I love to write. You might not know this about me. (I keep it to myself most of the time.) But I freaking love writing. When it comes to putting together a story or scripting a scene, I am all about it. When book marketing comes into play?
I usually run for the hills.
Book marketing and writing is not a good mix sometimes.
Truth be told, I would rather hide in my basement than try to sell you on my amazingly, fantabulous novel.
Unfortunately, book marketing is a fact of life and it falls solely on an author’s shoulders. Unless you’re James Patterson or Stephen King. (Someday, maybe?)
Creative vs. Analytical – ROUND 1 – Fight!
Both sides have to come to play in order to make this work. As Soriya Greystone tends to say (though without a full understanding like my three year old) “Balance is the key.”
Writing full time doesn’t get the word out about your work so eventually all you’re really doing is talking to yourself. Not the worst thing in the world. (I hear padded cells are cozy after awhile.) You have to ask yourself what’s the point?
On the flip side, book marketing can and will take over your schedule completely. And I mean COMPLETELY. There is always going to be some social network to join or a promotional site to list your work with so it gets more visibility. All well and good but there has to be a limit.
Pros to adding book marketing to your schedule.
- Book marketing can create an incredible amount of excitement. Putting your work out there in front of other people is terrifying. It scares the holy hell out of me every single day. Talking it up, however, is a great way to build excitement not only for potential readers but for yourself. Delving into the background of a story helps recall why it mattered to you in the first place and why it deserves to be read by others.
- A motivating force. Promoting a book tends to come with its own deadline. You’ve talked about a project so it better damn well see the light of day at some point. Knowing there is expectation out there, even if it is just your mother, is the creative drive you need to complete the work.
Cons, the other side of the coin.
- Book marketing can stifle the creative process. Worrying about the sales of your last book can hamper your drive to finish (or even start) your next one. Stop refreshing the sales report on KDP (Guilty…) and start writing!
- Making story decisions based on the dreaded “what sells” mentality. When creative influences become mired in ongoing trends in the hopes of writing the next bestseller, the project in question tends to end up less than fulfilling on any creative level. Making the almighty dollar, while a wonderful goal that even I hope to attain one fine day, means nothing if what we create is passionless.
Ways to mix book marketing and the writing side of things.
- Keep them separate. Write during the week and market on the weekend. Or vice versa. Let your brain stay in creative overdrive during a draft and then focus on boosting sales numbers on older projects. You’re still focused on all aspects of your business (it is a business after all) but not at the expense of future product.
- Batch ahead of schedule. Book promos weeks or months in advance. Schedule the hell out of your time. Whatever it takes to keep your mind on the task at hand so you can be as creative as possible and deliver your readers another excellent book to enjoy.
All in all mixing book marketing with your creative endeavors is the ultimate juggling game. Learn it and learn to love it.
Thanks for reading.