Friday, February 10, 2017

What Nobody Told Me, but Every New Author Needs to Know

Five years ago this coming April my first novel, The Goddess's Choice, was published by Reliquary Press. I sent them the final version of the manuscript and thought my job as the author was finished. The book came out. I sat back and waited for it to sell. Anyone at all familiar with the publishing world (which I wasn't) will be unsurprised to learn that six months later only a handful of copies had sold. Maybe it should have been obvious, but no one ever told me that an author needs to market her novel if she wants it  to sell. I had a publisher. Marketing was their job, right?

As I've learned since, I could not have been more wrong. Large publisher do some marketing. Small ones do almost none. Marketing is mostly the author's job, a revelation that really sucked. I'm a writer, not a business person. I knew absolutely nothing about marketing. On top of that, I'm an extreme introvert. I don't like talking to people, except the imaginary ones that inhabit my head.

I tried to do things. Listened to various advise. Some good, some bad, and more copies sold, but not anywhere near what I would have liked. Lately, I have come across three excellent books that have taught me a lot on the topic. I want to recommend them to those of you who are just starting out as authors or those who could also learn more about the part of the job none of us ever wanted.

Book #1: Steve Weber's Plug Your Book

I found this book about six months ago. Lots of good advice of about blogging and other online marketing tools. Since I read it, I have increased my blog views from about 3 a day to 300 a day.

Book #2: Chris Kennedy's Self-publishing for Profit

I met Chris at Marson last month. He chaired the best panel I've ever attended on book marketing and promotion. I learned a lot from him and even more from his book, especially about twitter, which I just didn't get. Besides, being very knowledgeable about how to profit from writing, Chris is a really nice man. I can't recommend his book more strongly.

Book #3: Kim Iverson Headlee's The Business of Writing

I also met Kim at Marson. She was on the panel with Chris. As well as excellent advice on marketing, Kim's book covers many more aspects of the business end of being a writer. I also highly recommend her book.

Don't be like I was, completely ignorant of the business end of being an author. Yes, marketing sucks and isn't why I became a writer, but if you want people to read your books, it has to be done. These three books will give you a place to start.

Please recommend other books you've found useful in the comments below.

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