Marketing My Novels (And Why That Scares Me)

I have a confession to make. No, it’s not one of those confessions that involve the absence of pants, the presence of cameras, and a companions who may or may not be getting paid by the hour. This is the kind of confession that would make a Catholic Priest yawn and roll his eyes.

In wake of the news that my first published erotica/romance novel, “Embers of Eros,” will be released on December 20, 2016, I feel I need to make something clear. I know nothing about marketing a book or being a salesman. In fact, if there was a way to know less than nothing, I would. My experience with sales is restricted to the traffic I generate on this blog, which is every bit as limited as it sounds.

I make this confession in hopes of establishing where I’m coming from as I try to build my career as a published author. As I’ve said before, I know I’m behind the curve. I know I have a long way to go before I can achieve the success I want. “Embers of Eros” and “Passion Relapse” are just small steps, but they’re still significant.

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A more significant step, though, involves actually selling these steamy hot romance/erotica books I write. I’m not going to mince words. That kind of terrifies me. Asking me to be a successful salesman is like asking me to do brain surgery. I’m woefully ill-equipped.

That’s not to say I have no experience whatsoever in convincing people to buy something. In my youth, I did a few odd jobs here and there that involved some light selling. I even dipped my toes into those dumb get-rich-quick-schemes that seem to flood the internet like updates to the iPhone.

Thankfully, I never got suckered into a scheme that cost me a lot of money. The problem, or benefit in this case, is that I tend to overthink a situation and I usually end up finding a flaw. That’s often why my writing, as well as my depictions of seamy love scenes, are so thorough. It’s just a quirk I’ve always had.

It’s a good quirk if you’re writing detailed, intricate love scenes in a romance/erotica novel. It’s not a good quirk when you have to think on your feet while convincing a total stranger to buy your crap. I’m not the Wolf of Walls Street and not just because I don’t pop Quaaludes off a stripper’s ass.

This is why I’m so determined to get the support of a publisher. It’s my sincere hope that they employ people who actually know a thing or two about selling a book, or anything for that matter. All of the self-published books I’ve written have little to no marketing behind them. This blog, and my social media feeds, are pretty much all I’ve got.

I’m hoping that, with the publication of two erotica/romance books, I can change that. I understand that if I want to be successful in this endeavor, I need to learn new skills. I need to learn how to sell myself and, more importantly, I have to know how to do that while keeping my pants on.

I hope that the publishers I work with will give me some help here and hopefully it isn’t the kind of help that makes for lousy late-night infomercials whose pitchmen tend to end up in prison. I have some ideas. Unfortunately, I have no idea if they’re any good.

Those ideas include things like doing a few more YouTube videos, like I did for “Skin Deep.” They also include something akin to a podcast. Hell, I’m willing to make T-shirts and do crazy publicity stunts at this point if it’ll help me become a more successful writer. I just have to do this while dealing with my inescapable predilection to overthinking a situation.

To anyone and everyone who has some experience in this field, I seek your guidance. Just understand that my skills in selling a book are woefully inept compared to my skills in crafting a book. I can make the product. I just need someone to help me sell it. I just hope I don’t get flagged by the DEA for writing those words.

I’ll provide more updates on what happens with my publishers and “Embers of Eros.” For now, I’m taking a wait-and-see-and-adapt approach, not forgetting that I lack certain skills at the moment to carry me forward. I hope 2017 gives me a chance to change that. Only time will tell. If it means being able to share my sexy stories with more people, then I say it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

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