Monday, June 18, 2012

Are you dragging your book down?

A few weeks back, author Tammie Clarke Gibbs asked me to contribute to her new book which is a really practical guide to self-publishing in this day and age.  If you are considering getting into the business, I’d recommend grabbing Tammie’s book.  She is my guest today and I’m grateful that she was able to stop by.


You’ve written an amazing book, dressed it up right with a thorough edit and relatively smart looking cover.  It’s ready to scale the Amazon and Barnes and Noble charts, and you’re ready to see it find its place and make literary history.

You wait and wait some more.  You notice that inferior books are taking major online retailers by storm and leaving your masterpiece in a sorry state buried beneath hundreds of thousands of titles.

You’re baffled, and a little miffed that your impression of the publishing world is merely an old wives tale and that no one shared with you that there was more to success than simply writing a book and publishing it.  There are no throngs of readers lined up to purchase your book.  It’s disappointing to say the least, but then perhaps you’re not as good as you thought and all those people who encouraged you to publish were only humoring you.  Self-doubt creeps in like a thick fog and threatens to strangle the muse right out of your once optimistic being.

Maybe, you’re selling a few copies, but the number is disappointing, and you feel like you are spending an insane amount of time online to do it. You’ve read every how to on the market and have determined that they all say the same thing, and you still don’t understand why you would use Twitter or Facebook.  Overall you’re disappointed in your publishing experience so far, but you can’t give up because every other day you hear of another author who made enough to buy a used car in thirty days.

I hear authors relay similar stories every day on groups I belong to.  Once and for all, let me dispel the notion that to be successful all you have to do is write a good book.  It’s just not true.

In the world of traditional publishing there have always been bestsellers and then there have been mid list books.  What makes one book edited by the same company different than another? We’d like to say it’s the author and how well they write, but if the varying opinions on Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series are any indication that’s simply not true.  What does make a difference is marketing.  Unfortunately, for many authors who now choose to self-publish their book ‘marketing is a dirty word’.  They hate the word ‘marketing’.  I believe this is because they just don’t know anything about how to go about ‘marketing’ their books.  The very thought of being responsible for such an important part of a book’s success that you’ve spent months and possibly year's polishing is enough to send most off the edge.

There are usually two reactions to these scenarios.  “I hate therefore, I won’t do because I really don’t think it will do any good anyway” and “I’m going to do everything. Watch me.”

To clarify you cannot do nothing and expect to see the results you want, and if you don’t get the results you want what does that say for the investment that you have already made in your book?  Personally, I cannot believe that an author will spend literally years in some cases, hundreds of hours of work and then not be willing to put a little cash into making it a book that could actually provide a return on their investment.

If it takes you six months to write a book, and you devote just two hours a day to writing it do you have any idea what the monetary conversion is for those hours in lost wages?  6 x 30 x 2 x $7.50 = $2700  (That’s at a minimum wage) How can you afford NOT to spend a couple hundred dollars if necessary and a few more hours of time to make sure your book has a chance to recoup and turn a profit. Why was it so much easier to give up your time than it is to give up a little of your treasure?

If you’ve been marketing yourself to death, you are missing the mark.  Good marketing is like hunting. You get better results when you use the rifle approach than when you use a shotgun.  Targeting in on what you need to do through sitting down for a couple of hours and determining the priority of necessary tasks is much more effective than doing every little thing you read about in your marketing tips group.  There are tasks that should be done first, and if they are they will increase the odds that other tasks can do their job better.

I understand your frustration. Authors are sick of having to spend several hours a day to market their book only to feel that none of their efforts are providing them with the results they desire.

Often authors are caught up in the flashy promotions which do offer short-term gains, but if you do these promotions and don’t have the foundation to run them off of, they will never provide the consistency of sales necessary to take you where you want to go. You have to check the tires and have the car serviced BEFORE you head off on vacation.

There are different types of advertising regardless of your product.  For instance, you don’t buy a billboard to advertise a sale that is going to last a week, but a billboard can accomplish several objectives nonetheless. It creates exposure that will help when you run those short term promotions.

Learning how to prioritize your marketing by establishing a solid foundation will give you long-term results long after the tasks are complete.

If you’re interested in how to lay a solid foundation and regain precious time to write you may be interested in the first book in the 8 Hour Series.  8 HOURS TO JUMP START YOUR CAREER:  A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS was designed to be different. It is broken down into hours instead of chapters and includes actionable tasks that every author should do to assure long-term results and establish a solid foundation from which to build their author brand and give their books the best possible opportunity to succeed.

Tammie Clarke Gibbs is the Kindle Bestselling Author of these books:
ISLAND OF SECRETS, a Time-Travel Gothic Romance
COUNTERFEIT KISSES, a Historical Romantic Suspense
8 Hours to Jump Start Your Career: A Step-By-Step Guide for Self-Published Authors

See the complete list of her books by visiting her website at http://www.tammieclarkegibbs.com/
@tammiegibbs
8 HOURS FACEBOOK PAGE
Have questions email Tammie at tammiecgibbs@yahoo.com

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