–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads
One of my favorite places to talk writing is on Facebook because there are so many different ways to connect on that platform—from personal and author pages to groups and community pages. The other week I happened to chat with the lovely admin of Indie Author Group, which is a hang-out spot for authors, editors and publishers.
There was a question posed by one of the group members asking how indie authors can gain the same respect as traditionally published authors. I threw out the suggestion writers need to be savvy in business and marketing—and quickly got the message that marketing is about the LAST thing a writer needs to worry about.
Or, you need to worry about marketing, just not as much as you need to worry about writing.
When it comes to indie publishing, writers are working a few tools short of the traditional package. We may not have professional editors with whom we’ve established a long-standing work relationship. We may not have illustrators and book cover designers who can customize the perfect cover for our books. We definitely don’t have a whole team of agents, publicists, etc. making it their business to make us a bestseller.
That said, we still have the same obligation to put out an attractive, professional book, like our better equipped traditional counterparts. You get no participation prize in writing. Either your book sells or it doesn’t, and whether you market hard or soft, if it’s not well-written and packaged right, you’ve already failed.
This info is nothing new. So, what’s the solution for the indie author with great marketing skills but not so great books?
Avoid publishing just for the sake of publishing. Having a manuscript doesn’t make you ready to publish. Don’t skip quality control measures, including ARC and beta readers and professional editors. You cannot afford to publish if you cannot afford to ensure quality control.
Don’t be more enthusiastic about your book than you are about your writing. I see a lot of people advising writers get enthused about their product to inspire enthusiasm in readers. It’s one thing to be pleased as punch about having a book. It’s another thing to be proud of the hard work you’ve put into writing the best book you could possibly write. Check your ego and determine which one of those has you hyped.
Don’t let a bad book keep you from writing a good book. You’ve marketed the hell out of your so-so book, and you got buyers! Yay! But the feedback you’re getting is terrible. Or, your only super positive reviews come from family, friends and those sweet folks who wouldn’t even criticize a mass murderer. Stop plugging your fail and get to work redeeming yourself as a serious writer. You still have time.
This is clearly the short list, but it’s a starting point. Once you determine you’re a writer and not just a marketing guru, you begin to see the flaws with pushing a shoddy product. By the way, there are plenty of ways you can be a part of the writing community without being a writer. Have you considered offering your marketing services to others?
Tell me what you think about Bad Books, Great Promos in the comment section below. Have you had a terrible experience, suckered in by the hype? You can also Tweet me @WIRUniverse, #BadBooksGreatPromos.
Thanks for joining me!