To Market... To Market... To Sell...#Free - Jo-Ann Carson

To Market… To Market… To Sell…#Free

I suck at marketing.  Let me rephrase that. I used to suck at marketing. I am learning about marketing. Marketing sucks.

Think about it from my end of the pen. I spend hours that turn into days, that turn into weeks, then months then in some cases years to create and publish an artisinal book. But the story is not complete, because a story that is not read is like a song that is not heard… is like the tree that falls in the forest and no one hears. Unless it gets out “there,” it may as well not exist.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the lectures about patience and about how over time one’s books get noticed. The theory is that eventually their niche market discovers them. Hmmmm. I suppose to some degree that’s true. But with the increasing number of books being published, at some point a whole lot of them will never surface. And that is a sad thought.

I’ve tried to understand marketing in this new publishing world, and the only truth I have found is that no one knows wtf they’re talking about. Excuse my acronym. But it’s frustrating. Everyone talks with great authority, but what works for one book, does not work for the next. Yesterday’s hot genre is tomorrow’s trash. Publishing houses big and small are collapsing and brick and mortar book stores are selling stuffed toys. It’s not easy to navigate in these waters. It’s like throwing a dart at a moving target while standing on quicksand.

And yet, I would also argue it is the best of times to be a writer, because I can self-publish. The only gatekeeper is the reader. And everyone on the planet is in need of a good story.

This rant was meant to be a preamble to explain why I so appreciate people who do marketing well. My friend, Jacqui Nelson made the following graphic for me. It is simple and I think powerful.

shutterstock_104723360 (1)What do you think?


Here is another of her other ads:

Biggar graphic

Buy Links for Snippets of Suspense


12 Replies to “To Market… To Market… To Sell…#Free”

    1. Hi Judy
      Jacqui rocks! Thanks for the support. We are having fun.
      I can’t wait to see what visuals you come up with when you publish in the spring. You are so creative and talented.
      Thanks again, for stopping by.

  1. Jo-Ann, I couldn’t agree more about the suckyness of marketing–it requires an ocean of effort for a drop of response. I also think you’re right about nobody knowing what works (does anything?) Now I want to say something positive about marketing…I want to, but…hmm…well, maybe later.

    Jacqui’s ads are nice, though. How will you use them?

    1. Hi Allan
      You have me laughing here. And I think that’s what saves us, both the laughter and the camaraderie of other authors laughing too. As to using the banners, I’ll follow Jacqui’s advice and basically splash mine wherever I can. I feel like a ten year old with a shiny, new pair of shoes. Thanks so much for stopping by, and adding to the conversation.
      my best

  2. Thanks for including me in your blog post, Jo-Ann! And thanks for your compliments Judy & Allan! I agree about the challenges of marketing. I’m hoping that once I get graphics (like the ones you posted above) ready for each of the Sisters in our anthology, that we could: pin them to the top of our Twitter feeds and Facebook author pages, add them to our individual and group newsletters, include them in our blog posts, and so on. Probably nothing new about where we could use them (all the usual places). But I’ve heard research that pictures will engage an audience 150% more than marketing that doesn’t include any.

    1. Hi Jacqui
      Thanks for coming by. Thanks for the banners. Hey, thanks for being a great friend.
      150% sounds great to me, and I think with your artistic eye, it’s more like 200%
      my best

  3. Hi Jo-Ann, I can certainly empathize with your marketing challenges. When I prepared for the launch of my first book, I was looking for a formula and quickly learned “There is no magic formula” when it comes to book promotion. But that hasn’t stopped me (or you) from writing more books.


    BTW…I love the two banners. Kudos to Jacqui 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne
      Yes, you understand me. I too was looking for that formula. Onward it is. And I have to say I love the people who are on the journey with me.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation
      my best

  4. Hi Jo-Ann, thank you for including me in your post. Jacqui’s right, people engage more with visuals. I think that’s why it’s so important to have a great cover, it’s the first glimpse a reader gets of your work. I love Black Cat Blues, by the way!
    I also think that groups like ours, whereby we support and promote each other’s books, is invaluable. The more eyes on our book-babies the better. 🙂

  5. Marketing is only one of the amazing things I’ve learned from this group. We all have expertise in different places and that is such a plus. Jo-Ann did a huge service by bringing us all together and Jacquie … well, she’s the master of all things 🙁

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