Confessions of a Self-Published Author
October 17, 2016 Things that happen in my life!
Well here it is the middle of October and I haven’t written anything for such a long time. I regret to say it’s because I have been distracted with other things. And as every October, Halloween is around the corner and I am knee deep in costumes. I’ll post pics of the process soon but for now I am going to write a little about something I don’t know anything about.
Marketing! Yep, I have come to think of this as a four letter word. However, I really want to change that and figure out how to use the dynamic versatility of the internet to build my author platform. I don’t just want to sell books to people who got sucked into my fabulous advertising, I want to create super fans. People I can inspire and send on a little escape from reality from time to time. I want to connect with them, I want to hear what they have to say, and what they want from an author. I want to know that the hours I spend on my computer researching and writing is going to give people, granted a lot of people, an experience like none other.
So, what I have figured out is this, all of the gurus that promise to teach you how to build your email list are full of crap. Yes, I said it. I have spent more than I want to admit only to find that email lists don’t do jack. If, and that’s a big fat IF, a person has to sign up for your ‘free’ what ever, 8 out of 10 times they are going to give a fake email, or rather the one they use for all the junk crap emails they get from signing up just to get the little bit of free what ever, take their little piece of free and never see you gain. I have also found that even if they do actually sign up, and then buy your book, you would have to have some kind of product that they have to re-buy every month to make the kind of money these people talk about. Or finagle them into thinking that the six month payment plan for their $1500-$5000 program is worth it.
Now, I do understand how it works. Make something sound so amazing and use the same key words a million times in your little podcast or webinar or what ever, to trick the person into buying your perfectly awesome product. That’s just not good business to me. I know call me old fashioned but it really makes me crazy. I don’t want to be lied to, tricked into buying things just so that someone else can make a ton of money. I didn’t know that I would love to write when I was in high school, or maybe I would have gone to college to learn all about this stuff. In fact, like I have said before, I graduated with a 2.9GPA and that was working my but off. I didn’t know that after I found that I loved to write and spent six years learning on my own through trial and error and using websites like FanStory to get peer reviews and such, that I would then have to know about marketing, author platforms, book covers, online publishing, websites, blogging, self promoting etc.
My head about exploded when I thought about all the time it was going to take. Then I found a website that promised they would do all those things for me, yep, for another $1500-$5000. Well crap! Now what, because you know, I just have that much money sitting around waiting for just this purpose. Maybe if I check my couch a hundred times it might show up. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay someone for their time and expertise, I just don’t have that kind of money to dedicate to this. So now what?
I don’t know! I don’t, I really don’t know what to do next. I keep hearing about Google Analytics, and Adwords and all this stuff but you have to pay for that too. If I knew how to use it, I might consider it. Along with Mailmunch, Sumome, Mailchimp and every other service out there. Not saying they are good or bad, just after you add it all up….well you know. I don’t even know how to blog, but there is a class for that somewhere I am sure, but only if you pay $$$. I know this is sounding like its all about money and I don’t have any. I am not broke by any means, but I don’t think that getting gouged is going to get me anywhere I want to go any faster.
I guess my next move is to spend a little and take a few more classes. Yep, you guessed it, on MARKETING! On online marketing, preferably with an emphasis on IndieAuthor publishing. I will also attend the IndiCon this month and focus on getting my little class I am doing for my local author and you event I have been invited to ready. It’s on Writers Block. I’ll post again as I start working on that too.
Until then, happy writing and creating and all things good!
Boy, do I sympathize with you on this. And while I’ve delved into marketing my entire life, running my own business, it is a whole new ball of wax when you’re talking about marketing one’s personal pride and joy in the convoluted literary world where Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, and assorted other internet marketing platforms are considered must-haves. Whew!
I started a Twitter account, but not mastered it yet. Study. Study. Study. That’s my plan…in between my job, my writing, finishing dock repairs from IRMA and MATTHEW, diet & gym, critique groups, making it up to my wife for ignoring her, and trying to get a little fresh air on my boat. I’m sure you probably have a longer list, but there it is. That’s life.
Thank you again for the wonderful cover you did for PRELUDE. If you could email me, I have a few questions.