I’m not giving advice today. I’m also not making a joke. Consider it a stream of thought intended as a question to spark discussion. Basically, I’m trying to decide where I stand on a few things, and I want your input.
I’m about to embark on a major self published work—-specifically, a middle grade adventure series with lots of interactive capacity, such as connecting with the characters, influencing events in future books within the series, and following and solving clues that lead to all kinds of cool aspects to the series. Even the particulars of how interaction takes place will likely be influenced by how the audience reacts to different options surrounding the release of the first book.
My biggest questions are about self publishing. Obviously, in order to really have the versatility I need to make this awesome, self publishing is the way to go. Publishers would never allow me the dynamic I need to make this work the way I want it to. That’s fine, I’m cool with doing it myself. My biggest concern is marketing. A lot has changed in the last two years, and though much is the same, much has really changed. From what I can tell, the authors who have success with things like blog tours, and giveaways are the ones who have already developed a strong audience and have good friction in their market. I want to hear your thoughts, but it seems to me that newbies are really struggling to make a dent in the market with these methods.
That said, the reason authors still push blogs, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and other social media platforms is that they still work——for many. But those who don’t already have much traction through these media don’t tend to get much. It’s like people have decided which authors they like to follow, and don’t have much time to try new stuff. Not that it’s impossible for new authors to make it, it just takes a disproportionate amount of effort to achieve a tiny grain of success. From the standpoint of going from new book to successfully making a living, what once took five or ten years now takes much more, using the methods mentioned (blog tours, giveaways, etc.)
Along those lines, is it me, or do giveaways not work so much anymore? It seems that now, the message, “Get my Kindle book free this week!” is now met with a collective, “Meh.”
I hope I’m not sounding pessimistic. Actually, I’m trying to be strategic. I want to know, especially you who have started new to this game in the last two years, have these traditional methods worked for you? I don’t mean have they helped you meet some great fellow authors (of course it’s done that), but I mean, have your sales been significantly, or at least moderately impacted by them?
If so, how did you make it work? If not, what did you do instead?
What are your thoughts on the modern online marketing techniques, what’s working, and what’s not?