Ready, Set, Launch…

Having spent forty years in marketing as my day job, I thought I’d be more than ready for a self-published book launch. Think again. Marketing has become a highly technical exercise, so thank goodness I have some background in that, too. But putting the two together is amazingly complex. Search engines, social media, automated mail lists, electronic media formats, to name just a few of the challenges. Oh my! All I want is for some nice people to buy my books and read my stories.

I’m learning fast, and as book launch day approaches my adrenaline is rising. I’m searching the websites of my favorite writers for glimpses of how they present themselves. I’m studying author tips and tools on amazon.com and taking every free webinar about online marketing I can squeeze into my schedule. I’m trying to marry all the things I already know to the new methods that are required to reach today’s readers.

Much of the marketing I did in my corporate career was one-on-one with decision makers at large upscale companies. But getting face-to-face with large numbers of readers is almost impossible, and costly in terms of time and expenses. In the time I can speak at a local bookshop and sell six print books (if I’m lucky), I can sell more online without leaving my office. Of course, that doesn’t take all of my prep time into account, but when that’s done, hopefully only once, I can sell every hour of every day with little recurring effort. Anyway, that’s the simplistic version of the business model for today’s authors.

That said, I’m eager to get out there and meet as many of my readers as time and energy permits. It’s been such fun getting both good criticism and “constructive” criticism from other writers, and now I want that same feedback from my real intended audience. I’m sure it will make me a better writer who can bring more enjoyment to my readers and so, once it’s established, may that circle be unbroken. Hope to see you on the road.

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