Wading Through Quicksand
By Tim Smith
In talking with other authors I’ve found some misconceptions about marketing and promotions. If you want to do it right, be prepared to spend more than a few hours and some money, but you don’t have to hock the homestead to make it happen. There are many free or low-cost options out there, such as the site I’m writing this for. Many sites offer packages that are reasonable and will provide exposure. Here are a few things to avoid.
– Taking out large ads in print publications. Unless you’re a celebrity, expect a reaction of “Who?” Yes, I’m guilty of doing this with my first book. In retrospect, I could’ve used the money for something better, like buying a full tank of gas.
– Paying a huge fee to get your book placed next to a bestseller on a big-box site. I knew an author who did this to the tune of several hundred dollars. When I asked if she’d seen any results she just gave me a vague stare.
– Thinking you have to hire a full-time publicist. There are many sites that will take you on as a customer and give you good exposure for a reasonable fee. Early on I thought a publicist was the way to go and I contacted someone who came highly recommended. We discussed services but when I asked what she would charge to perform these miracles, I figured I could afford about twenty minutes of her time.
The bottom line? Be creative but don’t waste your money!