I lost my job earlier this year and put all of my effort into my books. I looked to them to make up for the lost income so my kids would stop telling me, “I’m hungry, Dad!” I was steadfast in the idea that, with a full day devoted to marketing, I could make every title a huge success. So, that’s what I did. And, something happened. Things started slowing down.
I released my first book two and half years ago when the ebook “revolution” was just getting some steam—when everything was changing. And the changing hasn’t stopped. I’ve tried to keep up with the trends: free books, Bookbub, pricing, blog tours, interviews and such.
I’ve read blog post after blog post. I’ve delved into market research. I’ve tried to find the right time to Tweet, to blog, to offer a promotion. I’ve tried countless ways to rip people’s attention away from whatever they’re are doing to tell them I made jokes about the apocalypse, old pulp novels, action-adventure tropes and dumb white husbands.
I’ve pulled every lever. I’ve pushed every button. I’ve tried pushing and pulling in different sequences. I did less writing and more mulling over the next plan, the next promotion, the next stunt. It’s frustrating. What I loved has become the biggest source of frustration in my life. And it all had one big effect. It stopped being fun.
So, I’m done. I’m done with the levers and buttons. I’m done with worrying about sales numbers. I’m not going to worry that the big publishers are finally setting reasonable prices and how that will affect indies. I’m done with trend watching and, thank God, I’m done with market research.
It’s not fun.
I never wrote a book to win an award. I never wrote a book with the goal of making the NY Times list. I never wrote a book to fit a popular trend. I wrote books because it was fun. Having fun makes me happy. Somewhere along the line, I seem to have forgotten that.
So, after analyzing everything for two and a half years, after looking at what’s worked for others, after reading the latest assumptions of what may be happening here or there, after looking at projections, after reading countless books and blogs on book marketing here’s my new marketing plan—fun.
Fun with a capital F, U and a little n because it’s funnier that way to me.
That’s it. That’s my mission statement. That’s my brand platform. That’s my strategy. That’s my list of tactics. That’s my criteria for my next project. It’s my motto and my creed. Unless that’s not what a creed is. I never really understood creeds.
Even in this post I’ve spent too much time talking about all the boring stuff. So, I’ll end it here.
There’s fun to be had.