Hybrid publishing is the latest version of independent publishing. With this approach authors invest some money in their books and get services in return. The publisher I’m with now is a hybrid publisher, and a recent webinar (one of the services authors receive) focused on marketing. The moral of the session: Book marketing is ongoing.
During the session my publisher explained how Internet book sellers operate. One of the main online booksellers is run entirely by computer. “You don’t get to talk to a person,” she explained. If your book gets 10 customer reviews the computers notice this fact. If your book gets 50 customer reviews the computers order more books.
Today, most publishers want their authors to get involved in marketing. I’ve written marketing plans, but some lacked details. How could I track details better? I decided to keep a log, organized by date, with brief notations beside each date. I just read a month of entries and the advantages of this tracking system became obvious.
Daily entries are proactive. Keeping a log makes you aware of the steps you are taking and, equally important, the sequence of these steps. The fact that I’m keeping a log has kept me involved in marketing. Sure, some of the steps I took were small, but they could eventually lead to sales. Being proactive has energized me and I take at least one marketing step a day.
You’re creating a detailed picture. When you’re too close to something you can miss details. Not so with a log. You see large and small steps alike. However, keeping a log doesn’t mean you will see an immediate spike in sales. As the owner and publisher of the company explained to me during a phone call, “It takes one year, two years, or five years to get a best-seller.”
Gaps are revealed. This month’s log shows two days when I did nothing–absolutely zip–for book marketing, and for good reason. I am my disabled husband’s caregiver and he was sick for two days. Instead of working on marketing, I spent this time taking care of him. While I feel guilty about the gaps, this caregiving experience may be valuable in the fut ure.
Ongoing entries help you plan. Several of my entries contain major marketing steps, such as paying for social marketing services. These entries helped me see that I’m close to spending all the money I set aside for marketing. Now I’m going to focus on other types of marketing, such as giving talks that expand my books, and I contacted several local churches.
You may surprise yourself. Sometimes, when I read my entries, I have a an “I did that!” response. This surprises me because I’m not a natural sales person and have to work at it. All-in-all, I think log entries I’ve written have energized me, and may do the same for you. Keep your entries short and give yourself credit for all you do.
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady can help you win the marketing race.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. Her recent releases: The Family Caregiver’s Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, A Journal for Family Caregivers. Visit her website and learn more about this author, grandmother, and caregiver.