…Except I am just not very good at marketing. Not even a little bit.
It’s not that I’m lazy, but I can admit to being a little ignorant and definitely naive. Focusing on the writing has always seemed more important than the marketing. But because my desire is not only to write but to earn an income from my writing (however small), I’ve got to sell these little pearls as well. And that is a monster of a challenge right now. Who wants to buy a book they’ve never heard of? Word of mouth is the best thing I’ve had going for me, and friends and family have been very kind. But I know it takes more.
I’ve been trying to exploit the internet possibilities as much as any Luddite can, but it’s not my natural habitat. I try to watch and learn while other authors and artists put themselves “out there.” I tweet (aiming for once a day, because keeping any thought to 140 words –let alone 140 characters!–seems almost rude). I blog (sporadically, which should really be the easiest thing to rectify. I used to write a weekly column. I should be that consistent now). I post.
But there are no guerrilla tactics here. I am best at being my own worst enemy, it seems, and I tend to want to apologize to everyone who buys the novel. It’s not that I think it isn’t good. I do think The Farmer’s Story is good. Not great, maybe, or perfect, but a solid first effort. When someone buys a copy, though, I want to apologize because I worry a reader may not feel they’ve gotten their moneys worth. I feel compelled to give everyone something in addition. Homemade cookies, for example. Or an mp3 playlist of all the music in the novel.
How do you you like that? I know an mp3 has something to do with music! Luddite, schmuddite….
Husband says I’m being ridiculous, but he’s not really a cookie guy.
Part of me thinks I need to calm down, not to worry, focus on the next novel. All this effort to sell the first one isn’t helping Standing With Buffalo get across the Finish line. But I do feel a clock ticking. I do think I have to make hay while the sun shines and that means I have to be an author divided. Part of my brain must focus on finishing the new book with an eye on the third in the wings. At the same time, part of my brain has to find a way to breathe life into the first book’s sales. The challenge is, anyone who knows my brain also knows my days of seamless multi-tasking are numbered. I’m not being melodramatic. It’s just the nature of having a neurological condition.*
Things do have a way of happening, though. A friend of mine arranged a meet for me with a fella who agreed to put The Farmer’s Story on consignment for a couple months. It’s a book store I absolutely adore, and I think something very cool will come of it. I will tell you more as the details firm up, but right now I don’t want to jinx anything. If it comes together, though, I’ll need to bake a whole lot of those cookies. Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies.
Now that’s guerrilla marketing.
*If you’re late in joining us, you can visit The Curse of the Calendar, & the Beauty of Hot Words. 4/12/2011