This last year has been a crash-course in small publishing in the CBA for me. The last 6 months has really had me contemplating how I will go forward in my writing career. The last 3 months has had me become ever more convinced that I have been spinning my wheels an awful lot. Granted, I am not complaining. It hasn’t even been a year yet and I Am Ocilla has broken the small press gold standard of 300 copies sold through print, e-book and audio. I should be thankful and not voice my very unpopular opinions.
But if I am honest…I always try to be honest…I will admit that most of that had nothing to do with blog posting, interviews, giveaways, book signings, butt kissing or any other trick pulled from a bag of tricks. Most of the books sold were sold to people I interact with on a personal level through facebook, in real life or friends of theirs.
So what does that say about marketing in today’s industry for a small press author? I can’t answer for anyone else. All I can do is answer for myself.
I know that doing a hundred interviews to the same group of readers/writers is a time-suck and exhausting. Giveaways are great but have not proven to have a return on my investment. How many blog posts does the average person read? I know there are some that do regularly, but it has been my experience that most of those are other writers trying to get into the market also or again, the people that I interact with on a personal level or their friends.
I have lost so much sleep pondering marketing that I haven’t written in two months. That sounds like an excuse but it is a fact. I’m not lazy. I don’t mind hard work. If I have to market in a way that is non-productive, it makes me despise writing. It makes me not want to share another thought on paper ever again. That is not going to fly. I will not do something just because “they” say I must. I am going to do what works and rely on friendships that go beyond books to carry me through. If my writing is worthy, someone may share and if it is God’s will, it will keep growing. If it is not God’s will, I still will have an awesome group of friends.
If I do that, the prize is most definitely worth it.
Peace, love and God’s will.