I think most writers would love it if signing a publishing contract meant the publisher’s marketing department would get the reviews, promote the book through advertising, set up interviews (TV, radio, and print), and arrange a book tour (at least a blog tour). And some writers do get all or some of that, especially those writers whose books are being published by the Big Five and whose books are appearing on the top ten spots of bestseller lists, or those writers who have received humongous advances due to their notoriety.
But, alas, most of us don’t get that support, even those published by the Big Five. Most writers nowadays must either pay someone to do the marketing or do it themselves. Over and over I hear writers lamenting the time they spend marketing their books rather than writing. I’m one of those writers. What’s worse is most writers are not marketing experts, don’t even like doing the marketing. I know it’s never been something I’ve wanted to do.
There are a variety of ways one can market his or her book, but there always seems to be a learning curve connected. Should I do a Facebook ad? What type of FB ad works best? How do I go about creating one of those ads? How much money paid brings the most return? For me this process goes on and on until I discover I’ve spent hours and hours on an ad that someone familiar with the process could have created in a short time.
I need a marketing department, but how do I go about getting one? And, what exactly do I want? A publicist? That would help, but I need more than that. A web designer? Yes, my website needs work, but I also need more than that. I need those reviews. Who do I hire for that? I need to be more active on social media. How do I maximize the time I spend on social media? Who can teach me or create the posts that will catch the attention of others?
My list goes on and on, and then there’s the question of cost? My dad always said, “It takes money to make money,” but how much is enough and when is it too much?
So many questions, and right now I don’t have any answers. What I want is that marketing department.