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Robert J. Emery's Blog


Marketing, a necessary evil for all authors.


This post might seem pretty basic to a seasoned author with multiple books published, but not so to those who are beginners.


It is estimated that 4 million books are published each year in the U.S. That presents a challenge for anyone publishing a book, especially if the author is self-publishing. Yes, folks, it is a crowded market, and finding your place in it is daunting to say the least – some might say it is painful. For most independent authors marketing is their least favorite thing. I can tell you it is my least favorite chore. But it must be done or we will not sell books. We can’t just publish and hope readers will find us. Wishing will not make it so constant marketing will help.


Having a marketing plan in place before publication is a must. Where and how are we going to reach readers? The marketing plan has to be in place before publication. I recall when I was slightly short of stupid and waited until one of my books was published before giving much thought to marketing. No more.


Marketing for me begins early – a month to two months before publication. Whatever we decide it is going to be time consuming. I post regularly on social media. To be precise, I post on 52 Facebook author websites, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and a mailing list of 152 people. With social media author sites, it takes me an hour to an hour and a half to post 52 sites. I have four books I promote – 3 novels, one nonfiction - and I promote one every other day. By doing so, my sales don’t break records, but they do keep selling. I try getting on as many author podcasts as possible. With my new novel “MEGASTAR” (My 9th book Published May 1st) I landed three author podcasts, plus several written articles one of them in the May issue in the international distributed magazine Red Silk Carpet. I am not a big fan of book signings, but agreed to do one with 3 others authors recently. Book signings can be a hit or a miss. I have also signed on to have my book reviewed on TikTok by “Influence’s”. That begins in July, and I suspect I will see an uptick in sales.


Social media posts begin with the creation of a graphic. What is that we want to say and what will the visual be beside the book’s cover? I use to create visual posts and that too is time consuming. Each of my posts include at least one reviewers’ comment. I believe that potential readers check out reviews before making a decision to buy a book unless it happens to be one of their favorite authors they regularly read.


Reviews are important. So, how do we get them? I begin by sending out copies as early as a month before publication. That means you have to have access to your finished printed book, which means you have to have it available to order, which means you have to have it posted with Amazon or IngramSpark early so you can order copies. With the release of my most recent novel, “MEGASTAR”, I had eight reviews that were posted within the first week of publication. Within weeks of publication my reviews on Amazon were up to 11.  I also had four great editorial reviews that were posted on the day of publication because I sought them out a month before publication. Two months later, my novel is holding its own on Amazon and other sites.


Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy. But if we spend hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks, months upon months writing our masterpieces we want people to read it. That means marketing is a necessary evil. And the final question is, how much are we willing to spend marketing? Whatever it is, it’s too much because earning it back, unless we hit the jackpot with readers, is unlikely. So, the question is, are we in this for money, or is the goal to get our masterpieces read. Of course, it would great if we sold at least enough to warrant the money we put into it. Good luck with that for most of us.


So, if you write and publish a book, treat it like a new born child. Cuddle it, feed it, and take good care of it. I and 50 plus other authors are fortunate that we publish through Indies United Publishing House who provides excellent author support ( Publisher Lisa Orban is always there for us no matter what we need. Check them out.


Good luck to all of us.


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