Sunday, May 18, 2014

This little Piggy went to Market, this little Piggy stayed Home

Sometimes I wish marketing books were as simple as a trip to the market.  Unless you’re one of “those people” who enjoy sales (my husband is one of them, thankfully, because I am not), it really is difficult to market a product when you’re not used to working in sales and, for many authors who are introverts, it’s especially hard to market yourself.

Marketing yourself means talking about yourself.  Bringing attention to yourself.  Saying “look at me!” and then sharing solid reasons why others should keep looking.

It can be exhausting work for introverts when your brain doesn’t normally work that way. 

I’m one of “those authors” who would rather just write books, share thoughts via a blog or Facebook posts and let the creative juices just keep flowing without the mind games involved with what it really takes to market what I’ve created. 

I’m the little piggy that just wants to stay home.

Don’t get me wrong.  Once a book signing or book club meeting is scheduled and the day is here, I’m all for meeting people and talking about my work.  It’s great fun and I enjoy meeting others who actually enjoy hearing what I have to say.  It’s very humbling, uplifting and surreal all at the same time and an experience that will never get old.

It’s the process it takes in getting there that can be difficult.  Not because it’s hard…but because of the time it takes away from writing.  And that’s where my problem lies…marketing takes me away from writing so as a result, I tend to remove myself from what is limiting my time to write.

That’s obviously not a good thing when you actually have a product you need to market and sell.  With the amount of new books coming out every day, the “next big thing” is always trying to become known and readers are insatiable when it comes to finding new books and new authors to read.  As an author, you certainly don’t want readers to forget about you but it’s also difficult to write fast enough to satisfy most readers. 

Marketing right before the latest book comes out is easy.  You’re all excited to share the next book so you do what it takes to let everyone know that it’s available and then you also use that time to reach new readers.  The problem area for me is marketing between books.  I’m sharing myself here and on my Facebook page but the book events and marketing techniques taper down and I’m much more focused on what it’s going to take to finish the next book over what it’s going to take to continue selling the books I already have out there.    

That being said, I do believe in the opinion that the more books you have, the more those books will sell your previous work.  There’s a theme behind the advice most commonly provided by authors who have been at this a long time…just keep writing. 

The key is to finding a balance – the balance between when to go to market and when to stay home.  Finding that balance takes time and for me will include learning what works best as I switch between doing what I’m comfortable with and trying something new when I venture from my comfort zone.  I’ll always be that little piggy who would rather stay home but because I have the desire to share what I create with others, I will learn to make the most of those days when I venture out to market.

What about you?  Do you find it hard to split your time between creating and marketing?  Or does it come easy to you?  If so, do you have any tips to help others you’d like to share?

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