This Little Piggy Went to Market

Tunnel_in_Zion_Park_USAOne of the first things you learn about publishing a book is how much work the post-writing phase is. I’m referring to the dreaded marketing and promotion phase.  For those of us relatively new to this aspect of the business, it’s a daunting road with its own language and sign posts. Social media, branding, platforms, linking, blog tours, websites–yikes!

However, after I decided to publish the first book, the die was cast. I’d chosen this path and now I had to follow through no matter how daunting. My first forays into the marketing and promotion forest proved how alarmingly out of my depth I was. The resources I found were unanimous about two things: the promo should start when you begin writing, and whatever tools you develop, be they blogs, tweets or Facebook, should be fed a regular diet of quality fodder. I hadn’t even started down the road and I’d already failed two “should do” tests.

At that point, the first book hadn’t yet hit the market, so I reasoned that perhaps it wasn’t too late. I could do this–plenty of others had, right? Wrong. I failed miserably. Cases in point (yes, that’s plural): I tried but failed to get a blog running on Tumblr; I tried but failed to create a Gravatar for my main character; I tried but failed to upload my work onto Wattpad. I was lost in the quagmire. Have I mentioned that I’m hopeless with technology?

But you know what I learned? I learned how very generous and supportive the writing community is. I reached out (crawled while pleading and begging was more like it) and friends grabbed hold and pulled me out of the muck. With their help, I managed to connect with a creative web designer who secured my domain name and designed an elegant website. In time, I created a Facebook page; I created a Twitter profile and learned about hashtags; I joined Goodreads and figured out how to get my book listed; and then I spent some time with WordPress and created this blog to add to my website.

It`s now six months later. The first book is under my belt and I have another one in the chute,which means that dreaded marketing and promotion road lies in wait. Again. I know it won’t be a picnic, but this time around, when I sink in the muck, discouraged and overwhelmed, I won’t wait so long to reach out.

What do you do when your marketing and promo efforts dump you in the quagmire?


About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
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2 Responses to This Little Piggy Went to Market

  1. Congratulations on your book and your book-to-be! I found you through your comment on another blog: “And I thought no one was watching…”. Which goes to show you that you ARE doing the right things. When I start to get discouraged about my online marketing attempts, I start surfing around other blog to see if I can find some inspiration–and I always do!


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