My most recent marketing ploy seems to have fallen prey to a techno-glitch (don't ask), which helps to point up the challenges in marketing books and e-books in the digital age. There is still the issue of developing my work as a brand. So what's the answer? In short, there's no easy answer to that in the overcrowded, constantly morphing world of books. But there are some issues that seem to remain constant:
- Good writing. You may be able to sell that first book to the curious if it's crappy writing and only partially developed, but you won't sell to them again. This is job one.
- Know what people want. Readers these days seem to want insight into an overcomplicated world, and they're willing to follow you into both fiction and non-fiction if your story speaks to them personally.
- A readership. This is the toughie these days. One can only sell so many books to friends, friends of friends, your students, those who come to your workshops, and the curious who might stumble onto you and your work. If I had an answer here I'd certainly share it, but I don't.
- A catalogue. Without New York's big publicity guns behind you, you will need a record of (at least) minor sales of a long string of well written works that speak to the world in a literary sense. This is a long-range issue - it's nose-to-the-grindstone-and-keep-it-there. Toil and perspiration in a labor of love.
There are as many specific answers to these issues as there are good writers out there. If you're a writer, keep in mind that your brand is essentially you. Readers, let the writers you know (and that includes me) what interests you in the world of books and the human needs books serve, and where you go to fulfill that interest. Every little bit helps.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.