Getting it out of your head and on to the page.
How to stay well and thrive by writing during lockdown. Number 4 of the Creative Spirit podcast.
How learning to play is the key to creative freedom.
Welcome to episode 22 of my 2020 Staycation Podcast in which I explore how our attitudes change when faced with the possibility of a finite existence.
One of the main reasons I went down the self-publishing route for my first book, Writing for Wellness: Surviving Lockdown One Word at a Time, was that I thought I would do my own publicity and marketing. I have a background in public relations and I have done rather well on social media over the years. But now it comes down to it I am finding it harder than I thought.
It’s not the number of sales that’s the problem. In that respect it has exceeded my expectations. It’s that I have had so many negative experiences of other people trying to get me to buy their book that I am hesitant to put others through the same.
Here are some of the big no’s I have picked up along the way:
I’m not comfortable flat out asking people to buy my book, but I do know who my target audience are. They are people who love writing, who would like to write more, who may be nervous about doing so, or think they are not good enough. It’s also for people who may struggle with mental health issues and who discover, perhaps through my book, how writing it out of their heads and on to the page can be therapeutic for them, and finally it’s for people who enjoy reading something that is semi-autobiographical.
If you fit in one or more of those categories, then you may find my book interesting, and possibly even inspiring. There, I said it, someone. out there might actually enjoy reading it.
I could, of course, run free giveaways and other such promotions, but unless I can get the book in front of my target audiences there is little point. It will just become yet another free block of pixels in someone’s rarely visited Kindle library. Surely it’s much better to hold the book’s value and continue the search for the people who would equally value it? I’d love your perspective on this.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of reviews. I absolutely refuse to ask anyone to review my book and consequently, even though it launched three days ago, there are no reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Of course, I wish there were, at least I wish there were some good ones, but I can’t quite bring myself to ask people because that would feel like cheating. Not quite as bad as paying someone to do them (which I believe happens in some instances), but still, at the very least incredibly awkward.
Some people might think I’m selling myself short in all this. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I’m doing what most people are not doing, and that’s simply talking about my book and sharing what I have enjoyed about writing and publishing it, what has been difficult for me, in the hopes that it will organically find its way into the right hands. It certainly feels like the way of integrity, but I doubt I’ll get to retire on it anytime soon.
What do you all think? What are some of the marketing and publicity techniques you’ve used for your books?
On a final note, I will say this. If we were not in lockdown, things would be different. There would be certain events I could go to where I could sell my book and do signings, and talks I could give where I could do the same. When the only marketing platform is a digital one, it’s tricky not to fall prey to the temptation to start screaming as loud as you can in the hopes that you will be heard above the din.
Here’s one small voice, speaking to the other small voices in the universe, saying I’m here, I have something you might like. Have a read and see what you think.
Welcome to day seventeen of my staycation podcast where I talk about how the gift of writing in many forms can bring us an increased sense of wellbeing during challenging times.
Welcome to day sixteen of my Staycation Podcast in which I talk about the plethora of things we could be doing with our time at home. Hope you enjoy. Do let me know how you are doing and how you’re spending your time right now.
Welcome to day fifteen of my Staycation Podcast in which I look at how a daily dosage of belly laughs can be good for our health.
Welcome to day fourteen of my Staycation Podcast in which I talk about the gifts of patience & perseverance that will see us through these unprecedented times. Enjoy!
Welcome to day twelve of my Staycation Podcast where I’m absolutely keeping it real! Now, tell me how you really feel?