Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The post-launch marketing slump

The book is out there, slowly but surely gaining ground and finding readers. The blog tour is almost done with only the last few days to go. Reviews are coming in and every day brings me a little closer to my 50 reviews in month one goal. I've had some success with marketing in my area so I've got several events lined up for after the new year. Overall, I'd call it a successful launch.

Which would make it really easy to put my marketing efforts on cruise control.

After all, I've been able to get a lot of great promotion for Rite of Rejection, more than a lot of indie authors. And I've got more books to write and agency clients to work with. There is certainly enough on my plate without adding more marketing efforts.

But if I don't promote it who will? If I stop, what will happen to the visibility I worked so hard to create? Will anyone still buy it? And will anyone care when I release my next book?

Momentum can play such a big role in a book's trajectory. Not every book that becomes a fan favorite does so right out of the gate. Some just build a steady stream of fans and work to stay in the spotlight long enough that eventually they are popular. It feels like it happened overnight to readers, but for the author and her team, there's no forgetting the months of hard work and dedication.

Now, I'm not suggesting that if you just keep at it your book with eventually become a huge success. I wish that for all of us, but only a small few will really ever make it. But I can say that your book has an almost zero percent chance of becoming the next big thing if no one knows it exists.

Sure, I could put this book on the back burner and pull out all my marketing efforts again when the next book rolls around. But then I'm starting at ground zero. Sure, I'll have fans from the readers who read this book, but those fans will have read dozens of other book in the meantime. The momentum will be lost and I'll have to work to recreate the buzz. A much easier task is to work to keep me and my work in the spotlight. Then the fan base is already there and already engaged for the next release.

This sounds like a lot of work, but I don't think it needs to be. You don't need a three ring circus every month. Just one or two efforts each month to keep people talking about your book. This can be as simple as a guest post or as involved as speaking at a conference.

I understand the appeal of taking a break. Lord, do I really want to just put this book on the shelf and forget about it for the next month. But if I keep my head down and do what I know needs to be done, the next release will be even easier. And if I follow suit, the next release after that will be easier still. The momentum will make it a replicating cycle that gets more manageable with time.

So here's to another round of marketing plans and, hopefully, more success in the new year.

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