The Biggest Marketing Hurdle for the Beginning Author

Like I said, I didn't hang around long. Being arrested is not my thing.
Like I said, I didn’t hang around long. Being arrested is not my thing.

Well, let’s take care of business first. Here’s my obligatory photo for the Infinity’s Reach Escape Clause Contest. As always, rules for the contest are right here. Don’t forget to get your entry in. I will start selecting winners next Monday. I told everyone that the photo needed to be in a public place, but there’s something a little bit WRONG about holding a sign up that says, “I WILL HELP YOU ESCAPE” while you are standing on the Johnson County Court House steps. Let’s just say I didn’t hang around long.

Now for the topic at hand. What’s the biggest marketing hurdle for the beginning indie author? Notice I included the word “marketing” in there. The biggest hurdle, hands down, is just writing a great book. I’m talking not only about it being well written, but well received too. You need to write something that people are looking for. If you are able to do that, then pretty much everything else is just marketing.

And the biggest hurdle, from my experience, is name recognition. Potential readers, and people in general, need to know who you are. Used to be authors wrote a book because they wanted to become famous. Now it seems the author has to become famous before his or her books can sell.

You would expect this of indie authors. After all, they are responsible for selling their own books. But in this era, book publishers are often not picking up authors until they have already developed a following. That’s one of the reasons I went the indie route. Why cut the publisher in on the profit if you are doing their job for them?

So how does one increase name recognition? Social networks is a good place to start. Just be aware that marketing, especially using social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others takes a lot of time. And there is no one way to do it. The bottom line is that it is reverse psychology. You don’t go onto Twitter and Facebook with the mantra: BUY MY BOOKS! That simply doesn’t work. Instead, you build a following by talking about other people, connecting with fellow Tweeters and talking about everything BUT your book. I’ll amend that: you can’t do a book launch without talking about your book. And people understand that. But keep some perspective. You are trying to make connections, not sales. Let others discover your book and then sell it for you.

The big thing is simply getting known as an author. Think long term. If you’re serious about writing, you will write more than one book. What is more likely to get them buying your books long term: you selling it, or someone else talking about it?

But I have gotten off subject here. There are lots of books about selling your books on Twitter and Facebook. More important than that is selling yourself.

More about this tomorrow. Don’t forget the contest…