What do these three things have in common? They all involve a certain level of satisfaction and pain. Today, we’ll talk about marketing. When we started writing, we first went the traditional route: researching publishers of our genres, excel spreadsheets of submittal requirements, writing query letters, synopses, cover letters, printing excerpts, self-addressed stamped envelopes, etc. And then you wait. And you wait. Finally, you get a “Not right for us at this time” letter and rarely, you get a nibble. It was exciting to get something back that wasn’t a rejection but it came with a hook. We needed a marketing plan for the publisher.
Wait, a marketing plan? Isn’t that what the publisher does for the author? Most of the time for the small presses, not anymore. Unless you get picked up by one of the few big publishers, you are expected to do your own marketing. This began another round of research and exploration. Marketing is a big job and to have to do it yourself and then be expected to give up 65% of your royalties to the publisher seems egregious. Odds are good that we will never be picked up by one of the big ones. Horror and science fiction are definitely niche markets. Once we’d seen how things worked, we chose to go the self-publishing route. (We’ll talk about the nuts and bolts of self-publishing in a future blog post.)
Today’s marketing of self-published books largely takes place on the internet. It is thankless, time consuming, and every day, a new website for books pops up. In the last few days alone (and this list is not all-inclusive), we joined or updated the following sites:
Amazon Author Page
Independent Author Network
We haven’t even started to market our print books. That campaign will launch this summer when Anne is back in the States for a visit. We’ve only begun to publish and market the books. It’s been 2 1/2 months since we’ve started and we’re feeling good about the process. But we realize that unless a big publisher comes down and swoops us up, we will be doing most of the work ourselves. It’s not all glamorous writing as we sip our coffee and plot our murders. It is a job, albeit a rewarding one.
What’s in the future? We’re over 45,000 words into our next Renna Olsen novel and we’re making progress with the sequel to Exiles of Gaia. That is where our focus lies this week.
Spring is in the air. Get out and enjoy it!
Anne, Nancy and Eric