Saturday, July 13, 2013

Writing - a life of leisure?

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“Self-published books, at best, are a break even if you are lucky, but I’ve been having fun selling the books and picking up readers. Nothing happens overnight, …the more you work at it, the more you publish the more people you have behind it and are willing to buy your books. …You have to persevere; you have to keep at it. The best sales are places you’d never think – the best sales I’ve had have been through liquor stores and drug stores not bookstores, so you have to be open to all possibilities. You might be able to sell your book and make it fly in places that are not considered the normal places for that. …So people are getting double doses of exposure to the book at least.”

~ Rosemary Chaulk

Writing - the life of leisure?

Sadly, many people see the world of writing as a career of leisure – which is actually opposite to the truth.  For one thing, writing is a creative process and, like any artist, writers need the time and energy to craft their work.  This includes brainstorming sessions, research, and learning new writing skills.  Finding polite and diplomatic ways to get respect can be a big obstacle that most writers will eventually have to face.  Office work—from bookkeeping, to recording marketing efforts and its final results, take up a lot of time.  So, as a self-employed person, a writer is actually putting in many more hours than the regular 9-to-5 career demands.
Another author misconception is they think that once their book is written the work ends and the royalty cheques just come pouring in.  Again, this is far from the truth.  In fact, once the book is accepted by the publisher, and goes through the editing and proofing process and is finally released to the public, the author’s work is just beginning.  As much as 80% of an author’s time can be earmarked for marketing, and marketing plans typically begin several months prior to the release of a book.
There are many benefits to choosing self-marketing for your own books.  To begin, the author has more control over where his or her time and money is spent; they meet readers directly – which can be very rewarding; and have more freedom to choose unconventional approaches toward reaching the various audiences.  Self-marketing authors also avoid promotion companies who overcharge and provide services that authors can easily do themselves. 
We know first-hand, how quickly a promotion budget dwindles away, and the difficulty of gaining name-recognition and an Internet presence.  Our book, Purple SnowflakeMarketing, is an author’s guide to developing a frugal and effective marketing plan.  We start with the four main areas an author needs to consider including research, evaluating what others are doing, gaining name recognition, and discovering the strengths and weaknesses of their own situation and their book’s as well.  Marketing plan development requires a lot of research but can be very rewarding in the end.  For one thing, it’s important to discover possible obstacles and determine how to diffuse them long before the issue arises.  Discovering each book’s strengths and weaknesses is a plus.  By evaluating others’ success, the author can find a way to promote their book as singular and outstanding.  Knowing these four main points helps an author to design a highly tuned marketing plan that makes the most efficient use of their time and budget. And this is important, because there are approximately 170,000 books released annually in the US alone.  Finding a way to stand out among all of these recent releases and back-list titles is possible, and authors don’t need a big budget to accomplish this.
The key to doing this is two-fold.  Learning about the person you are contacting and what they need to see from you, saves frustration and reduces rejection.  Finding a way to appeal to the audience that the contact serves, is the second consideration.  For example, in order to work with the editor of a particular publication or organization, you’ll need to know the right slant, who the readers/members are, and where they are located.  With this information you can design your query letter with that market in mind, and greatly reduce the chance of being rejected.
Authors soon learn that rejection and bad reviews are part of the process.  How to make contacts and provide what those contacts need, helps get past closed doors and more.  If authors can find ways to avoid common pit-falls, and learn the importance of setting a pace for marketing endeavors, his or her marketing plan can last as long as the contract with the publisher.  Readers of our e-book will discover all of these topics, as well as how to deal with family and friends who are not supportive, jealous, or who say they’ll buy a book – but don’t.  There are always surprises and hurtful events for all authors, but they can learn how to keep expectations on a more realistic level.

Find information on the ebook & print editions of Purple Snowflake Marketing

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