This whole experience lately has been a learning process. What I figure out daily is exhausting. I can now understand why people figured out that they can charge for this service and people will pay for it.
Social media marketing.
I am telling you, a year ago when I published my first book I figured I'd put it up on Amazon, tell some friends and word would spread like wildfire.
It did not.
I learned to list it wherever I could, blog about it, put it on Facebook and Twitter but it's not the kind of thing that can only be done once. It has to be done DAILY. Several times a day. On multiple websites. All. Day. Long. In the last year I have found quite possibly hundreds of sites that are for book reviews and reviewers, discussion boards about books, places where you can list your book (some for free, some not so much)...it would take quite possibly a month to just catalog all of the sites and figure out which ones will give you the most exposure.
As much as I love Amazon, I'm not feeling like I'm getting a whole lot of anything from them. If anything, they've sort of stalled my progress. I've had reviews removed because, to them, they seemed like the writer of the review was too personally close to me. So basically they are saying that people who know me, who BUY the book and like it, cannot write a review unless it is something basic like "Loved it!" Now don't get me wrong, I would love to have about a hundred "Loved it"'s on the site but that's not happening right now and I can't obsess about it. So although they are getting money from my book, they aren't doing anything to help it sell.
Where is the logic in that?
Twitter is still a mystery to me. I don't spend a whole lot of time on it. I have almost 400 followers (and you can follow me HERE) but I wonder, do any of these people really read what I'm tweeting? I just really started doing the tweeting about a month ago so in the world of Twitter, I have relatively few "tweets"; I'm rectifying it now. But I know for me, I don't have time to sit and read the tweets of the nearly 800 people that I follow! So how does this benefit me? I don't know.
I have a Facebook fan page for my author persona. Samantha Chase has 51 followers. That makes me a little sad but the numbers are growing a little bit more ever week. It's another slow process. Every day, several times a day, I post the progress of the book or something about what's going on in my "career" but it's nothing exciting. I have a website but a friend designed it and it's too complex for me to update and so it's a little stagnant right now - all of the Jordan's Return stuff is all over it; very beach themed and sort of clashes with the whole Christmas thing I've got going on right now.
I would love to get on a blog roll of some sort. I need the exposure but there are some long waiting lists to get on them. The other day I was a featured author on addictedtoebooks.com and I've got another site that is interested in doing an interview with me. These are all great things but it's searching them out and again, figuring out who is going to get me the most exposure that I'm trying to figure out.
The local newspaper is supposed to get back to me about an interview and I have a display in a local bookstore...back in the day, these would be great things but local advertising really doesn't do much for you. We have another local bookstore here in town that won't carry the book until he sits and talks with me. That's going to take another week and being that the book is Christmas themed, I kind of feel like the time is NOW to get it out there. No one has the urgency that I do and I'm growing frustrated with it.
So what have I learned? I've learned that even well-known, multi-published authors have to do their own marketing. Most of them have assistants to do that for them because the publishers are not doing it. There is no magic fast-track to climbing the chart when you are a new indie author. You still get blocked by the big guys. So I sit and I wait, not so patiently, for my turn. It can happen.
Daily Amazon Update: #59 on Amazon's Best Seller List for Contemporary Women's Fiction and #1101 in Kindle downloads. We're still moving up and it still feels great! But I wouldn't turn down some more "Likes" and maybe a review or two...just saying...