I have been at this book-selling thing for five and a half weeks now. At first with just e-book offerings and now, in the past half a week, with a paperback version available as well.
I groomed and edited and polished my book before releasing it unto the world. I double-groomed and edited and polished before I let it go out the door in print. And, every day, I've been hitting the marketing world, trying to spread the word about my work. I am in a mode where I'm just hoping that word will spread and have no delusions that I'm going to be filthy rich from my work any day now.
I'm constantly hitting the interwebs, reading and investigating and checking into all those things you're "supposed to do" to market your book. I've got a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Pinterest account, this blog ... I've saturated the internet so well so that my book comes up easily in any Google search. I'm a graphic designer and web programmer by trade, so I'm not daunted by marketing my work online. It's what I get paid for.
Yet, I've come to one odd conclusion/theory/hypothesis. I feel as if I'm a salesman in a store filled with other salespeople, all trying to sell the same thing, with nary a customer in sight.
On Twitter, people find my account and my tweets because of my mentions of writing. They follow me. I do the same to them and to others that I find the same way. And we're all yelling and screaming and babbling about our book. Sometimes we're coy and put out little snippets and artful boasts. Sometimes we're blunt and just yell to anyone who will listen to buy our book. Right now I have less than 200 followers and about the same number that I follow. And already, the constant stream of tweets from them all is a deafening chorus that I can't follow. I try to check in a few times a day. I follow links that sound interesting. I re-tweet informative stuff. I re-tweet for others who have been friendly to me and who seem to have something worthwhile to mention.
But in any way is this a viable way to get buyers?
On Facebook, I have several followers of my book page, mostly friends and family and a few friends-of-friends. But I also am starting to get some followers who are joining along because we all signed up at a website that helps you generate more followers. It's just like Twitter. They're following me so I can follow them, but who among us is taking time to read through the other's pages, looking for worthwhile books to purchase vs. how many are just going through the motions?
Yes, it could conceivably help, as a potential buyer could check out my page and think that my work must have some value to it if so many people are following it. But that feels like a long shot. And it kind of doesn't feel honest.
Wouldn't it be better, somehow, to have a Facebook page filled with people who are familiar with my book and discuss whether or not it has any value? Or is that just a pipe-dream, reserved for only the truly successful authors?
I'm realize and accept that I haven't been at this that long. But right now ... what I wouldn't give for just one review or mention or conversation with someone that found my book, read it, and had something to say that wasn't a friend or family member. Someone whom I don't know and who isn't just being nice. I'd like to know that it is possible to get word of my book out there and that people will find it.
Patience, Monty. Climb the ladder. Am I right?