A lot of people have asked me lately some form of “how does it feel to be a published author/to have accomplished your dream?”
I mentally turn to myself and ask “yes Jason how does it feel?”
Well, the answer is complicated.
I feel proud that I vanquished the demon known as procrastination and brought one of my many crazy novel ideas to life from start to finish.
I feel in awe that someone out there in the world could be reading and falling in love with a world and characters that I created.
I feel a bit in transition as the book release is once again coinciding with life events this time me being on paternity leave (which is amazing) and my final weeks of grad school.
I feel lost that this thing which took up a large chunk of time is now gone.
And mostly I feel like I climbed this massive mountain only to discover an even larger one behind it. You see, people always talk about how hard it is to write a book but few ever talk about how hard it is to market a book.
Now I know what you might be thinking: "Jason, you have tons of digital marketing experience selling trees, memberships, and magazine subscriptions, how is a book any different?"
Turns out, it's very different.
There are all kinds of nuances I need to learn and levers I have to pull in order to get my book out there.
1. Amazon is King?
First and foremost is Amazon. As many of you know Amazon is huge for books, but it isn't quite the entire market. In fact, current estimates place Amazon's ebook market share at around 68%, and surprisingly paperbacks still dominate much of the total sales volume.
The craziest thing I've learned is that there's so much more than just Amazon. There's Kobo, Ingram, Barnes and Noble, BookBub, Goodreads, Apple Books, Google Books.
But none of these sites matter if no one has heard of your book. This brings me to my second and third points.
2. Reviews Matter (and not just from The New York Times).
Believe it or not, but one of the best ways to get your book out there is to have reviews. Good, bad, otherwise it doesn't matter as much as the fact that they exist. Reviews are the currency of the book world (look no further than #booktok). But the thing I've found difficult is not only getting reviews but getting quality reviews. As I've begun to grow my author social platforms I've been approached by numerous accounts (mainly on Instagram) promising the moon and back in terms of reviews, followers, engagements, and orders all for a price (usually in the $30+ dollar range/post.)
3. Hello, Digital Ads
Another avenue I've been using to help boost my profile is digital ads on both Facebook and Amazon. I've had some success with both but the hardest part is doing both on a budget and continuing to optimize. See in my experience, usually how these ads work is you put in some money you get some results and then the platforms ask for more money. It's like chasing a rabbit and your fingertips just touch its tail before it disappears down a hole. Long story short, it's a work in progress.
As I continue my post-publishing journey I plan to add my marketing experience to this blog. In the meantime, there are some free things you can do to help getThe Terminal Code out there.
Read & Review - once you finish reading make sure to leave a review on Amazon, Kobo, Goodreads, BookBub, and B&N.com. Remember for Amazon you need to have spent $50 in the past calendar year in order to review.
Share a photo of you and my book and tag me!
Until next time.