A marketing update
Following on from last week; when I spoke to you about the need to do some marketing, I’ve taken the plunge and spoken to a marketing expert. In the past, I would have shied away from talking to one but I’m glad I did. We spent over twenty minutes discussing where I am (verdict; all over the place) and with their help, I now have a rough idea of what I need to do next. And an ever growing list of jobs that need to be done.
My major questions, in no particular order, were,
Which should I do first, restart my email list, improve my website to get more hits or update my KDP categories and keywords?
Do I need to change the book descriptions, categories and keywords?
What about my pricing, are my books too cheap, or too expensive?
Should I offer as much free stuff as I do (a novel and about twenty short stories, since you asked)?
Is there value in producing a box-set?
How do I improve my social media presence?
Should I tell people more about ME?
Is it worth setting up a shop on my website for direct sales?
Should I offer an exclusive title (or any title) as an inducement?
Should I make a portfolio to give away?
What about the launch of my next book?
All pretty fundamental questions, and then; of course, there is the big one. What order do I need to do them in?
The answers surprised me, some of the things that I thought would be important are not, at least to start with. Another bonus is that I don’t have to do everything at the same time!
I have a strategy in place and a list of jobs that need doing. Now, it’s just a case of getting started. Unfortunately, there’s no instant solution (shock, horror). I’ve let things slide for five years, I have just got to be patient while I work to get them right, one step at a time.
A great resource
I have made a start on improving the visibility of my website. I’ve found a great guide, written by my Facebook friend My Random Musings (Deborah A. Stansil). Written in simple language and full of good advice, I can recommend it. In fact, I have, with a
Optimise Your Blog Like a Boss: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Visible on Google
You can find it, along with my review, here.
It’s actually written for the novice like me, I’ve done a few of the things it suggests, to make my content more visible to search engines. Hopefully, I’m discovering how to get more hits. I’m also busy writing more Cornerstone content, which should also help. Look out for those pieces, as I publish or update them over the coming weeks. Like I’ve said before, changing the way you do everything is a bit like turning a ship around, it requires patience, which I’m not renowned for.
In other news
The manuscript for The Lost Princess has been returned and it’s not quite as finished as I’d hoped it would be. There’s a substantial amount of revision and rewriting to do, which has pushed its release date back by a couple of months.
I have a horrible feeling that it’s turning from a novella into a full novel, which was never the plan, the trouble is, it seems to be one of those inevitable events that you can see coming but can do nothing about. The Lost Princess was only written to tidy the Balcom series up and use the backstory I’d written when I was researching and planning Ribbonworld. It was intended to be a free gift as part of the new marketing strategy, now it’s taken on a life of its own. As I haven’t currently got a marketing strategy, its no biggie. I want it to be right before I let it loose on the public.
Not only that, but my beta readers have also found a few problem areas in Survive, a new space opera which I was hoping to publish next year. It too will require a bit more work. There are two more items for my list of jobs.
I know I said that I was holding the writing of new material for a while; unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. The ideas come into my head unbidden, I have to write them down before they go. I have several half-completed sequels to all my novels and sequels to the sequels. I even have sequels to my spin-off projects. They all clamour for my attention, then there’s Christmas, family reunions and all the other sagas of reality to contend with. I really don’t need all the extra hassle and time commitments of marketing as well.
Because of all the competing pressures, time management will also need to be put on my list of jobs, perhaps I can write in the morning and do marketing in the evening?
And there’s another complication, I’ve been contributing a series of world-building exercises to a Facebook writer’s group. For one of them, I wrote a quick piece to illustrate how to set up an interesting past for a character, using a conversation and some action.
I’ve now seen how this could become so much more, at least a short story, possibly a novel. Why do I do this to myself?
Answers below, please.
The Showcase returns on Thursday with another great author and I should have some more marketing news for you next Monday.
Have a good week.