Thursday, 9 October 2014

A note on publishing (alright, marketing)

Writing is my full time occupation. I wake, I write until the words lose all meaning, then I get on with the marketing. And there’s as much marketing in books as there is in any other product under the sun.

I had a chat the other day with a chap who’s somewhat of an expert in advertising. He finds my foray into self-publishing fascinating. As in “And that promotion cost you $200 and netted only an additional 4 sales per day, fascinating. Why do you think that was?”

The answer is I don’t really know (nor why a $25 promotion a couple of months ago netted 300 sales in an hour. A lot of people would say it’s down to luck. I’m not sure I believe in luck. Circumstance and coincidence, sure. But luck? No.)
"Why do you think?" I asked him. "You are, after all, meant to be an expert in this sort of thing."
"Well," he said, "there was <name redacted>, they launched a £25,000,000 marketing push in Russia, timing it to coincide with the winter Olympics. Then came the Crimean Crisis."
He sipped on his coffee for a while, as I waited for him to continue.

“Timing,” I said when it was evident he was finished. “You’re saying that’s what it’s all about.”
“Being at the right place, just before the right time, so that when the perfect moment comes around, you’re already there.”

Good advice for some, perhaps, but not so much for a writer of post-apocalyptic fiction. I mean, if I were to write a prescient novel, there wouldn’t be anyone left to notice how foresighted I’d been. But Timing does have a part to play. I’ve noticed that. With a book about zombies with ‘London’ in the title, it’s no wonder I noticed sales collapse on those warm summer evenings.

Knowing that doesn’t help me improve my sales figures to the point I could afford a <name redacted> myself, though. But I need to be pro-active. As I see it, I’ve two choices. Either I stop global warming, so Britain returns to that damp miserable weather I remember as a child, or I build a machine to bring on a new ice age. Or maybe I can just buy a machine like that. I’m off to ebay to check.

[to other authors who are interested, the $25 promotion was with, I highly recommend their services. I’d also recommend The Fussy Librarian and The $200 was spent across about 30 different sites, during a week long promotion. I won’t name them here as I and others have had great success with them in the past.]