“If You Are In Business Without Advertising Then You Are Winking In The Dark.”
It seems impossible now but when I first read those words I was not yet in middle school. It was another cold, snowy (read that as normal) day in Cleveland, Ohio. The words were printed on an in-car placard mounted above my head on the streetcar carrying me to another day of having wisdom and discipline implanted by a cadre of ruler bearing, wimpled ladies dressed in snappy black and white habits.
Now, many years later and fully committed to the idea of being a self-published author, those words come crashing back.
I have books to sell but who, beyond my immediate circle, knows that I have books to sell? And why should anyone gamble their hard earned cash on an unknown quantity?
As indie authors we have to set ego aside and honestly ask ourselves, “why should anyone actually buy my book?”
All of our books have resulted from hard work, dedication and thorough research. The titles are catchy, the cover art appealing and the author photos depict sincere, honest, trustworthy faces. So, what sets your (or my) book apart from the masses.
Here’s where I admit that I don’t have an answer. I don’t have an answer because there is no one size fits all solution to this dilemma. Each book demands to be treated as a unique individual. The only advice that I can offer at this juncture is that once you have answered the “why should anyone…” question to your own satisfaction don’t make it a case of winking in the dark. Advertise and promote it to the limits of your financial comfort zone.
Social media is mostly free. Professional promotional services (use with caution and due diligence) are available and some are quite reasonably priced.
Reviews are the lifeblood of the indie author. Many potential buyers need that extra push, that feeling that someone else has already taken the same risk, enjoyed the book and had positive things to say about it. Beg if you must, but get those reviews.
With the help of OM’s popular blog site I recently offered free review copies of one book to a limited number of respondents. The results are starting to come in and are promising.
Creativity in advertising can be pricey but haven’t we all showed some level of creativity by producing the book? Why not pay ourselves by applying that same creativity, that thinking outside the box, to marketing it?
Bottom line; if they can’t “see” it they won’t buy it.
If, on the other hand, you do have a one size fits all solution to marketing, please share it.