’s the pros of marketing your book:

More exposure.  Even tiny bits of exposure to new people adds up incrementally over time.  Maybe today you reach one person.  Sounds like a dud day, only one person, right? But that’s not true because that one person will be around tomorrow when you reach another person.  Now you have two people who noticed you and your book.  Each day you add this up and eventually you have something “big”.  Granted, depending on what you’re doing and how often you’re doing it, the time from small to big might be a while.  But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that you get places one step at a time.

Sure you can leap ahead every once in a while, but for the most part you get places little by little.  So if you do a little bit over the course of a year, you’ll be somewhere else in your marketing strategy one year from today.

This explains a lot about the “overnight success” phenomenon we are always hearing about.  One day this person is a nobody, the next they’re a huge star.  Or medium star, or whatever.  They make progress over a long period of time and then BAM, that shit adds up to something.

Not everyone will reach critical mass for something like that.  A lot of that has to do with your talent, your tenacity, and luck.  But hey, you can at least give it a try.

You’ll notice that nowhere in this post do I talk about sales, and there’s a good reason for that.  Sales are connected to, but at the same time separate, from the whole marketing process.  You market to get sales, right.  I get that.  But really, you’re marketing to reach people.  Not pocketbooks.

People.

You only make sales when you reach people.

There are plenty of Mondays to talk about sales, but today, just think about what I said.  If you’re not writing in every spare moment of your day, then consider adding small marketing steps to your agenda.  And for those of you wondering why I had to spell this out, it’s because there are a LOT of authors who think doing nothing is awesome.

And maybe it is, I mean if you can make sales and do nothing, you are awesome!  But in my experience, I tend to need to engage people to keep the sales numbers up and pay the bills.

Until next week,

Julie Huss

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