Last week I talked about the diminished discoverability of books. I’d like to branch off from there and now talk about this from the perspective of a writer.
A very long time ago, I had the opportunity to meet Suzanne Brockmann. Suz gave me a great piece of advice: get a business degree or be prepared to hire a business manager.
She didn’t come right out and say that, but as she had her business manager with her at the event, I got the idea.
So I did what she said. I got a business degree with a concentration in marketing, and then I had an entire career in marketing before I said that was rubbish and started doing this book thing full time.
But this is the point: as a writer, you need to write the book and sell it, too.
So if you get a business degree, great. If you get hands on experience in marketing, great. The important part is that you understand you will need to market the book. As I said in last week’s post, the discoverability of books is shrinking as self publishing floods the market with content at the same time the book market shrinks from the disappearance of bookstores and the battle of low price points.
This is such an important factor that I even fired up another arm of my publishing company to offer these services to other writers. I heard from too many writers that they didn’t have time for the marketing or didn’t understand what to do. I did it for nearly ten years as a day job, and marketing is second nature to me. But for some writers, marketing does not even enter the picture.
My advice: if you don’t know what to do and are spending too much time trying to do it, hire a professional.
Be sure to get testimonials or reviews from others. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of writers getting swindled.
Second part of my advice: marketing is not hard nor is there a secret formula. Learn how to do it yourself. Find blogs that talk about it, learn social media, build a newsletter list, add links to the back of your books directing readers to the next book. You can do this. The hardest part is deciding where your time is best spent: marketing or writing the next book.