Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Marketing blues

I wrote a great blog post, pressed the publish button and the darned thing disappeared. I hope this is not a sign of how my day is going to go. So I'll start again. Now my book is out in the big wide world, I'm contemplating how to get people to buy it. Marketing is the tool, say the Createspace experts.

Marketing, they tell me, is the process of communicating with the rest of the world and telling them about your book, making them want to buy it without doing any direct selling. Who is your target audience, they ask. Anyone who reads historical fiction, I say. Not good enough. Who are they? Where do they live? What age group, social class? What are their hobbies? Which newspapers do they read?

I shrug my shoulders. Haven't a clue. Anyone between the ages of 14 and 94 might read historical novels, and the only link between them is probably just that - they like historical fiction! (I had to pick numbers, but I'm sure there are people over 95 and under 14 who read historical fiction!)

There are lots of sites on the internet these days who do nothing but promote books. Some charge, and there are lots of warnings from authors who've paid hard-earned cash and been disappointed with the results. So I think I shall steer clear of such places. I'm not enamoured of the way Twitter is flooded overnight with promotional post which I assume originate in the USA. I whizz by them - as they come batches this is very easy to do. The general opinion seems to be that 1 tweet in 10 may mention your book as long as you are offering other contents on the other 9. That seems reasonable to me, and the same seems to operate on Facebook.

This time I've let everyone know (or I will have done shortly) that my book is available, and this is a first for me. I'm slowly investigating lists of promotional sites, and may yet come up with some goodies. I'll stick with my promotional yahoo groups and see what the results are like.

It's quite a game, this writing lark. I thought the writing was the hard part!

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