Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The
important thing is to not stop questioning. ~ Albert Einstein
On January 22, Leah St. Thomas had a great post in this blog about overcoming the fear of public speaking. After she completed and published her book, she was faced with the Now What moment. Now what do I do to tell people what the book is about? Do I have to do it in public? Or will osmosis sell my book.
For us to have hope for tomorrow, we have to set up a plan to get our messages out without spamming our readership. That line between sensible marketing and spamming is so fine that a mistaken step will send a writer sliding down the razor blade of life. (OMG, that's a cliche! I'm damned proud of it.)
My first book launch taught me many lessons, some of which I plan to apply to my next launch, which is coming up in June or slightly before.
Lesson one: Don't listen to people who say you have to be active on every social media site. You don't. If your readers don't use Pinterest, you don't have to have a presence there. If they are active on Facebook and post reviews on Goodreads, you'll want to be more active there. Twitter? It never hurts, although 1800 followers must find some reason for following me, even though I still don't know what I'm doing. I also find LinkedIn groups very helpful. I spend about an hour a week there commenting on the forums where I have the best likelihood of finding readers. Total amount of time a week setting up my multiple feeds: 2 hours. Most of that is on Sunday afternoon when life is quiet.
Lesson two: After Mad Max 1 launched, more of my readers bought my e-book than my trade paper book. Like ten to one. So, when my publisher asked how I felt about launching Mad Max 2 as an e-book first, it made sense. And it made life a lot easier because I could set up my marketing campaign in advance. I now need to execute it.
Lesson three: There is NOTHING like meeting readers face to face. Book clubs have been very kind to me. Seriously, with 25 around the lake where I live, I've reached hundreds of readers. Local libraries have helped. Book clubs out of my region often have Skype options, so I don't have to spend a day traveling to a group of 20 women. I will tell you from experience, libraries out of my immediate region have been a waste of time. I'm not going to pound on them again.
Lesson four: I look at Mad Max 2 as a whole new beginning. I am so enthusiastic about it. I can't wait for people to read it. I hope they will be as excited as I am. I won't know until I track online sales promotions.
In looking back at the Einstein quote, I want to amend it. The important thing is not about questioning. It's about the quest itself. May those of us who write because we are inspired by words and driven to reach readers accept the quest and go for the Holy Grail, whatever it might be. Onward.