I’ve been stuck.
I love to write books. I hate to market them.
A good friend, Tim Baker (www.blindoggbooks.com) recently asked me: “What do you want,” in regards to the future of my writing career. I just frowned.
I’m at an impasse. I have five books. But—I will be honest with you —I’m not making any money. It’s not because they’re not good books, it’s because I’m not marketing them well.
What I’ve learned by talking to other self-published authors is this: making money off of your books is less about quality and more about getting your name out there into the world, connecting with strangers and convincing them you’ve got the next great book since Harry Potter. Marketing is everything.
I love going to book signings, reading to students in school, teaching free writing classes, but my town is small, my reach is limited. I HATE the idea of marketing myself on-line, networking, monitoring book sale stats, or friending the popular people on Facebook. It feels forced and artificial to me…and well, pretty darn boring.
So here I am: A woman who loves writing so much that it has become an essential nutrient in my soul, the protein, the vitamins that keep me strong. But I am also a woman who thinks internet marketing just steals time from doing the things I love.
That’s my quandary because I know, using basic logic that nobody is going to read my books unless they hear about them.
And so I ask myself, What do I want?
I know the answer: I want to write! I want to write truth. I want to tell good stories, and I want people—lots of people—to pick up my books, read about my character’s triumphs and troubles and say “I too am here in these pages. I see myself in these characters. I know their truths, because they are mine too.”
I write because I recognize that we are all on a journey and sometimes that journey sucks. But when we travel the path together we are not alone. Stories—my stories—are about us. They are our way of healing and growing stronger.
What do I want? I want to share life’s journey with others…maybe make it a little less painful, a little more fun. And yes, I want to make money writing books, because quite frankly, I like money…and well….I’ve got my heart set on buying my very own motorcycle or maybe getting a hot tub.
The key however is that I don’t want to market in way that make me feel uncomfortable, pushy, bored, or annoyed. Marketing must be on my own terms.
In this blog I will take you on a journey through my writing life. As the “transparent author” I’ll stay open and sincere, telling you what really is going on with my successes and failures…how much I’m making, and how much I’m losing, because I’m banking on the fact that I’m not alone, that there are other authors with damn good books that are overwhelmed with the marketing aspect.
Maybe together we can figure it out.
Peace and love,