You’d think after self-publishing eight books, I’d have this whole marketing thing figured out.
Of course, I thought I did BEFORE but now, times have changed and so have most of these platforms.
Now I’m not saying some super marketing guru who does this full time couldn’t totally kill it, but I’m not that person, nor can I afford that person right now. So, I do what most independent authors do; I bang my head against the walls of social media and try to do it myself.
Just so you know, here’s a little piece of information that I recently stumbled upon through trial and error: these sights run on paid advertising and suppression is a real thing. I know, we all heard about social media suppression over politics but that’s only one piece of this.
Paid ads come first.
No matter how many hashtags you use or how many times a day you use them, money talks and hashtags walk. Yes, hashtags are helpful when you’re actually looking for something but they will not help you get noticed unless…someone is looking for something specific like for instance #YABOOKS or #ROMANCENOVELS or #SCIFIBOOKS. Those hashtags will plop your post into that hashtag but it will do nothing to pull your post into the feeds of people who follow those hashtags. Only money will do that.
It is a bit disheartening and even overwhelming when you think about this.
- Hundreds of hours writing
- Even more hours editing and doing rewrites
- Paying for a professional editor
- More rewrites
- Either paying for a book cover or if you’re capable, designing an eye catching cover
- Formatting your kindle book
- Formatting your paperback
- Making edits to those formats until it’s as close to perfect as you can get it
- Finding beta readers to give you feedback
- Possibly more edits and rewrites
- Uploading your manuscript to whatever platform you use to publish
- Making any necessary corrections
- Researching your genre’s market
- Setting up all your social media pages
At last, after months (and sometimes years) of getting all of this done, you upload your book…and nothing happens. Now if you’re smart, you set up those social media pages and took the time to make lots of connections LONG before you even started your book. You have a blog where you’ve been engaging and learning and gaining followers for a while now and yet still…
You’ve planned a book launch, a cover reveal, maybe even a blog tour to get your name out there and still…
You begin to feel completely alone out here in this world wide web, filled with other indie authors who just like you, believe they’ve written a fantastic story and yet no one is buying your book.
“Why?” You will ask, or have asked.
Honestly, the deck is stacked against us now days. Paid ads are the only way to get your book in front of readers. It’s just that simple. Of course enlisting friends and family to share your book, giving some away in contests, giving out book swag, reaching out to already overwhelmed book bloggers for reviews and doing everything within your means will help but honestly, I’m sitting here writing this with one eye open because I get 5 hours of sleep a night because I’m trying to do everything myself.
I’m done. I’m done. I’m done.
I know when I’m licked. Hind sight being 20/20, I’d have saved a ton of money while I was writing my EIGHT NOVELS and used that money to pay a legitimate book marketing company to take care of this for me. All the posts on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, etc. etc. etc. isn’t even going to put a dent in your book, let alone help you sell enough copies to buy you lunch once a week. These companies will push your posts down and out of sight and push the ones who pay the piper to the front.
It’s just business folks. It’s not personal. It doesn’t mean you suck. It doesn’t mean you’re not trying hard enough; especially if you beat yourself to death like I have. It means the only way to get your book in front of these readers is money.
I know I sound jaded and cranky (yeah I’m just a bit cranky because I’m tired) but it’s the truth. Save your money, as much as you possibly can, and buy the damn ads.
My goal above all else right now is to do just that. I’m done posting until my fingers are sore and my eyes are bloodshot.
Before anyone says, “Well maybe you’re doing it wrong.” Or “Try this or try that.” Nope. I’ve tried everything…trust me I’ve been at this for six years now on my own. I’ve read everything I could get my hands and eyes on but you can’t fight Silicon Valley.
It’s finally time to throw in the towel and save, save, save and then pay, pay, pay.
Have a great night.