Monday, September 10, 2012

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, September 10, 2012 20 comments
image source: morguefile.com
The past five days have been wonderfully, horridly busy. I at last had in hand all the requisite files to produce ebook versions of my novel.  There was no reason to not barrel ahead and get my book on sales channels. And then a funny thing happened.

I started thinking like a traditionally published writer. Having total panic attacks that I hadn't built buzz properly, that I'd put my book out into the world when only one of my early reviewers had even finished it. Horrors. I read that so-and-so had daily guest posts for six weeks and alarms are screeching in my head that omigosh I have to plan everything NOW. Have to come out of the gates fast in order to not fail.

Um, no, I don't. And anyone else who self-publishes, you don't either. Traditional publishing might apply pressure to sell well in just a few months, but self-published books stay available for years. No one will yank your title if you sell only 50 copies in the first six months. Going slower might enable you more time to keep producing new work and actually get a little sleep too. You have years to build an audience, so take the time to have meaningful interactions with readers, rather than blitz-and-run.

As a book consumer, I find it wearying to hear the same message over and over blitz style.  I'm much more won by a few quality posts of the non-hype variety. I've seen some authors do well with chart rush projects, but burn through their contacts too quickly to keep any kind of steady interest in their books. Your mileage, as one of my CPs says,  may vary.

It was in corresponding with her that I remembered a promise I'd made myself when I started on this journey. A promise that I would do what felt right for me and not succumb to this-or-that marketing trend of the moment.

As much as I'm excited to share my story with readers far and wide, I don't plan a blitz approach. It would make me crazy and make you sick of me. I hope only to share posts here and there, as folks are willing to have me. Posts with unique content. About the grief process, about research, about setting, about third-culture kids, about ghosts, about perceiving versus judging, about father-daughter relationships, about mannequins and the uncanny, or about another topic that interests you.

If you'd like me to visit you during my ramble, please to use the form here.

What do you think of the current marketing blitz approach? As a reader and book buyer, how much does buzz sway you? What promises have you made to yourself about your writing or publishing approach?

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bish. Quality over quantity, right?

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  2. Buzz does not sway me at all. As a matter of fact it turns me off, which is why I never did it when I published. I think I have 4 total interviews to my name, and 2 guests posts over 6 months.

    However, that being said, with nothing to reccomend me, I uploaded all my files to publish and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

    If you want to publish, do. You don't need a giant blitz, but for those of they who want to look at your book as you talk about it, you might want to upload.

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    1. It's nice to have the freedom to do what feels right for our work without external pressures. Genuine word of mouth takes time, and if I've patient enough to wait this long (finished this ms in 2008) to get it to print myself, why suddenly become a frenzied maniac? Just ain't me.

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  3. Buzz and marketing hype is so time consuming to get going and then very time consuming to keep up! We live in a busy busy world and I think we should all think about where we want to spend most of our time and organise accordingly.

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    1. So true--where do we want to spend our time? An excellent question to ask.

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  4. The blitz is exhausting as a reader to read and wade through. I like the idea of spreading it out.

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    1. With so many messages being shouted to us, it can be overwhelming. And I know that quality over quantity is where my heart is.

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  5. I like your approach, and it's how I have tried to approach my books, as well, even being with a small publisher. It has been really difficult not to get swept up in feeling like if I don't do well at first, I won't do well at all. But I have watched my fan base slowly increase with each book, and I'm learning what works and what doesn't -- for me and my publisher, at least. :)

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    1. It is such a learning curve, and that's part of what has me applying the brakes. I'm still learning, so the more time I give myself, the more my skills increase.

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  6. I agree! I don't think blitzes and blog tours are needed! And our writing/blogging circle is so small that it only puts a dent into Amazon. The more time goes by, the more I realize that word of mouth is the only true marketing. Unless Amazon promotes you! :) That works.

    But just doing the rounds with our blogging friends doesn't help much. I love this new approach. Much less pressure and more time to write!

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    1. Having our blog friends' support helps to a degree, but building a wide audience really means reaching to every circle of people we know and then beyond it. I know my time is better spent seeking out sites of grief, for example, where people interested in my topic naturally gather.

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  7. Great post!! I need to be reminded of it all the time. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Connie. That's what's great about being in a community--we keep each other on the rails.

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  8. I think you are doing all the right things, Laurel. And I wish you luck on this adventure. It's all a learning experience, no matter what avenue of publishing you pursue. We all get to learn from you :) Happy to host you at my blog. These forms are blocked at my office (oh the wonders of firewalls) so I can't fill it out :)

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    1. Thanks so much Melissa. If only you saw backstage you might think differently! LOL.

      And thanks for being willing to host me during my ramble. I'll be in touch soon.

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  9. Isn't it wonderful? LOL! I was kind of feeling that way myself for a few minutes, but then I realized, Hey! I'M the only person who's going to know if my book doesn't meet some sales expectation (which doesn't exist, btw). And like you said, I'm the one who'll decide when or if it "goes away."

    It's really cool, yes? :D

    I've got one book review obligation before you, and then I can't wait to dive in! <3

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    1. It's easy to let what others do drive us, sometimes in directions we don't really need to go.

      This path is all about YOU having control over the product and the pace, so enjoy it!

      Can't wait to hear whatcha think of NG. I'm about 1/3 thru your new release. I have some day job obligations slowing me down, but I'll review as soon as I can.

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  10. Congratulations on your release! And you're right - there are no shelves to pull ebooks from, so nothing wrong with a slow and steady approach :-)

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  11. I think it's hard to get out of the 'big' launch approach. It's so important in the traditional world. We see ourselves in competition with the books released in traditional publishing. But you're right...we have a long tail with self publishing. We no longer have to rush to try and get the word out. instead we have the luxury of being able to build an audience over time. :)

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