Hello! I am Alan Hands, the author of the book the good professor has just previewed. What do you think of her performance? What will you think of mine? I think the jury is still out on that one, because there is more to writing and publishing that just writing and publishing.
Writing a book and publishing it are monumental achievements, akin to building the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and Sydney Opera House, but what use is a Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal or Eiffel Tower if you don’t build the roads and bridges that bring the tourists?
I’m talking about marketing and advertising. It’s a steep learning curve for the novice, a roller coaster ride that you can’t exit whenever it pleases you, or your future as an author will be spectacularly short. It might be spectacularly short anyway, if you get it horribly wrong.
Has the good professor ruined my career with her impassioned devotion to my work? It’s a risk I must take. Consider the financial costs of self-promotion and set aside the cost to one’s reputation and dignity. On average, getting just one person to reach my blog costs about 60 cents in Facebook ads, or let’s say about $30 for 50 people. On average, only about one out of ten visitors will then click the link to my amazon pages and, of those ten, just one will end up buying one of my absurdly cheap books (gotta sell cheap to compete). So, we’re looking at $60 out for maybe one sale, amounting to a couple of dollars. How long can I keep bleeding money in this way? Hopefully long enough for word to spread that Mirrored Sword is a great story.
I’ve got great books to sell, great covers for them, and great reviews, but it is all down the drain if I can’t connect the road and bridges to this masterpiece. And now that I’m getting this stuff off my chest, let me have a word in your pearly shell about Amazon.
You might think Amazon would look after someone who spends his own money drawing people to their website. Instead, they provide my books with a Look Inside function which, being an online device, makes a mess of the formatting I took such care with. It doesn’t affect the books you purchase but it must give you pause for thought: is this book defective and is it worth buying? Worse still, Amazon advertises other books on my pages and, being Amazon, it knows exactly what sort of books you usually buy. So, if you are here out of mere curiosity, and you are still curious enough to follow the links to Amazon, the chances are you will see other books on my pages that look more like your sort of thing. Don’t be tempted by those outrageous flirts, the other books that Amazon parades about on my page, temptresses batting their eyelids at you, wiggling their hips! All I’ve got on my side is the good professor, Alana Hands.
Is it any wonder that I will try almost anything to market my books?