I got into a Twitter discussion on Friday about when it was appropriate to begin marketing your material. Over the past two years, I’ve had five releases and, despite doing very little marketing on my own (being the newbie I was) have enjoyed a moderate amount of success. No, not everyone knows my name, and those who do, I think, are more likely to go, “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of her.” Definitions of success vary across the board, and the sort to which I’m referring falls mostly in the “hey, I made a bit of money and got several good reviews!” category.
All this being said, I’m fairly certain that, had I done a bit more marketing—had I even known where to begin—I would have fared a little better. As everything in life, though, you take what you learn based on experience and interactions and apply them toward future endeavors. Therefore, with any upcoming releases—hell, any upcoming anything—I plan to be vocal. Will Project A be contracted? Well, of course I don’t know that now, but I’d like to think it has a shot. Either way, getting my name out there in the blogoverse, posting excerpts, sharing progress, and yes, doing a bit of self-promo even before I have something to sell will help both generate an audience for my work and boost sales once it does hit the bookshelf.
Some people may see this as overly-confident. I prefer to think I’m hopeful. I’ve also witnessed, over the past few months, how an author with no releases can amount public opinion, reader interest, and respect even before having signed a contract. There is an author I know on Twitter whose debut publication was released in January. She worked her butt off getting acquainted with other authors and keeping potential readers posted on her progress. Before she had anything to sell, her name was all over the place. And because I am also published at her house, I know her release was an instant best seller. That’s not to say you can’t sit back and hope everyone falls in love with your blurb (that’s what I did, after all), but of the two options available, I’d go the other way. You have little to lose.
Authors don’t just market their work, they market themselves. You have to have confidence in order to put your work on the line. Therefore, I encourage all authors, established and aspiring, to get their name “out there.” Befriend other authors, chat with readers, talk about yourself and your work and listen when others do the same. There’s very little being open and friendly can do to hurt your chances with success.
Magic Seasons Romance Book 2 is out!
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