When an author makes the decision to self-publish, generally we just see the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’ll have to do to launch our books. Once we get down and dirty with the publication process, we realize just how much is going to fall on our shoulders. We’re responsible for everything:
- Cover Art
- Formatting our books for E-readers and/or Print-on-Demand–two entirely different animals
- Getting our websites ready
- Listing ourselves on Goodreads, writing author bios, writing book blurbs
- And FINALLY, the big one: MARKETING
Now, granted, we can pay to have any of the above done for us. But many of us (definitely raising my hand here) don’t have the cash flow to cover all these expenses. So we pick and choose which ones we can afford to farm out, then we tackle the rest ourselves. Generally, that means we have to market our own books.
It’s hard to maintain balance in your marketing. Yes, my personal Facebook followers are deeply invested in my self-publishing plan at this point–they’ve followed me for years and they know how long and hard this journey has been. And yet, how often should I update them on book-ish things? I typically fall-back to my Author Facebook page for smaller book updates…that way my personal FB followers can follow that page if they’re interested.
And groups? How do you know how often to update FB or e-mail groups you’re in about your novel? I think you have to use your judgment. No group wants a weekly update by one author on every step of progress. And yet, do you have a book cover? Share it. Could you use guest posting opportunities? Ask them. The worst you can get is silence.
Many times in this self-pubbing venture, I’ve wondered if I’ve crossed the line. Was I presumptuous in approaching that brilliant author about becoming an influencer? Did I mention my own book too many times in that group?
But in the end, I hope traditionally published authors understand just how much falls on a self-pubber’s shoulders. We generally don’t have the luxury of a team of people who tell us what our marketing plan will look like. We have to come up with all these creative ideas on our own…and as we all know, authors are writers first, not marketers.
And please, if you find a self-pubbed author whose writing you love, go to that author–just as you would a traditionally published author–and say, “Hey. I love your book. I’m going to influence for you. Would you like to do a guest post? I just reviewed your book on Amazon.”
Because the more support we get, the more we’re able to let our readers do our marketing for us…and believe me, there’s nothing we’d like better!
****What do you think? What’s the most effective marketing strategy you’ve seen implemented for authors?****