Where’s My Head At?

IMG_0132After a few months of frantic editing, I’m finally at the point where I can take a step back and assess the situation. While I’m waiting for my second novel to come back from various outposts, I have had an opportunity to watch cricket and look at what’s been going on. 

I released my first novel, The Great Corporate Escape, back in April and most people seem to have liked it. I know within myself that I’ll get better and I’ll continue to develop as a writer with the more books I write, but the first one out of the stable was important. 

As I’m on the cusp of releasing the second book my thoughts are turning to promotion, marketing, and sales. I’ve done very little with regards to any of this for my first book and instead, I’ve been concentrating on finishing the second. I can’t put it off forever though.

When I look around the patch all I see are writers promoting their own work. Social media is full of them; trade fairs, book fairs and conventions have them in abundance; libraries and bookshops continually have posters up. How can you get noticed in such a crowded marketplace? And is getting noticed good enough? How can you sell books in such a crowded marketplace?

The usual advice is obviously there, so please don’t feel as though you need to explain to me about creative ways of getting yourself out there. The web is full of lists of how to market your book successfully. My concern is more around the amount of time which you need to market your book successfully. 

I subscribe to the thought of writing more books as the best form of marketing. The business model of being a writer works when you have multiple units to sell. You become a better writer with the more books you write. You have more chances of getting out to market if you have more books in your arsenal. All of these reasons mean that you have to keep writing. 

The problem is that writing books takes a long time, longer than I naively thought. Where then can you then find the time to promote your work effectively whilst living an, otherwise, balanced life? It’s hard. 

This is why I’m now considering an agent for the first time. Writing is what writers enjoy doing and the rest of it fills in the gaps, but the marketing is becoming more and more vital. A dedicated marketing team now seems much more appealing to me.

So… look out for posts in the near future on this topic as I begin to wrestle with the dilemma of self-publishing via traditional from the other view point. I’m big enough to change my opinion if it suits. 

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2 responses to “Where’s My Head At?

  1. Interesting stuff. One thought – I agree with your ‘more books’ is the best way to create ongoing interest, and encourage sales. Now, bear in mind I am no where near publishing a book, but I’m of the opinion that short stories can help fill a gap in today’s crowded market. They can ensure you are regularly putting it out there (ooerr), keeping your hand in (ooerr missus) and if you are successful in getting into various publications, help expand your audience through mediums not readily available (nope. Tried but can’t double entendre that one).

    Something you’ve considered or rejected?

  2. Quality rather than quantity would work for me so my thoughts on the subject are about the timing of the launch of each book, interspersed with short stories to keep your name”out there”if a book’s not ready. Maybe pace your launches…….2 books a year arriving at times when people are buying the most……..you know those times……..might be helpful in these early days whilst you’re still learning your craft.
    Before the start of your published works career you spoke about the number of books per year you might be able to write so why not revisit that idea now that you are clearer of the work entailed and build time in for marketing?

    In this downtime, in between Test Matches, can you access any info regarding your readership profile and use this to tweak your posts on your social media outlets……that could help target your potential audience so that some of the marketing, in terms of raising customers’ awareness is built into your daily schedule automatically.

    As part of the exercise of considering conventional publishing why not work up a detailed marketing plan yourself ……..or contact a friend who could help with this? After all marketing is just one more element to the self publishing process that you need to master. Just because conventional publishers offer a complete package it may not be the best way for you at present.
    ´…………and of course if, in the end, you could always write a book about your decision!

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