I knew when I self published my book a little over a year ago, I was also committing to marketing it. I also knew that this would be, by far, the hardest part of the entire process for me. And it is. Well, it was, until I gave up on it. Why would I do such a stupid thing? Read on.
1. It's More Than a Full-Time Job
I read marketing books, I even did some of the things it said to do. I got my book in the local library and local independent bookstores, I did giveaways, I joined Goodreads, I even joined a large on-line author group for 4 days that made me a neurotic, insecure mess in less than a week before I quit. The truth is the book market is extremely flooded and with the internet, you could market all day and all night. Which doesn't interest me, but preserving my sanity does.
2. Pompous Self-Centered Asshole
First of all, marketing my book makes me feel like a pompous self-centered asshole. After all, the book is a memoir. Which makes everything much more personal. So marketing it feels like I'm saying...."Hey, read my book, all about me, because I'm so incredibly awesome." Though I don't think this about other memoirs, like Wild, which I loved, by the way. Of course, she had a publisher and didn't have to shoulder all the marketing herself. And even if she did, she's already got strong shoulders from that heavy pack she was carrying.
I'm not an aggressive personality. I never have been, even when I played roller derby. I'm the poster girl for nice, non-confrontational, peaceful acceptance of everyone else but me. So I'm not gonna get in your face. I have tried to be my own cheerleader and chant be aggressive, be, be aggressive. But, as it turns out, I'm no cheerleader either. I'm a pacifist.
Rejection and I are old friends. After all, I was rejected by every agent and publisher I queried, which is how I became an indie author. And you know what? I'm pretty damn proud of the fact that I did the entire book my way, on my own from start to finish. So what was my first thought when a small local Moroccan store refused to carry my book because the owner thought it was too edgy? I've been rejected by better. Cause I really succeed at rejection. Does that make me sound like a pompous, self-centered asshole?
5. Disingenuous Bullshit
If there is one thing I hate, it's disingenuous bullshit. Guess what marketing is? It's wading through huge, steaming, putrid piles of disingenuous bullshit! So, schmoozing with people I don't like or whose work I don't think is substantive and/or buying followers on social media to appear more successful? I CALL BULLSHIT! And I won't do it. I don't care what it costs me because you can't put a price on my integrity. You get the authentic me or you don't get me at all. I make no apologies for that.
6. Popularity Contests are Stupid
There are terrible books that make it big. There are fantastic books that don't. And I'm not convinced it's all in the marketing. Sometimes it's just the popularity of the genre and the timing of when it comes out. You can call it luck if you want. It's seems kinda like a popularity contest though. And popularity doesn't necessarily equate to quality. Sometimes things are popular for good reasons, but sometimes it's because of a bad reputation. Which reminds me of high school. And I hated high school the first time around.
7. It's Not About the Money, Money...
I didn't publish a book for the money. In fact, I hate numbers. And for the numerous people who've asked me, I don't know the exact number of how many books I've sold. I started to figure it out once but I got bored and frankly really depressed. Because I'm nowhere near breaking even on it. Maybe it will happen in my lifetime. But, statistically that's not likely. Because self publishing is more expensive than you might imagine. And a whopping 80% of indie books won't break even. Which is one of the reasons I hate numbers.
8. I Believe
While I lack faith in marketing, I do believe in my book. That it's both entertaining and substantive at the same time. But most of all, I believe I've already gotten what I needed from writing it. Having others read it, is just a bonus. Which makes it easier to let it stand on its own two feet. Or bookshelf, rather.
9. Word of Mouth
What sells books isn't marketing, it's word of mouth. It's readers talking about them, writing reviews and sharing them with their friends.
10. Write On
And the number one best way to market your book? It's your next book. So screw marketing and write on!
Curious about what readers have said about my book Rock the Kasbah? Read the good, the bad and the ugly here on Amazon.com