The day has come: we have finished our series of the top ten most common marketing missteps taken by self-publishing authors.
They were : (drumroll please)
- devolving into a self-centered campaigner,
- confusing the sales message with the marketing campaign,
- waiting till the book is done to start marketing,
- designing your own book cover,
- printing anything other than on demand (POD),
- taking it personally,
- failing to ask “what’s next?”
- not finding your people,
- thinking: “Aw, but these rules don’t apply to me!” and
- forgetting to Party (Hard)
But what does this actually mean? When push comes to shove, shouldn’t we be looking to optimize our strengths, not obsess over our weaknesses and past errors?
Yes. Absolutely yes. Which is not to say that this list doesn’t have a place, or recognizing our mistakes an important role to play in upping our game and taking our marketing strategy to the next level. But mistakes, and avoiding them, only gets us partway to success–just as swerving to avoid a sinkhole has its advantages (no jolts or damaged suspension) but ultimately leaves drivers no further down the road than before. To push the analogy just a touch further, a serving driver has three probable choices: to swerve onto a sidewalk or ditch, to swerve into a parallel lane, or to swerve into oncoming traffic. The swerve avoids a definite danger–total vehicular destruction–but the choice of which direction to swerve determines the ultimate fate of the driver (not to mention, pedestrians and other innocent lives).
Sure, the metaphor breaks down in places (no pun intended there), but it serves the point: we need more than just phase one. We need a phase two. We need to make active, positive choices to pursue success in addition to active, positive choices to avoid complete disaster. To this end, over the coming weeks I’ll be launching phase two: a series of what will turn out to be, in essence, the opposite of a misstep. What’s the opposite of a misstep, a bungle, a slip-up, a blunder, gaff, a faux pas? Here it is: a triumph, a victory, a gain, a coup de maitre … in other words, the opposite of a misstep is a master stroke.
Bear with me a second. Marketing your self-published book is not golf. Nor is it tennis, or one of those fun heist movies from the early 2000s. But every artist, even a con artist, has his or her trump card–his or her master stroke. And you’re not a con artist! You have real art to sell, and you’re master of both your form and your material. You have something on offer that’s valuable, and worthwhile. We’re just going to take a closer look at how you can polish a few of your marketing moves, with insights from–you got it! The masters of self-publishing.
Check in next week as we launch Phase Two!
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠
|ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com. 10:00 AM|