The other day when I was putting my lunch in the break room refrigerator of my day job, a coworker said to me, ‘I didn’t know you had your own website, Trish. That’s cool.’ My website is specifically devoted to my writing and I have a rather large sticker on the back windshield of my car that advertises my site.
The observation about my website was made by someone I’ve worked with for a little over two years now and it perfectly illustrates one of my biggest shortcomings as a writer; self-promotion. I’m not just bad at self-promotion, I’m terrible at it.
There’s a common misconception among aspiring writers and non-writers that the publisher is going to invest in marketing your book. The reality is much different. Large publishers do have marketing budgets, but those are typically reserved for already established authors. There will be little to no money invested in the first time author. Small publishers just don’t have the budget to promote the author. Whether large or small, most publishers expect authors to have a marketing plan by the time their novel is ready to go to print.
I have a marketing plan. It’s a really nice one. I worked hard on it and it’s a good looking document if I do say so myself. Not only do I have it, but I’ve actually implemented some of the strategies on the plan. I created an author website. I have social media accounts which I update regularly. I’ve solicited reviews for each book I’ve published.
I’ve even done some things on my marketing plan that weren’t there. I’ve had created and posted social media ads. I’ve done a virtual book tour. I’ve joined online reading communities to try and expand my audience. I even started a small street team to get my most faithful readers to help me generate an online buzz about my work.
Yet no matter what I do, that best-selling author status continues to elude me. I am apparently either a terrible writer or not doing the right things to get the word out about my books. For the sake of my ego, I’m going to say it’s the latter and not the former. It’s not that I’m a terrible writer. I’m just not good at promoting my work. Only time will tell if I improve on that. In the meantime, I’m throwing myself on your mercy.
Please read my work. If you read it, post a review online. It doesn’t have to be a big one. It could even be a one liner; something like ‘Best book I’ve ever read!’ If you have a Twitter account, follow me and favorite and retweet my tweets. If you have a Facebook account, like my author page and like and share my updates. And finally, spread the word. Tell your friends and family how great I am, or rather how great my work is.