Marketing Missteps

I admit it.  I’ve done everything wrong when it comes to marketing. After releasing my fist book, Apocalipstick, I thought it would sell itself.  I had labored long and hard to complete it. Sleepless nights and weeks of revision and editing. Should it not just sell itself?  Well, it did not, and I had to learn about marketing.  I made a few mistakes along the way (okay many mistakes), but now with my second book, Remote, I have a few helpful suggestions.

Build a Community

It was a beautiful day in April.  Blue sky and eighty degrees.  Unusual weather for so early in the year.  I was stuck inside a library with eleven other authors.  Because of the wonderful weather outside, no one was coming inside to look, let alone buy books.  Instead, the authors mingled and learned about each other.  That day, I gathered information on local writing groups, writing associations, marketing tips, and upcoming events that I never knew existed. While I didn’t sell many books, I walked away with a friends and authors willing to provide support and help me succeed.

Be Prepared for Anything

My first local arts festival could have been a disaster.  Who knew you were responsible for tables and chairs?  My husband and I arrived, my books in hand but with nothing else. The people in the grass next to us, who had obviously been in the business for years and had already set up tent, tables, and display, couldn’t hide their smiles as they explained we were only given the spot.  We needed to supply everything else.  Luckily, the arts festival was in my hometown and my husband and I were able to run home to grab the needed items and set up in time for the opening of the event.  But that day, I learned an important lesson.  Expect the unexpected.  Something is bound to go wrong.

Have a Plan

Now that I have been to comic conventions, libraries, books shows and craft shows, I have learned the value of an organized plan.  My books and corresponding paraphernalia reside in artfully arranged boxes, easy to carry and ready to go. I have gifts for children — stickers for the toddlers and zombie pencils and brain erasers for the older children.  I have handouts and bookmarks for adults as I attempt to draw them in by standing in front of my booth or table.  While I’m naturally shy and promoting my book has been tough, having an established plan of action makes the day much more enjoyable.

This article first appeared on 

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