With more than 49 million books available for sale on Amazon worldwide, it’s a little hard for an author to get noticed. I’ve written before about stumbling and bumbling my way through the stages of book production and promotion. It was nightmarish with my first book, very difficult with my second, and still hard with my third. And despite my best efforts, my audience of readers, while highly prized, is still pretty small.
The prospect of growing that audience while working on a new book is daunting. I’ve discovered that the more books I write, the more marketing tasks I’m required to juggle. My tiny mind is already having a hard time tracking promotion, for example, because each book in the series has different eligibility dates for advertising under Amazon rules. To add to the fun, each online advertising site I use has its own restrictions on the number of times a book can be offered: some have no limitations at all, some are once a month, others once every three months, and some are every six months.
Keeping track of Amazon dates and multiple advertising site dates for one book is challenging. Multiply that by three books, and things get really interesting—if by interesting I mean migraine-inducing, and I do. So, when I came across a marketing service that specializes in ebook promotion for mysteries, and handles all of the things I do so badly or not at all—search engine optimization, HTML coding, selecting appropriate categories and keywords, writing book blurbs, creating covers, and scheduling advertising, I thought Sign me up.
But then, after having paid for the expertise of a group of professionals who have successfully done exactly what I hope to do—expand readership and increase sales, I found myself reluctant to accept their advice. Instead, I advocated for some version of the status quo. It was karma, I suppose. I spent a lot of years directing advertising and promotion for a local university. Often clients argued for personal taste in terms of art work and advertising copy. It could get frustrating, trying to convince them that their personal preferences wouldn’t achieve their goals. When I talked about my reaction to the new materials with a friend, she asked me a few pointed questions. It came as a bit of a shock when I realized that this time, I was the recalcitrant client, not the rational professional.
And so, although the covers are in a different style than I’ve used before, and the copy is pretty…high octane…I have decided I should follow Elsa’s advice. I’ve done a trust fall into the arms of professional expertise, and I’m letting it go. Though not usually so eager to abandon my opinions, over the next six months or so, I’ll be thrilled to discover that letting go can be exactly the right thing to do. Meanwhile, the ebooks with their new covers and copy are available for viewing—and purchase, of course—on Amazon. I’m interested to know what you think.