No one told you, except maybe your agent, about having a book launch, no one told you about speaking in public, no one told you about having a book signing, no one told you about having to go from bookstore to bookstore, bookseller to bookseller to try and push your book. No one told you about the insanely active role you have to play for your book to be seen.
And it sucks, at first.
So, you spend a week or two reading about marketing and all the various facets to get the basics. You start to hatch a plan that’s fluid and efficient and doesn’t take a lot of work (if you’re lazy). You ask your agent a series of questions and you get answers but some of those answers lead to more questions and you do some more digging.
You have a bit of time before the book is actually out, so you don’t sweat it.
As the months go by, you slowly but surely start to execute on the plan. You start telling your friends and family. You start a Facebook page. You start a blog. You start a Youtube channel. You make a Snapchat. An instagram. A Twitter. An author website. You do all of this for a month and realize this is too much and you’re going to have to downsize if you want to get anything done.
So, you watch youtube videos about big-time authors to see how they do it.
You find out they don’t have multiple social media accounts, and if they do, it’s 10 to 20 years in the making. They didn’t do all of that at the same time. You find out the most effective way to do something is to focus on one source and grow that one, then expand. You choose to focus on the blog because it’s a way to do marketing yet keep writing at the same time (you’re not photogenic so it also covers that).
You don’t delete the other accounts, you just focus on the blog and you get to work. You use another social media source (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc) as a funnel for your blog, which you’ve decided to make part of your author website so everything is consolidated, and you see some traction.
Slow, slow, slow traction.
What you didn’t know was that a blog is the slowest platform for growth. But, once it gets going, it speeds up exponentially. Now, you have to put in a lot (A LOT) of upfront work before you see any lasting results, and those results might take years to come but, you’re in this for the long haul. You’re on the Writer’s Journey. No one said it was going to be a short, or easy, or fast one.
You call your agent and tell them what you’ve decided and they agree because they like you? Maybe? Because you have potential? More likely. Because you write things that sell and make them money. Bingo!
Side Note: Not all agents are money-hungry slobs.
Through it all, however, you learn a lot and now have what it takes to be a writer. When your novel is published and you go through all the obligatory marketing campaigns. You realize that you might even like this aspect of writing too.
And you star working on the next book to do the same thing all over again once it’s finished. This time, you know what’s coming. This time, you know to promote before you publish.
Till next week. . .