I’m a shy and unambitious man trying to find a way to live in a world full of craziness and ignorance. I think that I’m a natural science fiction writer; I still have a child’s uncertainty about the world. For me, the writing’s the easy part. Hard work for sure, but usually enjoyable and always personally rewarding. It’s the selling that I find hard and painful.
I’ve read a lot of stuff about marketing — about using social media; on the importance of blogging; about self-promotion, and how important it is to believe in your story. I’m not sure what that last piece of advice means, but it was attributed to J.K. Rowling and must therefore be of some value. When I decided to self-publish my first book, I was aware of all of the above and had resolved to do it all. I had a brilliant marketing plan that was going to give my book wide exposure but in the end, it never materialized.
More accurately, I never did it. I’m lazy, over-committed, and anxious about self-promotion. Perhaps my fellow-blogger, A.M. Bradley, is right that the problem is a lack of confidence. Or perhaps not. I know that my failure to execute my marketing plan cannot be explained easily.
‘The Obeahman’s Dagger’ is a well-researched book that deals with some issues I consider important. I think that if someone were to read it carefully, they would understand why I make that claim. This is the ‘If Only’ defense. I’m the misunderstood artist, the Vincent van Gogh who can’t make a sale to save his life but whose work will be sold for millions after his death. That’s a silly excuse but there is a point here; I am confident in the worth of ‘The Obeahman’s Dagger’ but I’m not sure that I can get into the hands of readers who would understand and appreciate the work. And find it entertaining.
Which brings me to another of A. M. Bradley’s interesting posts, this one about the importance of reviews to marketing and sales.
(I don’t know A.M. Bradley personally and it’s not the only blogger I read but it has been blogging about these matters. In case anybody was wondering.)
I’ve run several free promotions on Amazon and the book was downloaded by some, I hope, readers. Still it remains without a single review, good or bad. Is anybody listening? I would like some feedback, even if it’s all negative.
Kirkus ads have been following me around the internet for some time now. I can’t afford Kirkus, but maybe I’d consider it seriously if I had the funds. Experiences, anyone?