The book marketing game is not a race: Here’s some fresh perspective

This is a guest post by A. Yamina Collins

I know, I know. Many of you would rather get bitten by a rattlesnake than face the marketing journey behind your book. I know with the release of my short story collection, “The Blueberry Miller Files,” that marketing is already proving to be a daunting task.

For the indie writer especially, marketing probably holds the same catatonic fears that others have of public speaking: You’re putting yourself out there in the world, and you can’t know if you’ll make an utter fool of yourself or not.

But be assured that for all of your fears and confusions about how to market your book, time is definitely on your side in the digital age. In the past, we thought of publicity as it applied to physical books in a bookstore somewhere; where new releases were coming in all the time to replace the old ones clogging up the shelves.

But in this new millennium of publishing, your book now has the opportunity to “live on” forever. No one is going to remove it from Amazon or Smashwords or from your blog, or any other viable site where digital books, PDFs, etc., are available; not even from a publishing on-demand site like Createspace where people can order a physical copy of your book anytime they want to.

So what does this extended “shelf” time mean for you, the author in 2012? It means two things: First, marketing is going to take some time to master in this era of media and publishing; secondly, you now have the time to master it. Thank God.

Are you still shy about stepping into the marketing waters?

Consider this past predicament: In prior times, if you’d been traditionally published it might’ve taken upwards of two years before the public saw your book. Two years of waiting around on your part! (A book these days can be uploaded to Amazon and available for public consumption in less than 48 hours).

So why should it be so daunting to take the same amount of time to build platforms for your book, even after the book is out?

I know why it’s daunting. It’s daunting because it’s confusing, scary and yes, it’s going to take a lot of work.

No worries. Just consider the days and weeks and years after your book is completed as your full-time market training course.

Yes, there will be lots of confusion as to what’s the best way to market, but remember that you’re no longer subjected to a limited time-span to figure it all out. You’re also no longer limited by sales numbers either—well, if you’re self-published you’re not.

Don’t get me wrong. I know authors want to make a living just as much as the next person. And if you’re an indie author who is being published by a small press other than the one you yourself created, well, yes, slow sales could prove to be a an issue to your publisher.

But, for the indie or self-published author who is truly their own boss, you’re no longer in danger of being “dropped” just because your groovy little story collection only sold 50 copies. I’ll say it again: Since you don’t have a publishing company breathing down your back to produce numbers, numbers, and more numbers, forget about sales for a moment; forget about trying to get everything right fresh out of the gate.

Just take the time to write the best book you can, and know that mastering social media will come in due time. It must be done if you want your book to be successful.

But go ahead and take a long breather because time is exactly what you now have plenty of.

 

About this post’s author:

Author A. Yamina Collins runs the popular literary blog Yaminatoday.com. She has been featured on About.com for women in business. The Blueberry Miller Files, a collection of tales about the humor, awkwardness, and tragedy of the human condition, is her first published book. You can read parts of her book on Scribd, or buy it on Amazon.


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