The other day I was reading a post on Bob Mayer’s blog, Write it Forward, and something he said caught my attention. It’s regarding a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about—author promotion. Here’s what he said about the subject:
Too many people are pouring the time and energy into promotion that they should be putting into learning the craft of writing. The best promotion technique available is a good book. And more than one title. In fact, I think new authors should wait until they have at least three novels in a series, before they focus a good majority of their time on promoting.
I think instinctually that he must be right. What better way to grow an author brand than by releasing more books? But then we get to the subjective part of this equation: how much time should an author focus on promotion?
One of the benefits of working with my fabulous new publisher, Entangled Publishing, is that I get a publicist who works with me on building my brand. Cathy Yardley is one savvy lady (and an author herself). Her take on the subject is that an author can reasonably spend no more than half an hour a day on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) (At least that’s what I got from our conversation; I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong.)
So half an hour a day? That sounds doable, even for someone with a hectic writing schedule. The problem is (and I think it’s one that many authors have) that I feel like I should be doing much more. I don’t know which of my marketing efforts will pay off, so that makes me want to do more of them with the goal of getting something to stick. But that becomes an issue if it begins to cut in on writing time. Writing is the most important thing, after all.
For you readers, what sort of author marketing gets your attention? In which ways (besides word of mouth) do you find new authors? For those of you who have already published, what marketing efforts have you done, and is there anything you feel has really paid off?