Guest post by Rosie Cochran
Writing is a joy. It's fun. It's stimulating. It's an outlet.
And then there is marketing. You've written a great novel. You've poured your heart and soul into it, but what good is a book if you can't market it? Where do you even begin? I've asked myself that question.
Marketing is a journey. For the uninitiated, it may seem strewn with boulders, broken bridges, detours, and sometimes dead-ends. You may find your gas tank close to empty and wonder if you'll ever reach your destination. As the miles pass you by, and you see no impressive results, you may be tempted to give up. The fog of uncertainty rolls in. You find yourself tempted to do a u-turn and head back to the safety of your home. It's then that you need to remind yourself that marketing is a journey. It's not a race. It's not a quick trip to the marketplace. It's a journey.
As my journey began, I committed myself to continue on despite the obstacles. Some of my attempts at marketing can be deemed total failures, but that is part of the learning process. It's been said that smart people learn from their mistakes, and that wise people learn from the mistakes of others. Along the way I have met wonderful authors who have been more than generous in sharing tips from their own experiences. They have shared what has worked and what has not worked. I can consider myself wise when I observe what has and has not worked for others and determine how best to implement those methods for my unique situation.
As a relatively unknown author, they've convinced me that exposure is my greatest need. Initially, exposure is more important than financial reward. Obscurity will never result in sales. They've convinced me that, though giving away copies of my novel may appear counterproductive, it isn't.
Getting copies into the hands of avid readers willing to give reviews initiates the word of mouth cycle. It creates a ripple effect. One pebble thrown into the pond may ripple out to a select group of readers. Ten pebbles thrown into the pond can cause ripples to various groups. Ripples are good.
Social media can be likened to a great pond. As reviews are given, we can throw pebbles into Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads---and then watch for the ripple effect. Self-promotion is okay, but what we really want is to get other people talking about our books on these social medias. We want ripples.
Where am I at on this journey? I'm traveling down a stretch of the road called Exposure. I'm still throwing pebbles into the pond. Sometimes I see the ripples; sometimes I don't. But that's okay. It's a journey, not a race. I just need to remind myself of that from time to time. I need to take the time to enjoy the journey. I love to hear where you are at on your journey!
About the Author
Rosie Cochran is author of A Murder Unseen. You can download a free ebook edition at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105174). Use the coupon code: YZ29M. This free offer is good until January 5, 2012.
Rosie also blogs at Writing to Marketing (http://writingtomarketing.wordpress.com) and Rosie Rambles On (http://rosierambleson.wordpress.com).
The top ten things you can do in 2012 to sell more books: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/12/i-am-presenting-one-day-live-seminar-at.html
John Kremer is presenting a special one-day live seminar in Palm Springs, California on January 8th. Learn how to market your books more effectively.