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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Marketing--a necessary evil

So, I've been marketing like mad--or have I? I wonder sometimes since that what I do goes into a bottomless pit. I send queries to review groups and offer to do reviews for others, I tweet newsy items in between tweeting links to my two blogs or excerpts from the new book in the Gypsy series, or simply posting a link to Gypsy's Quest with some kind of quirky quip to go with it. I've submitted two books to Bookbub, without success, and I've paid for ads in places that I can't even remember now. These efforts have brought little success. According to nearly everyone, having an online presence is of the utmost importance. Is it?

And then we come to Facebook. I am considering giving up most of the Facebook groups I belong to. We all seem to be in the same boat on the same shitty creek and none of us have paddles! We either need some paddles or we need to get off that particular creek.

My writing pal has suggested that I write a press release to post in the local paper, and/or, an ad in one of the entertainment papers that come out weekly or monthly. I think it's a very good idea. And from what I see when I check, which isn't often, my e-book sales are not as high as my book sales. And neither one are much to brag about.

When I get discouraged, and believe me I do, I have to remember my reasons for writing. I simply can't stop, as I mentioned in a previous blog. I'm writing the books that I want to read, but maybe what I like only appeals to a small niche of the population.

A friend of mine said, "You could figure out a formula and just write what you think the public wants." Even if I could do that, (and I doubt that I could) I wouldn't, because what I write comes from my heart. I can't churn out something that I'm not utterly immersed in. And so the struggle to have my books noticed continues--because that's how it works, right?

My latest endeavor, mentioned above, has been trying to get more reviews. What I'm finding is that many of my readers are buying my books from bookstores and so are not allowed to post a review on Amazon. And do a lot of 4 or 5 star reviews really bring up sales? When I search for a book I use the 'look inside' feature and check out the quality of the writing. I usually read the first couple of paragraphs to figure out if the storyline is one I'm interested in, that and the back cover.

How is your marketing plan going? Do you use reviews as a marker when you buy a book?

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