Sunday Morning Musings: Walking Alone

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)From my Journal 4/30/16

This morning I went for a walk down  and a lady came out from one of the side streets just as I reached it. She hesitated to let me get ahead of her (I guess). This happens occasionally and I always think I could ask that person if they’re interested in walking together. But I never do. I don’t want to walk at someone else’s pace. And horror of horrors what if we start talking and I’m bored? What if they want to walk with me again? Once I’ve set a precedent, how do I say, “I’d rather walk alone” the next time?

I used to have walking buddies and I enjoyed them. But for one reason or another those relationships changed and I started walking alone more often than not.

I got to thinking how that’s a metaphor for (my) life. Maybe for yours, too. I always feel like I’m alone. Out of step with everyone else. I never fit in and I’m not good in groups. I don’t follow convention. I most likely won’t get on your bandwagon. What I will do is question why everyone else is and whether your platform makes sense or not.

I look at all the authors writing books, selling books, advertising books, promoting books, marketing books. Social media is full of them. I have researched book marketing ad nauseam and lately I’ve started researching “not” marketing. Are there any anti-book marketing proponents out there? Well, I found one. Kathryn Rusch was quoted in a Forbes magazine article as basically saying, don’t bother marketing your books, especially if you’re self-published. Focus your time and energy on writing more and better books. I like Kathryn.

I’ve made myself crazy trying to figure out how to get my books in front of the readers who will be the most interested in them. Conventional wisdom says you must market your books or no one will see them. No one will buy them. No one will read them.

But at the same time, no one seems able to quantify their marketing results. Various formats are tried, and combined but the authors who seem to me to be the most successful are the authors who consistently write good books and who have quite a few of them available. So who’s to say they’d have never been discovered by readers sans an expensive and time-consuming promotional platform? Even the so-called experts have no idea why some books fail to sell in spite of mega bucks thrown into promoting them and some virtually unknown author will take the world by storm. Publishing is and has always been a fickle business, most likely because it’s a reflection of its customer base.

I won’t say that a platform like BookBub doesn’t work because even I have purchased or downloaded for free the books offered by them. But I’ve never spent more than 99 cents and to date I don’t think I’ve read any of them. I might. Eventually. And I might write a review if I’m blown away by one of these books. But then again, I might not. There are no guarantees.

On social media I am bombarded with other authors’ promotional efforts, most of which is just white noise to me. There’s so much of it. It’s all different yet it’s all the same. Some of it is simply off-putting and redundant.

So maybe I’ll do something different. I won’t make myself crazy trying to promote my books. I’ll spend my time, money and energy on writing the best books I can, having them professionally edited and creating fantastic covers. I might still be the author no one’s ever heard of and no one reads, but that’s okay. I’m used to walking alone. 2014-11-03 22.10.41

 #books #walking #marketing