It’s been a while since my last blog entry. I have no excuses except to say “I have lacked the discipline of following through.”Following through with anything requires a sense of discipline on a continual basis. At the workplace we are required to follow through on a daily basis. How do we handle it if we are no longer in the 9 to 5 workforce? As authors we have to decide how to market our work and how often we market. Should it be just a blitz when a new book is published? Should it be daily, weekly, monthly?
Retailers market every day through advertising, sales events and being a stone and brick presence in our shopping lives. We as authors are also retailers with a quality product to sell. Our publishers, if we are not self-published, will do some of the work for us; however, the major portion of publicizing is up to the author. Once we have created the publicity it is essential that we follow through on a regular basis to keep those carefully thought out works in the forefront. In other words, keep the excitement going and keep our name in front of the public.I know from experience that many of us will give up after a few months with few of our novels being sold. It must be it isn’t such a great work after all and maybe I should just bit the bullet and realize my work isn’t the great work I thought it was.
Wait a minute – everyone that has read the book said it was a good story – so why isn’t it selling in all the bookstores and on Amazon.In short the answer to that statement is – marketing. How many of us have read best-selling author books and raved about the stories and writing styles? How did they get on the best-seller lists to begin with? First they wrote a compelling, well written story. Second they worked at marketing until they reached that best-seller list and continue to publicize their work on a regular basis. Speaking engagements, book signings, fairs, author conventions, talk shows (local and national) are all tools to getting our names out to the public. It creates excitement about the book and the public starts talking about the book(s) and begins looking for the next book to explode onto the market.
It occurred to me that in our family I have a brother-in-law that was a sales representative for many years. He made a good living and as the family says, “…could sell refrigerators in the arctic.” So why didn’t I think of this earlier. I’ve tried getting information from publicists but the cost is beyond my means. Then it occurred to me – why not ask my brother-in-law to help with marketing. I’d be happy to share a commission within the family. Yesterday, after he made one trip to two bookstores, I have a signing next month in Muskegon, Michigan at the Family Christian Book Store. Another bookstore is considering my latest novel as well.This happened because of follow through by my brother-in-law and my following through with making contact with the stores he contacted in person on my behalf. A lesson learned here is to keep making those contacts as often as possible. I keep a few copies of “Brimstone and Water” in our vehicle just in case someone should ask if I have a copy for sale. Why yes I do, just let me go get it for you. I sold two copies just by chance when my husband and I were at a campground and the subject of relaxing by the pool with a good book came up. This started talk in the campground and now people I’ve never met know my novels are available at bookstores, through my publisher and on Amazon. They also have my business card should they forget the name of the book or my name.
Marketing, it never stops no matter where we may be. Follow through goes hand-in-hand with marketing. We can put our name on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and every other virtual market out there, but if we do not follow through with our initial blitz it’s a flash in the pan and then forgotten. Also if we do not work to be physically seen by our public and follow through with contacts made we will not be successful in marketing our work.
How important is follow-through – I would say the most important part of marketing.