Monday, June 22, 2020

Marketing from Home: Calling into the Void?

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Many of my writer-friends and publisher-friends are struggling this year. Convention after convention has been cancelled, and those in-person opportunities to talk about the work make up the bulk of sales for some of us. 

Attracting attention for small press and independently produced books is an uphill climb to begin with and a major tool in the kit was lost to COVID. Several have resorted to holding a Go Fund Me just to stay afloat/in business. 

I don't know yet how it's affecting my sales--there's lag when you work with a publisher. My last royalty check covered the first quarter, January-March, which still included conventions. It was higher than average. So, I'll see how the August statement compares when it gets here. 

I had two new releases in this span: Friend or Foe (novella, book 1.5 in the series) dropped right at the end of March and The Good Will Tour (novella, book 2.5 in the series) dropped in early May. So, that means I've got more revenue streams with that publisher right now. My first book in the series was on 99¢ sale on Kindle for most of the quarantine. I'm hoping all that helped. 

I've been taking advantage of online opportunities, participating in filmed Zoom panels, online convention content, podcasts, and readings. I've set a summer goal of producing one video a week for my YouTube page, which I definitely don't produce content for often enough. Some of these online opportunities take less time than my in person events would have--a couple of hours shut away in my office, but no road trip, networking meal before or after, or hotel stay. Others take longer because I have to learn new things to be able to participate. But it's much harder to gauge the reach. Who's watching? 

There's so much digital content out there, and the amount has only grown with everyone isolating at home and finding they have the time. Who's going to watch me read when they could listen to Patrick Stewart or Yo-Yo Ma? Even if I recolor my hair and buy new curtains. 

So maybe I'm wasting my time, but I try to look on the positive side. It's my nature to remain hopeful. All this digital footprint I'm building will linger and even if no one listens the week it's released, that great talk I had with Michael G. Williams on Public Domain Radio will there indefinitely. Someone could stumble across it at any time and discover an enthusiasm for the Menopausal Superheroes. 

That makes it worth it. 

And even if I don't find an audience this way, at least I still get to talk books and writing with bookish writing friends. The experiences themselves lift and enrich me. That's always worth it! 


  1. For real! The waiting is the hardest part.

  2. That's great that your royalty check was bigger for the first part of the year. Yes, it must be frustrating to try to exclusively market online. But it could draw in people who live too far to come see you. Hope it works into a positive marketing experience for you.

    1. That is my hope! Something going digital gives us is geographically diverse reach.