(Jay Sherman from The Critic. Geek points if you remember the show!)
Last week for the IWSG, I shared my insecurities about marketing. I already knew many writers have the same worries about promotion, but it amazed me just how many had no idea what was working and what wasn't. Everyone just keeps pushing onward, hoping something might click.
Once upon a time, it wasn't an author's job to market their work. The publisher did it. Nowadays, the responsibility rests solely upon the writer. It doesn't matter if you're self-published or traditionally published. We now have to be both the artist and marketer. Most of us just aren't built that way. We prefer to stay hidden away in our writing caves and not have to deal with it.
But we have to get our work out there in front of readers. Painful as it is, we have to promote.
You can read all the articles on marketing you want and take a dozen workshops, but sad to say it, it might not help. What works for one author might not work for another. In fact, there are so many different ways to promote your work that very few paths will be the same.
And in the end, it takes a big dose of good luck to succeed.
So why do all that work then? If it's all about luck, there's no point in stressing over marketing. Goodness knows I'd prefer to write stories and not stand out on a street corner shouting, "Buy my book! Buy my book!" Because that's how marketing my books feels to me.
Here's the thing: each reader you reach increases your chances of being lucky. All it takes is that one person to set off a chain reaction.
Do everything you can to attract readers. Try it all at least once. It's immensely stressful, but in the end, your hard work will pay off.