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Books creativity Fantasy fiction growth

Essay on self marketing.

Instead of writing, I have been studying. My research includes a plethora of books, websites I’ve found, webinars, and social media threads. What am I studying?

By now, you know that I am an author, independently publishing my books on Amazon and all of various eBook outlets and distributors. I also have some of my books available as paperbacks. I created a website to promote my creative works. Yes, I am also an artist. I paint and draw for fun. I don’t actively sell my art.

I focus my attentions on my writings. I write creative fiction. My stories revolve around mystery and suspense stories of an erotic nature. Some tell me that one series of my books are akin to science fiction. Frankly, I was surprised by that comment. I never thought of them that way. They are set thousands of years in our future but does that make them sci-fi?My other series of books tend to focus on criminal acts of assault, torment, and murder. These books are not science fiction.

What I am not, is a marketer. In all of my education, I have never studied marketing. I don’t know how to market myself, my products nor even my career. I have a master’s degree in Information Technology. I never took even a single course on how to market myself. How is that even possible?

Today, I am studying marketing. More specifically, I am studying how to market myself and my books. Frankly, it’s a daunting task. I’ve encountered setbacks, mistakes, and minor successes. I’ve spent thousands of dollars hiring marketing people, test adverts, rebuilding my websites, and learning.

I’ll be the first to admit. I don’t know what I’m doing. I make mistakes, lots of mistakes. I am slowly learning. It’s frustrating. I listen to experts. I work hard to implement the lessons I’ve learned. I am intelligent. I know my mission. I found good people. I found people who don’t get me or my vision.

Taste of Honey book cover 3D
The Taste of Honey

I found people who tried to tell me to sell to a target audience that I instinctively knew was wrong. In one such lesson, I was advised to target the LGBT community because they were simply a smaller target group but big enough to make progress in new sales. Was this wrong?

No, I don’t think so. The problem? Since my stories include women kissing and having sex together, made the stories perfect in targeting the LGBT community.

The trouble was, these characters are heterosexual. In the universe I created, they simply don’t have any stigmas against same-sex intercourse. They don’t share today’s morality related to sex and relationships. This person didn’t get it. Fine. Move on. Lesson learned.

Today, I am studying. I am researching. I am learning. In short, I’m trying. I am determined. I’m opening a new chapter in my training. Come what may, it will work or not. I’ll keep on trying, working, and figuring it out. Wish me luck.

Categories
Analytics Authors Books Writer Writing

Please Shut Up! Huh?

I read a blog post this morning by author Delilah S. Dawson. I found it quite interesting and I think you will too. I encourage you to read it. Here’s the link to the post.

http://www.whimsydark.com/blog/2015/4/13/please-shut-up-why-self-promotion-as-an-author-doesnt-work

She writes about the difference in pushing a book upon the audience and pulling them to the book. She makes a lot of sense. It’s a lesson I am slowly learning. In reading her commentary, I couldn’t help but smile and agree. My social media feeds are full of book covers, promotions and statements that boil down to one message. BUY ME. Sorry, but like Delilah, I skip right over them as I scroll across my feeds. About the only time I stop and look is to study the message and see if there is something in it to pull me in. I’m usually disappointed and move on.

For me, the single most important line in Delilah’s post is:

“The recipe seems to be GREAT BOOK + HARD WORK + TIME + LUCK.”

I can control three out of four of them and I hope I am lucky enough to rise enough to be truly noticed.

I will be the first to admit, that I’m not very good budgeting my time with my writing. I spend way too much time screwing around trying to make a name for myself, promoting my stories and I am not spending enough time writing the stories that I really love. I have outlines for more than a dozen waiting to be written. Argggghhhhh.

I must do something about that. I need to get back to creative writing.

Case in point.

Until recently, I promoted my ‘Mona Bendarova Adventures’ much in the way Delilah hates. They didn’t sell. Watching their performance, I found that my efforts were wasted and might have even pushed my audience away from me. I pulled the promotions altogether.

Another series of books I wrote, ‘Her Client Trilogy’, sell well enough to make me smile. Sales are not fantastic, in fact, they are mediocre when compared to my favorite authors. Yet, to me, they make me happy. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t seen multiple sales of the books. Whoo hoo!

The funny thing is, which surprises me to no end, I do no promotion of the books. They sell on many platforms, all over the world. What I know is that they are a product of ‘Hard Work’, a ‘Good Story’, and lots of ‘Time’ writing and polishing the stories.

I am still trying to figure out the formula. I suspect that as soon as I do, the formula will have already changed.

So, I’m going back to writing, creatively and writing what I love.