Unless you’re one of the big names, like John Grisham, don’t expect your publisher to lift a pinkie finger to market your novel. Authors sell novels, not publishers. So how do you get the word out from your basement?
Social networking. Sounds easy, right? It’s a bloody nuisance, but like all things that take patience, the rewards are great. John Locke has 20,000 twitter followers who will leap at the chance to buy his next novel the minute he tweets that it’s up for sale on Amazon. That’s fantastic marketing. He’s built this following from the ground up over two years. He’s got a website, high-quality book trailers, the whole deal. He’s a self-e-pubbed author, so he did it without any publishing company help.
But I’m down here at the bottom of social networking, late to facebook and late to Twitter. My facebook fan page has 6 “likes.” My tweets come straight from this blog, so there aren’t many, but I already have two followers, both apparently young hot women, which means they’re probably spam. Rather funny, actually.
But this is where we separate the wheat from the chaff. A lot of self-pubbed authors are going to give up when they don’t get immediate gratification, expecting their sales to just magically take off by themselves. They’ll breathlessly check their sales figures two or three times a day until they get bored because they haven’t sold anything in a week.
So here I go, stepping up on the first rung of the social networking ladder. It’s going to take a while, but I’m patient and determined. Besides, maybe I’ll make some new friends.