Got Your Book Published? Don’t Panic

     Shortly after my first book, Murder in Winnebago County, was published, I read a list of suggestions to follow before your book is released. One of the must-dos was to advertise it for six months prior. The writer so much as said if you didn’t do that, you could forget about sales and success. Oops. Didn’t do that. Six months before my book was published, the release date was still pending.
      I admit I had some moments of panic, believing my book sales were doomed because I had not followed the proper marketing steps. My angst was for naught. I discovered that as more people read my book, sales increased.
     Last week I had a book signing for my second novel in the Winnebago County mystery thriller series, Buried in Wolf Lake. I was fortunate not only to sell all the copies I had of that book, I also sold a number of the first book. Each generated excitement for the other.
     I have done a mediocre job of marketing, at best. There are too many things competing for my time and when I concentrate on one task or project, I neglect others. But now that I have two books in print, and another in the works, my confidence is increasing. I feel like a legitimate author. The majority of my sales have been local. My plan is to push to get a regional, then state, then national following.
     Sounds ambitious, I know. But, as all you authors know, it takes effort to research and write a book, and a miracle to get it published. I hope my books give a lot of people reading pleasure. That’s my deepest hope, and greatest ambition in my writing career.
     If you are a published author, don’t be discouraged if you haven’t done much pre-advertising. There is still time. I have donated a number of books to libraries and bookstores. When I start visiting bookstores outside my own community, I am prepared to give out as many books as I need to. Twenty books cost me a fair amount of money, but it is still pretty reasonable advertising, especially if it increases interest and sales.
     I’d love to hear about your marketing experiences and pointers you have.

Christine Husom is the Second Wind Publishing author of Murder in Winnebago County and Buried in Wolf Lake

10 Comments

Filed under books, fiction, marketing, writing

10 responses to “Got Your Book Published? Don’t Panic

  1. A blog is a good step. You coul edit this post to help your sales by giving the title of your book in the blog and linking it to an amazon sales site, because I would have purchased it right here and now if it had bee there. I love mysteries. ^^

  2. Book Marketing Floozy is a good place to get marketing ideas. There, are at last count, fifty-five different articles by many different authors (including Christine!) about various aspects of book marketing. http://marketingfloozy.wordpress.com

  3. I was encouraged to do advance marketing for my picture book One Wolf Howls, including scheduling author appearances several months in advance of publication. I found that no one was interested in scheduling anything with me until they could hold the book in their hands and look at it. I made a lot of contacts during those months and ended up re-contacting the same people after the book was actually in print. Also, I think too much advance promotion can backfire. I have actually blocked writers on Facebook who posted several times a day leading up to the release of their book. As a consumer, I felt enough was enough — and I don’t want to have that effect on people who might read my books.

  4. Goo9d advice Christine. I hadn’t heard about starting the marketing so long before the books appears but it obviously makes sense, establishing curiosity in potential readers. It’s actually amazing how the whole process has changed thanks to networking and the phenomena of Facebook and Twitter . In the end, though, it’s the face to face stuff of signings and talks that have the real impact. Problem there is you reach so few people. But you’re right, we have to aim high.

    • christinehusom

      Bill, thanks for your comments. You are so right about how things have changed. I got published for the first time last year, but I grew up without computers, so that whole concept is daunting and overwhelming to me. I know I need to carve out more on-line time, just not sure how! I really enjoy going to book clubs and the few signings I’ve had. People do like face to face events with authors–even novice ones like me 😉

  5. christinehusom

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Scotti. It’s frustrating to have to redo what you’ve already done, for sure!

    Maybe it’s just me being cautious, but until I have my book in my hot little hands, I am hesitant to do too much advance hype. I can believe I have a quality product, but I still need a lot of people telling me they like my book to give me the confidence to approach bookstores and do other promoting.

  6. It’s fascinating to hear your experience. And your book is on my must-find list.
    I keep looking books up on bookstore websites and finding they’re not available. Do they keep track of how often their customers look for things they don’t carry?

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