When you were growing up, did you often wake up and think, “Wow! That’s it – I want to be a telemarketer? And then—! When I’m REALLY good at that I can move on up and sell insurance door to door! Yeah baby!!!” Yes – I know there are too many exclamation marks you grammar guru guy you!!! No. You probably wanted to be a fireman or astronaut, or the next president. The problem is that life is a slippery old thing, and things happen, crappy people happen, and sometimes you find yourself upside down in a pit of some horrible thing, and you have no choice but to take whatever means you can to earn your monthly crusts.
Nobody likes telemarketers. Nobody likes in your face buggers trying to force you to insure yourself against clocking out entirely. Nobody likes in your face buggers in general. Having been in sales and marketing for pretty much all of my working life, I learned that the art of salesmanship is more about selling yourself than your product. “Talking the talk” just pisses people off. I was lucky though – I got good packages with cars and trips to cool resorts as well as commission, so I never had that desperate need to make the money for the rent – too often. I also got to teach and lecture a bit. Now as a buyer of many totally unnecessary things, I realise that quite a lot of what I buy I don’t actually want or need – I just really liked the guy selling it.
A lot of indie authors put a lot of time into every day “marketing”. Unfortunately, blamming your book cover in my face every single day is just going to irritate me – a bit – ok – a LOT. So – no – I probably won’t buy your book. I’ll more than likely switch notifications to your site off. Any writer – whether traditional or not, is highly unlikely to make it into the top echelons in the first five years. Now and then you will have moments of glee – HI WILBUR! But mostly – not.
Even though I’m only a couple of years into this old gorgeous scribbling world, I know that my first five books will more than likely receive the response of – “Meh.” So I say – forget about the big bucks and the red carpet for a while, and build up your backlist. When you’ve published seven or ten books, and you’re comfortable in your author skin – that’s when you’ll find your forever readers. So slow down – relax – enjoy, and write on – bugger the marketing. If you get yourself to midlist, and enough readers love your scribbles, you will afford all the absinthe that your rowdy muse needs, and tea and bickies for you too. Enough of the BUY MY BOOK emails and – stuff. Have fun with your online writers groups and connections for now – don’t get too serious too soon – if ever.