I just launched my first self-published novel in January. Prior to this, I’d been a traditionally published author in a handful of different genres… always making midlist with decent numbers, but never capitalizing on my audience because I have ADHD that would put a hyperactive retriever puppy to shame. (Oooh! Squirrel!)
Beyond that, I took a two-year hiatus from fiction writing altogether. I haven’t had a new book on the shelf since 2013. Tumbleweeds blew through my Facebook author page. Twitter was still a crowded bar that I occasionally frequented, feeling horribly uncomfortable and generally staying silent.
And did I mention I didn’t email my newsletter once during that time?
For a writing coach who also helps with marketing strategy, this is akin to me standing here in my undies, guys.
Appalling. I know better. The cobbler’s kids are barefoot, alas.
Still, it’s been a useful exercise. First of all, because that two-year hiatus was just what I needed to get my financial foundation in order, so I wasn’t writing from a place of desperation. Nothing puts my creativity in a chokehold like the thought that “if this doesn’t take off, goodbye mortgage.”
Secondly, this gives me a chance to start from a relative ground zero. I am not coasting off of previous momentum from a series or previous releases. Heck, I’d chosen to wade into the pond of self-publishing with the skill set that kick started my career, romantic comedy. I haven’t written category-length rom com in well over a decade. There was no guarantee any of my audience from that time period would remember me, nor would they be following me or watching me.
How, then, to promote a new series, in a crowded marketplace, in my first time at bat? [Read more…]