Marketing as a Writer
Marketing is an important ingredient in the life of a writer. I’ve been finding out how essential this is recently. Let me tell you how and why this has suddenly occurred to me. Back in 2008 I self-published and launched my first novel ‘Let My Soul Bare’. In that year alone I sold about 40 copies, or more. Half that amount was through direct sales, and the other half through the local bookstore here in Cayman. About a handful were sold online. At first I had no interest in marketing the book. I couldn’t be bothered. So 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 all went by and my book remained stagnant on the shelves.
Then comes 2013. I published my second book — ‘You Can Rise Up’ — locally in Grand Cayman, and ahead of the book launch I was invited to speak about it on television and radio. I was also featured in a newspaper article. The Cayman society found that the book’s message served as a positive guide for Cayman’s youth.
Following all the publicity, within the first week of the book hitting the shelves I had sold 30 copies of that second novel, between bookstore sales and supermarket sales. I was quite pleased.
The interesting thing about this, is that ‘You Can Rise Up’ was first published in 2010 and I don’t think I even had five copies sold. I had done no marketing of the book, or barely any. But clearly, as I’ve seen from the outcome of the re-publishing and promoting of the 2013 version, the book is of interest, to at least 30 persons.
Another interesting observation I made is that while a lack of marketing of ‘Let My Soul Bare’ initially caused the book to make no further sales beyond 2008, following the launch of ‘You Can Rise Up’, and a local book fair, I managed to sell two further copies of ‘Let My Soul Bare’ now in 2013.
You see the trouble with many of us writers is that all we want to do is write. So we write the book, we see our published work, and we’re done. But for at least some of us, after a while it hits us that we’ve gone through all the trouble to write and produce the work of art, so we would be happy if people know about it, if people take an interest in it, if people respects our work in the process, and best of all, if we make some money from it. To achieve all of the above, marketing plays a huge role. So I vow from this day on that I will get off my arse and MARKET!