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