Posted by: Phil Anderson | September 1, 2013

Marketing Myself

I am starting to think that writing a book is the easy part.

It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy putting together characters, setting, and plot to create a story. And if I could convince myself that I’m just doing it because I enjoy it, that would be enough. But it only makes sense that if I like what I’ve written, other people will like it as well. So I share with my family and some friends and they claim to like it too. Then I look for more people who might be interested, and that’s where it gets difficult.

The word “market” as a noun means a place or circumstance where people meet to exchange goods or ideas. As a verb it is the process of offering goods or ideas for exchange. That’s exactly what I’m looking for and what I want to accomplish. The complication arises when the “-ing” is added; “marketing” takes the whole processes to a new level.

The problem in marketing a book or manuscript (and probably any other product) is that there are so many people offering ideas and so few people accepting them. My challenge is in getting noticed by an audience and convincing them that what I have is better than, or at least different from, everything else that’s vying for their attention, and that it’s worth their time and money. This challenge manifests itself in many different ways:

First, I am looking for consumers to buy my self-published book. It’s available on Amazon to anyone who wants it, but few are likely to find it there by accident. They have to be looking for it.

Second, I would like to find a publisher who has the ability to reach and target those consumers more precisely than I ever could. However, I find that most publishers have a rigorous screening process that prevents all but the “right” manuscripts from getting through.

Third, an agent would be immensely helpful in making the right connections and getting through that screening process. But many agents are buried under piles of manuscripts and can only accept a small fraction of the authors who contact them.

So it all comes down to finding a way to attract attention and stand out from the crowd, to raise my profile. I set up an author page at Amazon and at Goodreads. I donate copies of my book to libraries and schools. And I write this blog each week, which in itself involves a whole new round of marketing, trying to attract and retain readers. All in an effort to reach more people.

If you enjoy this blog or have enjoyed Pirate Journey, or if you know someone who might enjoy them, please share. Click the “like” button, tweet about it, send a link to a friend. And if you have recommendations or suggestions please leave a comment.

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