Just Gotta P · 6 September 2014

I ought to seek professional help. Or at least I ought to learn a little more about marketing.

Like any naïve author without weekly or daily income statements, I figured I could just write and the readers would come. After all, that is the first thing you need to do to be a writer. Write.

Still, you would think that after writing a weekly blog since 2007 and still having less Facebook fans than friends, I would know better. You would think that I would realize that having a few articles show up in local newspapers or their blogs would not suffice. You would think that after all these years of just writing and not that many people coming to read that I would have it figured out.

Writing is not enough.

Enough figuring.

Now that I have finished a few books and published them on Amazon and sorta mentioned them in my blog (see Ludicrous Man), I suppose I ought to make a marketing plan. For like any worthwhile endeavor to succeed, you need a plan. Of course, it is supposed to be written and have specifics and be done before the books are, but since I did not do any of that, I need to get started.

Actually, I did have a marketing plan. My plan was to put out enough books on Amazon that people would see that I am a serious writer. In fact, nine digital books are sitting there ready for purchase. But there have been few sales so far. I guess it is time to get serious about marketing.

Here is what I have discovered.

It is not much, but if I was to write a new book about writing, I would call it: The Three Ps of Writing. (If you are an author and decide to steal the title and the Ps, at least give me some credit.) The three Ps are: Pen, Publish, and Promote.

It is so simple. To sell books, you just gotta P, P, P.

The first P is obvious. Every writer knows that the pen must meet the paper (or the fingers must pound the keyboard) for anything to get written. The sword must be taken out of its scabbard to do any damage. The pen must be wielded for a writer to really be a writer.

Once writers have conquered their fear of the pen, people will know they are serious. That is, if anybody knows they are writing. Which is why the second and third P are necessary.

The second P, Publish, used to be a daunting task. Even today, writers still sweat when thinking about getting a publisher to look at their manuscripts. They send query after query to publishers and agents trying to sell the merits of their books in a page or two. And if my own experience is any indication, they get rejection after rejection. But with all the resources available now, there is no excuse for any author to go unpublished these days. Amazon, Smashwords, and other services are out there for self-publishing. Anybody who wants to pen and publish a book can do so with ease. It really does just take time and a little effort.

The third P, Promote, does not really come chronologically after the second P. Like I already said, apparently, authors are supposed to promote their books even before they publish them. Thankfully, with the advent of social media, there is no reason authors cannot promote their books to the world. In fact, I joined Facebook and Twitter long ago to promote my websites and other writing. I did not realize that people need to read those posts for anything to happen. Or that they wanted to have conversations. Now, I am starting to have digital conversations and only really promote myself every once in a while instead of just promoting myself once in a while and not having any conversations.

In light of my newfound knowledge and in order to help me get on track, I figured I ought to give away a few books and ask people to give reviews. You see, apparently, there is some Catch-22 in authordom that says people will only buy books that have reviews, but people will only review books they have bought. Or at least that they have gotten for free. Which means that I need to give away some books (since I cannot seem to sell them).

So for a few days (September 4, 2014 to September 8, 2014), I am giving one of my digital books away for free. It is a middle grade fiction book called Autobiography of a Sixth Grader: Show and Tell and The Great Ice Cream Caper. (Just click here to get a copy.) So tell anybody and everybody to download a copy. And then read it. I would love a few reviews out of the deal too, but I just want to get copies out there. It may not be the smartest way to market, but I am going to do it anyway. After all, a writer’s book does not do anybody any good sitting on the shelf. Even a digital shelf.

Of course, I am not sure what I will do if nobody buys the books for free. I might cry. I might even pout. Regardless, I will keep writing.

I am not sure what the experts would say about my marketing plan, but right now, I just want people to read my books.

What I do know for sure is that I need to P P P. Maybe I do need some kind professional help.

© 2014 Michael T. Miyoshi

Share on facebook


Commenting is closed for this article.