The hardest part of being an author? Marketing.
Every author has had some dingbat tell them “I should write a book.” Good thing most of those books don’t get written; was the world really clamoring to hear Tales From The Construction Site? Drama of the Divorced Dentist? How I Murdered My Boss And Got Away With It?
For most people, writing is the hard part. Not for authors. They are one verbose pack of rabid squirrels, clawing at each other to get back to the keyboard and the virtual worlds they have created there.
No, if you can write, the challenge is marketing.
Eek! Eek! Eek!
I’ve met a lot of master winemakers over the years, and they keep to one adage: make what sells. This is slightly more than the pearl of obviousness that it first appears to be. A winemaker can make all the sweet dessert wines she wants, but if nobody buys them, she is SOL. So the smart wine makers make what sells, which allows them to make what they want.
Now, winemaking isn’t the same as writing books, although from the amount of wine consumed by writers you’d never know it. Even though we write for a reason other than to sell books, we want our books to get sold.
Right now, I’m making the wine I want to drink. I hope it sells, but if it doesn’t, I have the pride of doing my best at blah, blah, blah. You almost can see the doors of that winery slamming shut and large men bringing chains.
Because marketing. People need to know about your stuff.
Tips to keep your winery and bookery open and prospering.
- Write what you love AND garbage that might sell. Why not do another ripoff of Hunger Games? If you’re going to be a whore, be the best whore in the house! Guessing at the popular theme of the day would be soul-crushing to most writers, so tread lightly, Binkie – if it is the only path you choose.
- Shout that shit from the rooftops. And on Faceblurb and Twatter and the rest of it. Where does your target audience play? Be there. It’s not stalking, it’s industrial reconnaissance.
- Ask other authors what works for them, then do that. We’re happy to help; just ask nicely. And follow us on Facebooger.
- Place small ads. $25 may be all you need! Each book your ad sells is a rabid squirrel of a new fan who may buy your other books. Let other authors tell you what ads worked for them.
Embrace the inner marketer that is you! As you try some of these things, a few will work – and you won’t hate them so much. Positive reinforcementize yourself, Binkie! You can do it!
After all, the winemaker didn’t say to ONLY make the wine that sells. He was doing his blog at the time.
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