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Writer Wednesday: The Marketing Hydra

Hello and Good Morning authors and welcome to another #writerwednesday, where we talk about the craft, industry, and all those bookish things. Occasionally, I'll revisit topics, especially if they are a multi faceted mess like marketing.


Marketing for authors can often feel like Hercules vs the Hydra. There are a mess of heads. You lop off one and two failed marketing avenues take its place. This metaphor is a bit wonky but the central spirit is the same. Marketing is a multi headed monster but unlike the Hydra, there is more than one way to slay. While there are some tried and tested marketing techniques nothing works 100% of the time and some aspects are marketing are a challenge if you find yourself with little to no budget. This is especially true for self published authors, who cover all aspects of book production costs, and indie authors, who are mostly responsible for their marketing.





That Social Media Trudge


Social media has become a huge part of indie and self publishing marketing, from bookstagram style tours, book reels, and booktok, and while it is great to see a title take off this way, it's not an easy pool to wade in for everyone. With so many platforms, social media get become overwhelming really fast. If, like me, you find yourself needing the occasional hiatus, you may find the whole part and parcel of social media exhausting. The constant need for content, putting together reels, can all feel like too much. There are a few methods to make it a little less exhausting but do afraid to take breaks when needed. We are all human. I know I've said it before but rather than trying to do them all, concentrate on one or two platforms and make the most of them. Even if you decide to have a presence on multiple platforms, embrace the power of cross posting. It's not lazy if the same content if finding a new audience. Same goes for premade posts. Got a day with some spare time? Prep a bunch of posts to share over several days or weeks. And if sharing every day is too much, make a loose posting schedule with only a few posts a week instead.


Don't Underestimate Libraries


I can't scream enough how important libraries are in general, as word of mouth through librarians is a huge boost. They can also be a huge resource for indie and self published authors, and so many don't know how to utilize them to their full potential. The Indie Author Project, based in the US and Canada is a massive resource program that helps indie and self pubbed authors gain access to the library catalog, has a huge yearly multi state and territory contest and provides authors a connection to the libraries in their home state. Authors and small publishers can apply their books to the Overdrive ebook loaning system. And on a local level, most libraries will happily take copies of your book for circulation, or buy them if they have the budget. They will work with local authors to host events and readings and will often promote your book to their patrons.


Beyond Bookbub & Facebook Ads


Ads in general are a risky venture but can often be worth it if your book is new or on sale. However, Bookbub can run super expensive and Facebook can quickly eat up a budget. There are a lot of other newsletter style services out there with a sizeable mailing list at more affordable rates. When it comes to returns, spreading your budget across a few low cost mailers instead of pouring it all into a single Bookbub run would leave you with more wiggle room and resources for other marketing avenues.


Seriously, Author Team Ups For the Win


A final piece of advice and one that can be a game changer, whether its local signings/ readings, giveaways, or online events, utilize your fellow authors. Sometimes we forget are biggest resource is each other. Readers gotta read. Teaming up with other authors in your genre for launches and giveaways is a big draw. A symbiotic boost for all participants. If you are pulling together a local signing or reading, connect with the other authors in your area. A single author event might have a wobbly draw or attendance, but a group of authors creates a greater experience and natural draw.


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