So as I prepare to release the final books in the Amargosa-based portion of the Compact Universe, it’s time I paid attention to something I’ve done a lousy job with:
Marketing is not exciting for an author. It means putting your work out in front of people. It feels like begging. Sometimes, it feels like being a carnival barker. Most of the time, it feels like drudge work.
I am by no means an expert on marketing, and I have the sales to prove it.
So starting this week, I’m going to talk about my challenges around marketing this series, as well as my other nom de plum, Jim Winter. So what’s holding me back?
- Money. Let’s be honest. You have to spend to get any traction, and I’ve done that only sporadically. Also, things have gotten tight the last couple of years.
- Adapting – Much of my thinking around marketing comes from the mid-to-late 2000s, when I made a run at traditionally publishing crime fiction. Well, it’s the 20s again. Free love, illegal booze, with the mother of all economic crashes in 29. Ah! Can’t wait to get started! And by that, I mean getting started selling books to a modern audience.
- Content – I’ve spent the last couple of years rereleasing material. That’s not a recipe for building an audience. Fortunately, I have four Amarogsa books in the can and am working on a new series within that universe.
- Travel – Unfortunately, conventions are off the table for 2020. Travel is not feasible with my home situation. I have to be caregiver on top of breadwinner, so blowing town for four days is out of the question for the foreseeable future. Too bad, because I’d really love to do 20BooksTo50K in the fall.
- Advertising – Yeah, I have to figure that one out.
- Reviews – Need to shill for reviews, something I’ve slacked on and even the least enthusiastic writer does better than me.
So, I’ll be posting here about my misadventures. What works. What doesn’t. What’s out of the box.
Hopefully, this writing thing will become the side gig and provide some much-needed income for me and my family. Can you think of a better job when it pays?
Well, you probably can, but I’ll probably be having more fun than you.