Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marketing the Necessary Evil

This last week I finally reintroduced my fingers to my keyboard. I took some time off this last month from writing the sequel to Seventh Earth so I could work on marketing Seventh Earth. I didn't anticipate how much time it would actually take to market a book. Working with a small publisher with a limited budget much of the marketing of Seventh Earth has been up to me. I knew that would be the case and I accepted it. Even if I had been picked up by a larger publisher for this first release I would have still been tasked with marketing my book. Sure a larger publisher would have the resources to arrange and pay for major ad and release campaigns but still, even with a large publisher the author has to put forth a great deal of effort to make the book a success. I read recently that many authors think that once they find an agent and publisher that they can sit back, relax and let the royalty checks flow in. Now if you are an established author with a good following that may be the case. However, for us first-timers that is not the case. To be successful an author must be willing to market. This is often a difficult and somewhat daunting prospect considering that many authors seem to be introverts.

To give you some idea of some of the marketing I have done I have created the following list. Now keep in mind that this is just some of the marketing I have done.

Hosted a book release party
Set up and attended book signing events
Created Seventh Earth T-shirts
Designed and printed bookmarks
Contacted public schools to set up author visits
Designed posters
Developed and continually update the website
Run a blog
Contact the media
Give away free personal copies to the media
Write press releases
Write news articles

I am always looking for, and thinking of new ways to market. To be honest I would much rather spend my time pounding away on the keyboard engrossed in a gripping story, but in order to afford to continue to write, I must sell.

Now don't get me wrong, I do love marketing my book--probably because I believe in it and because so many have said how much they love it. But its tough pushing a book when you have several others bursting from your fingertips begging to be the next.