Aug14

The trick to marketing your book

Silver_Sword_Animation

Is to not market it at all.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now but I haven’t been able to find the words to validate and justify what I’m about to tell you. So rather than focus on my own experience, I will share with you stories from other authors and my plans on what I will be doing for my own books.

So, for starters. What is the one thing that all newly published authors struggle with?

Getting exposure.

We slave for several months reading and re-reading and editing and re-editing our novel until it is picture perfect polished. We spend money on having programs to format our book, make book covers, ship books for reviews, and then wait patiently for the ratings and reviews to come in. Naturally, we want our books to hit the New York Best Sellers list and get that massive exposure that we want and need. Some authors don’t even want the money. They just want their stories to be read.

It’s not difficult to imagine just how disappointing it is when that doesn’t happen. Sales numbers toy with your emotions. At first they may start off with 5 or 10 sales which looks promising. Then, a few months go by and you watch your sales slowly start to dwindle down to zero until there is a flat line of income. It’s unbearably frustrating to sink thousands of dollars into your work of love only to have people say, “You wrote a book? I had no idea.” I spammed it on facebook, twitter, tumblr a bajillion times you say, yet somehow it still never got noticed. Or maybe it did and everyone is just secretly afraid to tell you that your work sucks.

Well, I’m here to tell you to stop spamming your social media and try an approach that doesn’t involve spamming everyone to buy your book. Think about it. How many people click on SKIP AD on youtube? How many people ignore press releases and advertisements for the sake of getting to the content they actually want quicker? Are you a part of this group? Of course you are, we all are. No one wants to sit through an ad of the latest yogurt craze or re-financing your house. Why would they want to sit through your book ad?

Then think about Twitter when you see this on your feed: “MY NEW SCI-FI ACTION BOOK IS AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON! SHE THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD, SHE WAS DEAD WRONG! 3.99 ONLINE RETAILERS.”

Do you honestly click on those links or do you ignore them? If you’re like me, you ignore them and read tweets from people who aren’t trying to sell you crap.
“So what’s the solution? How am I supposed to get people to read my book if they don’t know about it?”

My answer and it’s the answer from Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Hugh Howey, and other successful authors: “Write more.”

Instead of spending all of your time advertising on facebook, tweeting on twitter, figuring out where to advertise your book. Focus all of your efforts and energy on writing more books and stories.

Could you write one book that spawns a trilogy and ends up becoming massively successful due to filling in a niche at the right place at the right time, Stephanie Meyer? Twilight.

Could you write a book as an 11 year old kid, go touring across the country have a friend whose father works in the publishing industry and become an overnight success? Christopher Paolini. Eragon.

You could do all these things, sure. But then you’ll be basing your success entirely on luck.

Or you could do what Hugh Howey, the writer of WOOL did and focus on writing the next story. He didn’t do any marketing for his book, period. It took him five years for WOOL to become successful and not once did he do any marketing. Have a listen to this podcast if you don’t believe me: Hugh Howey Interview on Youtube

How did Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin get their start?

They wrote.

They wrote when they were penniless. They wrote when they worked at their go nowhere jobs. They wrote when they were journalists/book reviewers. And they read books from all different types of genres from different kinds of authors.

These widely successful authors got to where they are because they continued to write regardless of what was happening in their life. Stephen King almost threw away his first novel Carrie and J.K. Rowling had to live off state welfare trying to figure out how she’d have enough money to buy her next meal.

None of these authors had their success handed to them. They worked for it by reading and writing.

So here I am, Wilmar Luna with only two books under my name. Moaning and whining about how The Silver Ninja hasn’t been an overnight sensation like I wanted it to be. I’ve spent so much time sending out e-mails, tweets, review copies, all for the sake of promoting two books.

But as I learned from watching a livestream of Stanley Lau | Artgerm (Artist and owner of the studio that did the beautiful artwork for my 2nd book) his success came from practice, practice, practice. He drew in hundreds of different styles and continued to improve his artwork with each style he experimented with. He created the pepper project and gained international recognition from the artist community simply by practicing his craft and being GOOD at it.

AH and there’s the common theme that runs through everything in life.

If you want people to follow your work then you need to be good at it!

You either need to be a social media guru and focus all your efforts on marketing yourself and your books. Or you need to be a good writer who continues to write more and more stories.

Most of the success by popular authors is driven by the amount of content they write. Stephen King probably could have lived comfortably off his paycheck on Carrie alone, but you never would have known who he was if he didn’t continue to write more and more stories.

Think about it.

Even Twilight was 3 books (dreadful writing). Could you imagine if Harry Potter was just one book? Game of Thrones? Lord of the Rings? There would be no resolution to anything!

Why waste my time trying to get sales on two books when I could be talking about a five book saga and other side stories? I’m going to take away all of my focus on the marketing and put it back into writing where it belongs. Sure I’ll tweet or post about sales and will sell the book to anyone who would be interested, but a majority of my energy will be put into writing. I want to experiment with different genres, different voices, different styles, and I want to share them for free on my blog and Wattpad. I’ve discovered that what I want out of my life is to be able to touch people’s hearts and emotions and to regale them with fascinating stories.

I want to be a story teller not a social media guru and you should be too if you want to be a writer.

If you’re thinking of becoming an author yourself, it is in your best interest to not write because you want to make a quick buck. As I wrote above, your success will either be based on luck or hard work. If you don’t put in the time to write, to practice, to read, to DO, then don’t waste your time with a writing career. It’s not for you. It’s one thing to say you WANT to write, it’s another thing to actually DO IT.

If you want to get that recognition, then you need to put in the time to read, learn, and write. This is common advice given by well known authors and indie authors. Do not think that you will be an exception to the rule. Even the crappiest writers have more than one book to their name. Don’t waste your time being a social media networking master.

Just write and read.

 

Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games.
Buy his books here: https://www.thesilverninja.com/purchase/
Wilmar Luna

Latest posts by Wilmar Luna (see all)

%d bloggers like this: