Book Marketing Update

I don’t even know where to start… In the past couple of weeks I’ve written six 1000 word essays. Three have been or will be published on the IndieBRAG Blog

The first blog post came out on August 8; the second will come out on August 19 and the third on September 24. I’m thrilled to have the chance to write on this forum. The second post is about the non-fiction in my fiction, and since I write historical fiction, there’s a necessary close tie there. That was very interesting to think about and write. The third is about the lessons I’ve learned in my writing life and advice for other writers. I liked that because I could loosen up a bit in my approach and be less serious.

I also put together a three part guest post that has and will be appearing on Marilyn’s blog, Serendipity. For this I’ve writing a lot more about my experiences writing and publishing. The first part “So You Want to Be a Writer” came out August 13.

I also had the opportunity to guest blog on “On Pets and Prisoners” where I wrote about my neurotic but devoted best pal, Dusty T. Dog, and on “Susannah’s Journey “where Susannah was kind enough to post one of my short stories, “Rainy Night.”

One big challenge for indie authors is selling books. (Did you like the way I mingled the obvious with understatement there?) If an author can say he/she has books in a book store they’ve kind of, almost, nearly, made it. Making it, of course, is selling the books. The other Holy Grail of legitimization is getting one’s books in a public library.

This week my mission has been to contact the local libraries about adding my novels to their collection, and IndieBRAG has a letter for writers to use in approaching bookstores and libraries. The letter is amazing. It clearly sets for the mission of IndieBRAG and explains the system they use to evaluate whether a self-published novel is worth a customer’s “money and time.” It makes no bones about the reality of self-publishing, that the vast (and I mean VAST) majority of self-published books should probably not have been published or, at least, brought into the bright light of day. It then makes it clear to whomever reads the letter that the novels written by “author” (and this is personalized) are excellent work.

IndieBRAG’s letter made it much easier for me to write my letter which I’ve now sent to the local libraries with the salient links and the IndieBRAG letter attached. That was yesterday and, of course, I THINK they should respond sometime in the middle of the night so I wake up the next morning to happy surprises, I know there’s no Santa… So, I’m waiting.

Once I did that, I was ready to approach independent bookstores in the area and that’s my next task. I hope to hear something positive from the libraries before I approach the bookstores; that would give me a small, persuasive edge that I don’t have right now.

This week I also had to update all my “paper” marketing products — business card, bookmark, even notecards because in not very long I’m going to have to send books to the 10 or so book bloggers who’ve agreed to participate in a “virtual book tour” and to the people who have won my Goodreads giveaways, the ones that go along with the Goodreads ads…

And, if the library and bookstore gambits yield affirmative answers, I’m going to have to go meet people and leave my card… Well, soon, I’ll have them.

Back in the day, I thought keeping a blog was stupid. When I started, back about 8 years ago, my blogs (on Blogger) were private — online journals. I began a WordPress blog because a book I read said it was an important marketing tool. The first time I sat down to write, I think I said so. I saw the “Daily Prompt” and I thought, “Who needs that?” Well, I’ve written over 1000 of them and discovered Lamont and Dude and a Flash-Fiction ability I didn’t know I had. Some of my favorite short stories came out of the Daily Prompt. Best of all, though, have been the people I’ve “met,” the friendships formed, and the bits of life shared through our writing.

10 thoughts on “Book Marketing Update

  1. I read and commented on your first indieBRAG post. I would have offered to have you as a guest on my blog, but since I’ve been so vituperative about Clinton, I didn’t want you besmirched by my bad reputation. You, Marilyn and Susannah have been so careful of your reputations with your blogs, but I’ve been hell bent for leather in supporting my homeboy, Bernie Sanders, and have cast numerous aspersions upon the honesty and morals of the current nominee. So I will comment where I can hopefully do you some good, but otherwise keep my head down.

    • Hah, Barb, you made me laugh. I have my opinions about the US election, of course, but as a Canadian, and a fairly apolitical one at that, I don’t think I’m the right person to air them publicly. That being said, I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on the t.v. as the outcome of your election draws closer. There are some scary folks in the running down there!

  2. Wow, HUGE congratulations to you, Martha! What a blast this must be for you! I’m so happy for you. I find it encouraging to be able to read about how you’re forging your path through the self-publishing jungle. I’m in the research/learn stage, and it’s so nice to see, up close and personal, what you’re doing, and how. Thank you for sharing it with us readers.

    I also found it interesting that it was the Daily Prompts that led you to discover new writing abilities. I’m almost ready to start following prompts myself, just to see if I can write off the top of my head. Memoir is a bit of a different animal, and in my entire life, I’ve only ever written non-fiction. This is going to be a real challenge!

    You rock, girl! 🙂

  3. I’ve heard this from almost everyone. At a time in my life when it’s hard to get around and especially difficult to meet people with whom I have anything in common, blogging has opened the door and let the sunshine in 🙂

    • I guess in the old days people (including me!) wrote letters but they were directed at specific people one already knew. This is like sending out a filaments of ideas that attract people with whom the ideas can be shared. It’s amazing. 🙂

  4. This is such a wonderful post, Martha. I had no idea what went into self-publishing. Whew! One helluva lot, obviously. Everything you are doing sounds so positive and IndieBRAG seems amazing. I am so keeping my fingers crossed that everything comes to fruition for you because hey! I believe in Santa Claus.

    • It might lead to nothing. I know that. It’s like submitting a manuscript in the first place. It might not work, but the only way to be sure it won’t work is not to try. It’s the same here and I’m learning a lot. 🙂

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