I am naive. Inexperienced. Fresh meat. I thought developing an idea was hard. I thought creating a story was hard. I thought writing was hard. I thought editing was hard. And tedious. I was wrong. What’s the hardest when it comes to writing?
I always knew I would self-publish. Too scared to query agents and hand over my baby to traditional publishing, I hid behind a pen name, put my dark fantasy novel on Amazon, and squirreled myself away beneath my blankets.
I don’t know what I expected. At the forefront of my mind, I hoped, prayed, nearly pleaded that no one discovered my novel — that it would become lost in the hundreds-of-thousands of other self-published novels. Drowns in its category. Disappears off the radar — that everyone would forget Sophia Madison and her novel. But then a spark, a hope shimmered in the back of my mind. An itch. A compulsion. A hidden desire manifested from a subconscious wish. I want people to read my story. I found myself compulsively checking my pre-order tally.
Hour one: 0
Hour two: 0
Hour three: 1 — I’d almost said, holy shit someone bought it! Until I realized a good friend had purchased it. Scratch that. It didn’t count.
Hour seven: 1
Hour twelve: 2 — Holy shit! Who bought it? I couldn’t imagine who or where this unfortunate soul stumbled upon my book.
Hour fifteen: 2
Hour twenty: 1 — What the f***?! Can you return a pre-order? Is that a thing? What made them decide to rethink their decision? With no excerpt available, how’d they reshelve my book?
Hour twenty-four: 1
Hour thirty: 2 — Had they reconsidered? Bought the book again? Or was this another person? Would they return it too?
My compulsion became an obsession. With every click on my blog, I raced to see if anyone had dared buy my book. It wasn’t about the money. If it was, I’d have made the book $12 instead of $2.99, like the traditionally published books I find myself suckered into buying. No. I simply wanted people to read my story. I wanted to share, to expose others to the world I’d lived in for the past two years. Slaved over. Cried for. Painstakingly perfected (or tried to) for all to experience. That’s when I realized: Marketing. Is. A. Bitch.
I began to think, how can I make myself known? How do I put myself out in the world via a screen?
I created a Twitter account, which no one seems to pay mind to. 700+ followers and I’m lucky if my tweets are acknolweged. I created author pages on various sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, although, they’re only good if people know to look for you. I started this blog, which has proven more receptive than anything else. I created a Pinterest. I’m not sure what I’m doing with it, other than amusing myself with humorous pictures and encouraging my procrastination to do anything else. I’ve also joined Weekend Writing Warriors, which has been a key in networking. Prior to publishing, I was and still am, a member on a writing community called Scribophile. There, I formed my foundation.
Even with all of these methods of marketing, I’m still unsure of how successful they will be. After my book is released, I intend to do several free giveaways to establish a fan base. Until then, I will continue to compulsively, obsessively, desperately click.click.click