Five years after I wrote the novel Contraband, I stopped editing it long enough to submit it to publishers. After a wake-up call, I sent a query to a black publisher who fell in love with the story. While it didn't do well in terms of sales, the book got some good reviews. Since the rights came back to me, I've re-edited, gotten a new cover and put it back on the market. It still isn't doing well, but at this point in time, I'm not going to have a meltdown over the lack of sales.
Although many of us subscribe to the view that the best marketing tool is to have a string of good books to satisfy our readers' appetite, I have found that in order to make a living at writing, books need more than just 'being' in existence. When I don't promote, sales drop off and that's a fact of life many writers know and accept. For me, promoting rates behind writing a blurb and synopsis, but it's an essential part of the writing business.
Lately, I've taken a more active part in the writing groups where I hang out, particularly on Facebook. Promoting books way ahead of their release dates is something I've neglected to do over the years. A strong pre-release strategy works in generating buzz for a book. I'm guilty of doing a slipshod job of promoting books before release and then go silent maybe a month or so after the launch date.
Do I hear you saying recipe for failure? It is.
There are many free, yet interesting ways to promote a book. One of the chief ways that works is creating attractive teasers. I've often thought that while I'm writing a book it's too early to do this and that I will feel pressured to get the book done faster. The fact is, I'm at the point in this business where I'd rather take the time to produce a good book than rush to put out something that will disappoint readers. I believe that every book I write should be my best.
While I'm preparing the next book, I'll be running an experiment. I'll get samples and teasers going. I also need to get the cover done. Can you say 'late starter'? I might even take the pre-order route on Amazon since I've had a few people asking about the release date of this novel.
This is what is wonderful about the indie life. We are free to take different routes to our destination with the knowledge that as long as we are willing to work hard and consistently and aim high, our efforts will pay dividends.
What marketing plans do you execute at least six months before your release date?