Hi-ya! I have been wondering which is more important, doing constant marketing or getting the next book out as soon as possible. This might not be a contradiction to some, but for me, marketing takes energy, focus, and time away from my writing. As you may have noticed, I have not focused on marketing as much as I should, but today I heard someone to make a buying decision they have to have seen your product seven times. That is a lot of blasting your book/product on social media to reach all your core readers. I haven’t done that. What I have been doing is being part of different communities and creating an online footprint for my pen name and for me. But this strategy of mine shows on my sales dashboard (translate: not enough sales.) Can I continue ignoring marketing/promoting the way I have been doing so far?
If I base the answer on my sales, then the simple answer is no. I naively thought I could leave the marketing to Amazon Ads as I read they worked for some authors, but they aren’t working. I’m not the only one saying that. They are broken. I will leave them on as there is no monetary setback. I have to acknowledge that the current way I’m building up my readership isn’t working or is too slow if I want to eat. Don’t worry my husband is supporting me now, but if that wasn’t the case I should look for work, and doing that while I try to write, advertise, manage, and wear all the other self-publisher’s hats. I am awed by those who do this while they work. I’m home and yet the amount of work this need is tiring. Cheers for all of you who can work and write at the same time. I think I have to take lessons with marketing and think my “strategy” over. (I’m writing this on my notebook while I’m traveling on a train to the capital city and I’m horrified as I look around. The whole cart is full of people, and everyone is looking at their phones even when they are with someone. What the crit! Our love for mobile phones scares me sometimes. Will it turn us into a mute and socially awkward civilization with a short attention span? Ignore me. The scene just stunned me.)
Then again I could argue, that building goodwill and community around me as a person is enough marketing for my book/s, but both of us know I would kid myself. The thing is, creating a presence is a slow way to do this in the world where everything happens in now. And even if I’m happy with the slow build up I still need to tell for my readers that my book is out there apparently seven times before they will consider buying it and convince them it is worth their time. This would be the right time to say I got my first review on Amazon and it is five stars and not done by friends or relatives or anyone I know, yay! Also a blogger and fellow writer Lana Gray wrote a review, and it made me feel giddy. (Here it is.) I should tell people that my paperback is out and go buy it. All this means I have to face the fact I’m not doing enough. I have to market my book on Twitter, offer it to bloggers, and do the rest necessary to get people to notice it. My brain keeps asking why in a whiny voice. Maybe I should go hide under my table as soon as I get home and hope that the world will end tomorrow. Where is an asteroid when you need one?
(Okay, this is getting weird and not only in my head where it is weird all the time. I know I’m a bit paranoid, but not this paranoid. People are staring at me because I’m writing in my notebook. They must think I’m an obstructive and dangerous person. I better get my phone out of my bag and pretend I’m one of them before they lyn—talk to me. Sometimes people do. I have this friendly face and strangers think it is an invitation to share their deep dark secrets with me.)
Why I’m not doing what I should do if I know what is expected of me to succeed? If you remember I started this blog with marketing positive posts, writing how important it is and now I’m not doing what I should do. I think I’m drowning under the workload and I haven’t found the right balance what I should do in a day. I keep pushing important things for later like creating an email list and finding bloggers to whom to give my book and the rest. Here is what my day looks like:
5am.-6am. Wandering around the house, trying to get breakfast ready and feeding the cats.
6am.-7am. Breakfast and reading the news.
7am.-8am. Writing my second novel.
8am.-9am. Tweet the Word of the Day and play Invisible Inc.
9am.-10am. Continue writing my second novel.
10am.-11.30am. Yoga, swimming, walk, or another form of exercise.
11.30am.-12am. Preparing food and (stopping by a grocery store, twice a week.)
12am.-1pm. Eat the horrible thing I made.
1pm.-2pm. Writing my second novel, usually too tired to concentrate. Wondering if I should take a nap, but I won’t allow myself.
2pm.-3pm. Social media: Reddit, Goodreads, Discord, write a blog post. My brain still insists it is not working properly and feels the pressure of even glancing towards the social media outlets.
3pm.-4pm. Snack, usually soy yogurt with oatmeal apple and honey. As you may have noticed, I’m a creature of habits.
4pm.-5pm. Writing a PC game story. Have a good flow after my snack.
5pm.-6pm. Another attempt to be social on social media, looking several outlets at the same time. Getting agitated and swamped.
6pm.-7pm. Free time.
7pm.-8pm. Preparing and eating porridge.
8pm.-11pm. Reading books.
And here we go again.
And as I write this down, I see my problem. I do this six day a week and only rest on Sunday (not because of religious reasons. It is just a handy day not to do anything.) Even when I do all that, I often feel like I’m not doing enough. I should do as my husband has been telling me and do one social media outlet a day and one managerial task a day and maybe cut down my writing and not jump around subjects. Then maybe my brain wasn’t so busy all the time and could produce something without coercion and do marketing without making it a huge overwhelming thing.
The answer to the question I asked at the beginning of this post is both. I should find the middle ground between those two tasks as I can’t write all the time and hope what I produce is good enough and I can’t devote my time on communities, marketing, or social media as then I wouldn’t do anything substantial. It would be just claptrap. The thing is I’m not sure if I can find that middle ground as my brain is a slave-driver. When I’m not writing or doing all the things necessary, it screams insults at me as it doesn’t understand that downtime is the path to creativity. (Yeah, my brain is twisted and horrific. Does anyone want to switch?)
I have to get off the train. Thank you for reading!
P.S. A couple next to me put down their phones and stared into nothingness together in the journey’s midway. Not all is lost. Not even when the husband tried to read what I wrote. Luckily my dyslexia makes my writing messy, so he is completely ignorant I’m writing about them and not about world domination. They’re Pinky and the Brain…