We have a treat today with a new guest post by author Christopher Hudson. He will be discussing the problem that all authors face when they add their name to the big list of published authors. Undoubtedly, millions of authors find themselves in this situation. It’s going to be interesting to see the comments as authors share their experience with this and how they all deal with it.
The new phone book is here!
By Christopher Hudson
When Steve Martin’s character in the movie, The Jerk, see’s his name in the new phone book, he exclaims, ‘I’m somebody.’ That’s exactly what I said when I received a copy of my first book, Northern Cross.It was a long time coming … a decade or more … and seeing my name on the cover of that book actually brought tears to my eyes. But I soon discovered that having a book published is pretty much like getting your name in the phone book … it doesn’t mean anyone … other than the occasional psychotic killer who picks out your name at random … is going to notice you. (If you happen to be a psychotic killer, pretend you didn’t read this, okay?)
The hard lesson for me was that sales hinged on marketing … no one (and that included family and friends) knew, or cared about my book unless I waved it in front of them … constantly. It is just the way of the world. “Early to bed, early to rise, advertise, advertise, advertise,” is a quote I heard once attributed to a successful corporate titan … and who could argue with effectiveness of relentless marketing?
Now that’s all well and good … if you have a marketing department, ad agency, and an endless supply of money … but my publisher was just a small … make that mini … er, micro print-on-demand outfit. They told me that they depended on their authors to provide ‘marketing support’. What I was to learn was that meant ‘all marketing’ … if I didn’t beat the drum and blow the horn, it just wasn’t going to happen … and I was going to have to do that via the only tool available to me … the Internet.
Now, here is the good and the bad news about the Internet … it provides you with access to people, places, and forums that were previously unattainable … it also provides everyone else with access to those same people, places, and forums. Oh, there are methods of cutting through the noise … Tony’s site provides a lot of tips and tricks … but they usually require some technical skill and a large amount of tenacity on the author’s part … traits that I’m … well … lacking.
To me, the Internet is just another phone book … a gargantuan, electronic phone book filled with hundreds of millions of names … just being present doesn’t guarantee that anyone will ever notice you … unless they are a spammer … or psychotic killer.
Tony Eldridge is the author of The Samson Effect, an action/adventure novel that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He is also the author of the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests. His new novel, The Lottery Ticket, was just recently released on Kindle.