Chickening Out on Marketing

It’s officially October, the month I declared (last month) that I’d get my book, Undead Rising, published. And I have this awesome cover for it, and I’ve gone over it again to make sure all the links work and the words seem good and…
I’ve stalled out.
I met up with another writer to talk about, well, writing stuff, and was all bluster and confidence, about how I was just going to go ahead and do it already. And he asked a bunch of very sensible questions, like “how do you plan on marketing your book?” and “how will you reach your audience?”
And that’s when I sort of deflated.
I didn’t have a marketing plan. Still don’t, really. Because the truth is, as much as I realize it would help a lot, I just don’t want to do that kind of thing.
I understand it. I know how to do it–I’ve even done a lot of the basics for my day jobs in the past!  I just have zero interest in actually doing it.
Which, as my writing colleague pointed out, isn’t necessarily the best way to do things.
The thing is, I’ve got a day job, a lot of extra work as a freelance editor, and I try to still have a little time left to hang out with my new husband, do chores, and sleep. Oftentimes, marketing seems to take up a ton of time, to the point that it is frequently seen as a full-time (or at least busy part-time) job in and of itself. And it’s just not a priority for me right now.
So I’ve stalled out. I don’t know what to do. Part of me says, “eh, go ahead and get it out there, why not?” This part of me reminds me that I didn’t write this book to become a millionaire and that I’d really like to be able to say I’m a published author already…I’m tired of waiting.
The other, perhaps more sensible part, says, “you’ve put all this work in already, why would you finish it off by only doing half the effort?” And I don’t really know what to say to that part.
Anyone who has been there, what did you do? What do you think I should do? Is the marketing as hard/work-intensive as it looks like it is?


Filed under Publishing, writing

7 responses to “Chickening Out on Marketing

  1. As an indie publisher you are running a business. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective!) that means you have to do all the businessey stuff in addition to all the writing stuff.

    That said, marketing does not have to be any big deal. First – Make sure it’s the best product you can make – professionally edited with a professionally designed cover (I can’t stress this enough! Many indies shortcut this and it’s very obvious when they do). Second – Write more books. Most authors say they really didn’t start seeing sales until somewhere around their 3rd – 5th book, so you need more books! Third – Build a community around your writing through your blog (consider getting your own domain, that is a bit deal, I’ve got a post coming up on Friday that discusses why if you’re interested), through social media, and maybe even by joining some communities that help promote other indie authors. I just joined Rave Reviews Book Club, as an example. But doing critiques on Critters or Scribophile, participating on forums… any of that stuff works. And you don’t have to do a lot of it. Just enough to get your name out there and spread the word about your peers.

    Most of all – even if you don’t want to do any of this, STILL GET THAT BOOK OUT THERE AND PUBLISHED! It is well worth it. 🙂


  2. Agree with K. Do what you can. I remember trying to do EVERYTHING I could and found that it was all just too much. I got burnout and didn’t do anything for quite a while. Don’t do that. 😉

    Keep blogging. Have conversations on Twitter or your social media channel of choice. Keep an eye on the industry and be a part of that community in ways that you can. Definitely get working on that next book. Good books sell other good books. Consider setting up a blog tour. Certain companies will run a very low author involvement blog tour for a reasonable fee.

    Unfortunately, most books don’t sell themselves. They need a kick in the pants every once in a while. Even with a few books under my belt, I went very long stretches of no sales, essentially because I wasn’t doing any marketing. When you get book #2, I highly recommend a BookBub ad. It’s a world shaker.

    • Thanks. I’ve noticed that, about multiple books. Do you think it matters if they’re the same subject/type/series, or would unconnected stuff boost it too?

      • I’m sure it matters for some readers. So long as book #1 was a standalone, an unconnected book #2 would probably be fine. You should try to build a mailing list with book #1. Have a link at the end of the book that allows them to “Stay in touch” and hear about your new books with the occasional newsletter. I use Mailchimp. It’s pretty simple and the basic elements are free.

  3. I’m afraid I have no experience to offer, though I have set my own publishing target date that I’m acutely aware may be optimistic and a bit of ‘bluster’ on my part.
    Another blogger directed me to the self-publishing podcast and they also suggested that intensive marketing is a waste of effort until your published catalogue is a bit bigger, so as to keep your name on your reader’s radar. There may be some truth to that /shrug.
    I’d say have some courage and get it out there. You can always promote heavily later.

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