I’ve Published My Book. Now What? Facing Down the New Author Challenge: Marketing Block

by Karen Jonson

OMG. Comic book explosion.Vector illustration.

OMG! I’ve self-published my book. Now what do I do to let the world know it exists?

Writing my new book took five years, three revisions, files of research, painfully digging up details from my past, and never-ending edits.

But now I can say, at last: It’s done.

And now that my book is finally written, pre-read by friends, edited to the nth degree, flowed into a pleasing design, and covered in an attractive book cover, I am left to wonder: Now what?

I’ve been reading and hearing advice and opinions about self-publishing for the past year. There is a lot of information out there in the new world of independent book publishing, where self-publishers no longer have to accept the stigma of not being published by the traditional book publishers. Now we can control our books for their entire lifespan and earn a greater share of the profits (assuming, of course, that we connect with readers). The only catch is that we have to do everything ourselves to sell our books – all of the publicity, marketing, and selling. This requires becoming not just excellent writers, but also book marketing experts.

I accepted this challenge when I stopped sending pitch letters to literary agents (after only about one month of torture). But that doesn’t mean that I know what steps to take now to launch my book into the marketplace in a substantial way.

There is just too much to do. So much so that now I find myself facing an even greater challenge than writing my book. I call it “marketing block.” It’s primary symptom: I don’t know where to start, so I feel like I’m standing still.

There are too many questions. What is the first thing I need to do, and the second, and third? Should I spend more time blogging, or posting on Facebook, or trying to get interviewed on radio shows? Should I book some book readings? If so, where?

There are no easy answers. I’ve read several success stories of independent authors and they all have taken different paths to find readers and sell books. What is my ideal path? Today I have no idea. So I just have to start somewhere, do my best, and see what happens.

I’ve decided to track my self-publishing experience, and take note of what I try, what works, and what fails. I am calling my adventure “The Self-Publishing Experiment.” I will document my progress on this blog – and share my story of traversing the new Wild West of independent book publishing. I hope you’ll follow my story – and learn something along the way that is useful to your self-publishing journey.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal Whimsey March 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

Hi Karen, I too am traversing the turbulent waters of self publishing. I have a children’s book in paperback at Amazon and in e-book at Amazon and B&N. Sales have been okay but I’m still selling more outright at bookfairs and readings. After a while you begin to wonder whether marketing has taken over your life. At night my dreams begin with hashmarks and contain 160 characters or less.
You’ve got a nice start here, Keep it going.

Reply

Karen Jonson July 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hi Crystal. Thank you for commenting and for your encouragement. I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. I had gotten extremely distracted by several responsibilities the past couple of months. I’d like to hear more about your book on Amazon and how sales are going for you — especially about your success at book fairs and readings. Marketing can become all consuming. I’m working on creating a plan that allows me to do other things, while maintaining an active book marketing program. I’ll be talking about this in future posts. I’m hoping to start a dialogue with other writers, so that we can all learn from each other. Hope to see you here more!! Best Karen

Reply

MIAKPO EMIASO July 18, 2012 at 10:03 am

HI CRYSTAL, I HAD LIKE TO HAVE MY WORKS IN E-BOOK FORMATS AND ON AMAZON BUT DO NOT KNOW HOW TO GO ABOUT IT. MAY I ASK YOU TO TEACH ME HOW YOU GOT YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND IF IT HAS BEEN WORTH IT.

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