I published my last book over a year ago, and I stupidly did not market it very well. I debuted it at a small press expo and I did my usual social networking, but that was about it. And now, as I’m gearing up for my next book release, I’m left wondering what has changed in the landscape of self-publishing in terms of marketing.
Granted, I’m writing this post before I do any research. It’s kind of my way of getting everything out of my head while at the same time hit my personal deadline of getting a post written. I’m sneaky like that.
Back in 2012 when I released Blood of the Mother, people suggested several things that I haven’t seen much of these days. One was to make a book trailer, a short teaser video for your book. I saw a spike in these around that time, but never did one myself, and now I haven’t seen one in a long time. Unless I’m looking in the wrong places, they seem to have gone the way of the buffalo.
Another tip was to get reviewed by a book review blog. This was something that I did try, and it was a major pain in the butt. For one thing, the landscape had become so bloated with book review blogs that audiences were spread pretty thin, leaving me to wonder who actually had readers and who didn’t. Another problem was that more than half the blogs I found weren’t accepting any submissions because of taking on too many of them already, and of the remaining blogs many of them had guidelines that I didn’t meet (no self-published works, no fantasy genre, etc.). And nowadays, I rarely hear of anyone talking about trying to get reviewed anymore, leaving me to wonder if this is no longer a viable solution at all.
Social networking is, of course, still around, but does it do much good? Facebook’s algorithms, powered by greed, keep many fans from seeing anything posted on a given page. I’m doubtful that much good marketing comes of Twitter these days because of the sheer number of people tweeting constantly. Tumblr is only good for silly pictures and television show/movie fandoms. Google+ is just an vacant lot full of chirping crickets. So where do I go next? Is there anywhere new to go? Or is social networking a dead end, too?
So I’m left with the odious task of figuring out how to market my next book in a world that has changed by leaps and bounds in just the last three or four years. But then again, I have to look at the fact that I’d be completely out of luck if it wasn’t for the internet. While many of the things I mentioned may not pan out 100%, at least I can aim for a minimal percentage while figuring out where to concentrate my efforts.
And I am aware that by mentioning the word “marketing” and using it as a tag, I’ll probably get a bunch of likes on this post and new followers with no intentions of ever paying attention to this blog or reading my books. But at least I’ll feel popular for about ten seconds.