Recently, I posted about my challenge as an Indie author who wants time to write and avoid too much time in the social media vortex. This week, my writerly colleague, K. Lamb, offers a different perspective on managing this balancing act.
She shares her philosophy that rocketed her first children’s book to Amazon’s best-seller slot in its category.
An Inside Look at the Working Indie Author:
Connecting V. Marketing
~ by K. Lamb
I grew up in a family-owned business. Early on, I attended trade shows, set up booths, and networked with customers. One thing I knew about myself: I could handle the situation, promote a line with a smile, and offer a pleasant exchange with ease. It was fast-paced. Get people in and out. Hand out business cards. Get the order.
Effectively working in that move-on-to-the-next-customer atmosphere and enjoying the process were two different things. That rushed, impersonal marketing style was not me.
I prefer making connections.
Recently, I posted about my challenge as an Indie author who wants more time to write instead of being sucked into the social media vortex.
This week, friend and colleague, K. Lamb, offers a different perspective on managing this balancing act. She shares her philosophy that puts it all together and rocketed her first children’s book to Amazon’s #1 top-selling slot in its category.
Make Connections First
Today when it comes to my writing, I'm not networking. I am out to make a genuine connection. I want people to know I have a vested, personal interest in them. I care about what my readers think, about helping teachers, and about how my young readers will respond. It’s important that I know when I release a young adult novel, I hit my target readers’ interest. I also want readers to understand I care about their feedback.
To me, networking is cold hard business, whereas making connections is true human interaction. I can do both well; I just prefer one over the other.
My first book was released in December 2013. Now eight months later, I haven't even begun the marketing stage. I used this time to make connections. I wanted people to get to know me, my writing style, and my books. I do not even want to think about marketing until I publish at least three books in my children's series.
Why? How many children do you know who have a lot of patience? If they like something, and it is part of a series, they want immediate gratification. They don't want to wait months for the next release.
For instance, after releasing my first book and with my second in production, I received a note and adorable picture of a little girl from her mother. The child was anxiously awaiting my second book, but since it was not available, she decided to do a daily countdown to the release date. It was incredibly sweet, but at the same time I hated disappointing her.
Another example came from the U.K. A little girl, who professed to be Dani's #1 fan, read my first book and desperately wanted the second book for her birthday. Her mother wrote me a note, asking if the book would be ready in time. Again, how could I let a child down? I kicked book #2 into high gear!
So although I released two books, I have not yet done an all-out marketing campaign. I think of it more as a slow, soft release of my series. I'm building a foundation on which to later base a promotional marketing strategy.
Right now, I am happily spending my time making connections. I especially love working with teachers. To date, I "adopted" a few classes where I donated books, bookmarks, resource materials, etc. These classes will also receive future releases of the Dani P. Mystery series. Now, some might actually construe this as marketing. To me, this is making a connection because, again, I have a personal interest in the individuals I work with.
Marketing Second: Advice for Indies
When it comes time for me to begin a marketing campaign, I will tackle it with a business-like mind. After all, I was raised that way. That will be the time to focus on press releases, sending out book flyers, arranging book signings, contacting books stores, setting up school visits, etc.
This stage opens up a whole new set of tasks for Indie writers to consider, and it also takes time away from the actual writing process. Will you handle your own marketing campaign, or will you hire out this work? Can you afford to invest your time in marketing your own books, or do you have the financial means to let someone manage this aspect for you?
In the meantime, until you are ready to begin a full-blown Indie marketing campaign, there are certain things you can prepare for in advance.
When it is time for me to market my books, I'll push the business side, not the individuals, because I want to gain readers, not alienate them. Marketing is for business---connections are for people---and if we're are conscious of our actions, we'll do both gracefully and professionally.
Photo Credit: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/
K. Lamb is the author of the Dani P. Mystery series for children 7-11 years old. While these books are for beginning readers, she also presents challenge words throughout her stories to encourage advanced readers to expand vocabulary while not discouraging others. Dani and the Haunted House, her first published work, was an Amazon Best Seller in the Children’s Detectives category. She recently released her second book in the collection, Dani and the Mall Caper, and has more books in this series under production.
A strong advocate for children's literacy, K. Lamb has given away more than 2,000 digital versions of her first book and donated paperback copies to classrooms. She enjoys interacting with children, parents, and teachers, so she also provides resources for them on her website. In addition to penning children's stories, she writes young adult novels and posts from her blog, the Musings of K. Lamb.
Website | K. Lamb on Facebook | Twitter | Dani P on Facebook
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