The Timid Marketer by Erica Vetsch
I am a timid marketer. And yet, authors are supposed to market their books, are encouraged, even in some cases required to market. I find it hard to talk about my books, especially in person, and when I do, it feels so unnatural for me. So, how does a timid marketer, someone who finds it difficult to talk about herself and her works, overcome this timidity, work with her marketing team, and let people know about her books?
I’ve found a few things that I’m comfortable with, and a few things I’m learning to be more comfortable with.
• Blogging. I’m a big fan of blogging. I’ve had a blog at www.onthewritepath.blogspot.com/ for several years now, and I really enjoy it. There are a few things I do to blog effectively.
1. Consistent posts. I post Monday through Friday.
2. A mixture of industry news, new fiction, book reviews, and personal experience. I devote a day each week to something fun called The Friday Five. Five things about me on a specific topic. Examples: Five things you will never hear me say. Or Five things I always carry in my purse. Then I invite folks to share their own Friday Five on that topic.
3. Answering and acknowledging comments. I’m getting better at this one. I’ve found that if I want people to visit and feel welcome, I should respond to their comments.
4. Visiting other blogs and making meaningful comments. I have a list of blogs on my blog page that I visit each day. I have a great network of blog friends that support me faithfully, and I try to return the favor.
5. As a result of making friends via blogs, I’m in the midst of a blog tour hosted by these friends who are helping me spread the word about my new book.
• Facebook. I have a Facebook page that I enjoy. It is a great way to connect with people I haven’t seen for a long time. I have my blog linked to post on my Facebook page. I enjoy the networking, the give-and-take with friends, and seeing everyone’s photographs.
• Twitter. This is a new one to me. I’m trying Twitter out at the moment. I’ve got it cross-posted so when I update Twitter, it automatically updates on my Facebook page. I’m following a lot of people, and am daily getting more followers. If you’d like to follow me on twitter, you can find me at twitter.com user name EricaVetsch
• The ACFW. Through their e-loop, their monthly new release posts, book reviews, and especially through www.fictionfinder.com I’m hoping to let people know about my books without seeming pushy.
• Book trailers. I’ve got some book trailers in the works as I write this. Hopefully by the time this blog is posted, they will be finished and up for view on YouTube and on my blog page.
• I’m also working on getting a website up and running.
You’ll notice that all of this marketing takes place via the internet. A good way for a timid marketer to get the word out.
As I become more accustomed to the idea of having published books out in the marketplace, I’m hoping I will become more adept at letting people know about them. I’ve got a line on a few book signings, and hopefully a radio interview in the near future. Those types of marketing scare me rigid, but the book signings would take place with some other authors, so I won’t have to sit at a table all by myself.
There are a couple of things that keep me back from marketing more aggressively:
1. Talking about my novels feels so much like tooting my own horn. I’m much better at promoting other people’s fiction. It feels awkward to even tell people that I’ve got a book coming out, much less what it is about and that I hope they will buy it and like it. In a workshop I took with the amazing Karen Ball and Allen Arnold, they tried to show us how marketing our work was less like making a stump speech and more like hosting a party. Now that was an idea I could get behind. I can host a party. I can hopefully provide an interesting and entertaining time to my guests that will have them talking and inviting their friends to visit.
2. The time. Marketing takes time. Even more than money, and there is a financial investment to aggressive marketing, there is a big time investment. I’m trying to find ways of marketing that will be effective while not sucking up too much of my time. My primary job is to write good stories. Marketing, while necessary, must be secondary to that.
Hopefully, marketing will become easier for me as I do more of it. I’m very thankful for friends like Jess, who have been so enthusiastic about joining in the blog tour, and helping me along the way. I’m so blessed to know her.
If you haven't been to Erica's blog, I can't encourage you enough to check it out. She's an organized blogger--the very best kind. You'll learn more about writing, and come away with some pretty tasty recipes too.
And with Erica's permission, I'm giving away a copy of her debut novel, The Bartered Bride. It's filled with love and laughter, excellent characterization and fine writing. Leave a comment here and your name will be included in the drawing. I know some of my readers can't leave comments so if you'll email me privately, I'll post your comment for you. And please, don't forget to tell us how to reach you in case you win!