Blog Hopping. The Process.

Here’s another prompt from #OpenBook

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

An interesting question. Taking the whole thing, from a blank page to a physical product on a bookshelf (or an eBook on sale), which part do I find the hardest to accomplish?

Well, it’s not the actual writing, that seems to happen without too much effort. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to stop.

And it’s not the editing, I have an excellent editor who takes care of all my grammatical faux-pas and helps me fill in all the plot holes.

Cover design, not that, I know a great designer, I even dabble a bit myself.

The actual publishing is not a problem, I have taught myself how to format and upload, ISBN use and all the other bits and pieces. It’s not too tricky, you have to be methodical but it follows a logical sequence.

So what is it?

There are two parts of the whole process that I find difficult, the first one is writing the blurb for the back of the book. Condensing the story down to 150 interesting words, devising a hook that will make someone want to read it, now that’s a challenge. It’s not like writing a synopsis, where you describe the plot in two pages and give the full story. A blurb gives nothing away, it just hints and entices; or at least, it should.

The second is the big one, as far as I’m concerned. And I’m not alone, most of the authors I talk to say the same. You’ve probably guessed by now…, it’s MARKETING AND PROMOTION. Getting the message out about what I have laboured to produce.

Over the last six years, I’ve tried all sorts of marketing methods, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, newsletters, freebies, etc. etc. The next big thing and the tried and trusted. You name it, I’ve tried to sell books with it. And the results, let’s just say that I’m not quite ready to retire to somewhere warm yet.

The problem is that my heart isn’t really in it. I’m not a fan of the hard sell, I hate it when it’s attempted on me and I refuse to do it back.  Telling people about my work gets me very stressed, releasing all sorts of negative emotions. Even posting a review I have received is something that I often hesitate to do.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve found a way to avoid getting stressed about marketing. It’s quite simple.

Don’t do any.

Or more specifically, don’t do any if the act of doing it makes you feel bad. It’s never worth forcing yourself to do something that you don’t have too.

I do very little promotional stuff. I only post when I feel like it and only when it costs me nothing. As a consequence; I don’t sell many books. But then, as I always tell myself, it’s a hobby. It’s certainly not worth getting stressed over. I don’t need to sell books to live, most people don’t play golf or go to watch the football on a Saturday to make money. I enjoy the act of writing and the mechanics of publishing, so I do that.

While it’s great to get a sale or a good review, I don’t think that it’s anything to brag about. Even if I never got another one, I wouldn’t stop putting my work out.

I’ll be back on Thursday with another Showcase post, featuring an Indie Author with something to say. Please click the links to see the other great blogs on this hop.

9 Responses

  1. Lela Markham

    I’ve been using Amazon ads lately and not unhappy with the results. And it doesn’t feel like marketing because, well, they’re mostly doing it and it’s on a site where people are looking for books.

    The other thing that I struggle with is titles. I think the title should have something to do with the story in the book (I’m also a fan of covers that hint at the tale), and sometimes the story gives it to you and sometimes — and sometimes what the story gives you won’t work for the genre you’re publishing. It’s a great deal more work than I really want to put into a book, but it has to be done, so … onward.

    • Richard Dee

      I have a few Amazon Ads running and see a few sales. To be honest, I forget that they’re there until I get the bill.

  2. P.J. MacLayne

    I don’t think of marketing as part of the creative process, but I can see your point of view. And I find I do better selling my books in person at events. (although I’ve had some good luck with paid ads.)

    • Richard Dee

      I’m happy talking face to face and at events, and I love to promote others.

  3. Timothy Bateson

    I hate the self-promotional side of the business too, though I have to admit, I DO enjoy promoting others for some weird reason. Maybe it’s because of what you said about the hard sell. Though I don’t have a problem with talking about writing and books with people in person… Hmmm, okay, I’m just wired oddly, I guess 😀

    And, I’m REALLY going to have to learn how you do that trick with linking the posts at the end like that… It doesn’t seem to work for me!

    • Richard Dee

      I try to promote others as well, through things like the Showcase and sharing on FB. The carousel at the bottom is part of the theme, no easy answer there, I just turned it on.


    I don’t market in the traditional sense either, Richard. I write a lot of blog posts that provide information about my ideas and the characters and historical periods in my stories. I do post my adverts in the Twitter Maelstrom – why not and occasionally on Instagram. I don’t over do it though.

    • Richard Dee

      I do a lot of blogging and try to talk about more than books. I could never get to grips with Twitter or IG though.

  5. Stevie Turner

    You’ve got the right attitude, Richard – to treat it as a hobby and not get stressed if your books don’t sell. None of us Indies sell many books, so we’re all in the same boat. I don’t care any more either!

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