A few days ago I received an email from a relatively new author whom I'd hosted here at Beyond Romance, asking for marketing advice. My first reaction was a snort of derision. You're asking me how to build a brand and increase your sales? I haven't got a clue!
In fact, I'm been fretting lately about the way my royalties seem to be trending down rather than up. I realize that there are many variables contributing to this phenomenon, including the fact that I haven't published a new romance title since last fall, and the sad truth that every single day, hundreds if not thousands of new authors join the ranks of the competition. No wonder it's so difficult to get noticed. Anyway, since I've made a resolution that I'm going to at least double my sales this year, I've been trying to figure out a marketing strategy that will help me attain that goal.
Anyone have any ideas? ;^)
To get back to the subject at hand, I did not, of course, simply dismiss my colleague's inquiry and tell her that she should seek help elsewhere. I gave her what assistance I could, with the caveat that everything I was saying was based on my own experience alone. As I worked on the email, I realized that I did have some useful information to impart, simply because I am at a different stage in my author's journey than she is.
I have a back list of almost fifty books at this point. I've been running this blog for more than three years and have accumulated more than 110,000 page views. I don't know if I have really achieved general name recognition, but when I google my pen name, I'm always astonished at where it shows up. (And because it's so unique, 99 out of 100 references I find do in fact refer to me.)
So, I'm not where I want to be, sales-wise. Or, for that matter, from the perspective of productivity. Well, that's something to focus on, but still, I'm a long way from square one.
And furthermore, I'm still writing. It's so easy to get discouraged in this business, especially given the ridiculous odds of even getting noticed. I haven't given up, though occasionally I'm tempted. I'm not going to surrender to guilt or self-pity either. I spend the time I can afford. I write what appeals to me. I've been fortunate to have a very high acceptance ratio. Honestly, there are tens of thousands of authors who would give anything to be at my stage in this journey.
Now it's time to move along the next segment of my writer's road.