There. I said it.
I absolutely hate trying to brand my book, or myself as an author. In a perfect world, that novel would just sell itself. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a flawed world where we rely on popularity to give us a boost sometimes. And *insert awkward laugh here* I’ve never been popular. So, I’ve gotta earn bestseller status the hard way.
In college I had to take a mandatory Marketing class for my MIS major requirements, and I opted to take Social Media Marketing (SMM) my last semester to fulfill credit hour requirements. I didn’t get anything out of the Marketing class, but SMM was my favorite class I took at the University. Our class project was to market a book by a local, self-published author, and I was psyched from the beginning, because shoot, I’m a self-published author and could learn ways to promote my book.
So, I dove headfirst into the realm of SMM, and I actually learned a lot. Sometimes I’d watch YouTube videos about it outside of class for my own benefit, and I kept the textbook for future reference. The thing is, when I finally tried to implement my own SMM plan upon my novel’s release, it didn’t work out like the textbook/videoes/my professor preached. I got little to no retweets, no matter how funny/charming I attempted to be. I got less than 15% of my Facebook friends to “like” my book’s page. Since my book’s release in February, I’ve sold exactly 53 copies, including ebooks. And I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s kind of depressing. You pour your heart and soul into those two hundred or more pages, make your own cover (albeit, mine isn’t that great), and drive yourself mad with all the technicalities and obstacles that come with self-publishing just to have people you know personally borrow your book from other people instead of buying their own copies to support you. And then Facebook reveals that they’re willing to buy their acquaintances’ expensive makeup and clothes like hotcakes.
I don’t get it.
Apologies are in order if I’ve been too brash, but these are the things that have haunted me since Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl’s release. I’ve become so weary of marketing that I deleted Twitter and WordPress from my phone for the past couple months, though I just added WordPress back because I missed it. It just feels like no matter what lengths I go to on social media, I can’t seem to get people to take a chance on my novel. Maybe it’s the Indie/self-published author thing. Maybe it’s because I only have half an idea of what I’m trying to do while marketing. I don’t know. But, it feels awesome to get this admission off my chest!
Do any of you self-published authors feel the same way? Are you having trouble getting your book/author status out, or have you found ways to overcome these hurdles? I’d love to hear from you guys!