That's me in the photo. Standing on a corner, in Winslow, Arizona...or so the song goes, I believe. And just like an intersection, book marketing has many paths to offer. In today's crowded book market, all published authors whether traditional or indie must promote their books if they want a chance to get noticed. If you’ve been around the publishing industry for a while, then you know marketing our own work is not optional, when you compete with a million other writers for diminishing shelf space and the attention of readers. It is a necessity in order to survive in an over-saturated market.
Of course, there are some differences in marketing for self-published and traditionally published authors. Traditional publishers often budget some marketing money for each book they bring out. However, most self-published authors do not have an endless supply of marketing dollars budgeted to promote their writings. No matter the venue of publishing we choose, we'll have to put forth our own time and and in many cases our own money to market.
This, of course, brings up the question: Which marketing methods are most worth a writer's effort, time and money? Book signings, blog tours, giveaways, social media, website...so many options are available. We apparently do not wish to waste either on methods which may not bring enough of a return on investment. Over the past few years of marketing my writings I have learned: There is no easy way to determine precisely how effective any one effort might be. It would therefore not be wise to put all of our eggs in one basket.
We need multiple marketing strategies working for us at the same time. Naturally, we want to be sensible how we spend our limited budget and time. We simply cannot do everything. I try to pick a few new things to do with each book, preferably without getting into a rut doing the same ol thing. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula or one technique that works better than all others. If there is one, then I have not found it yet! I believe the key is to think outside the box and to stay relevant. It is important to keep promoting a little bit every day, with the hope that all of the hard work will eventually pay off.
Have you found any marketing techniques that have been particularly useful? In your experience, what helps the most?