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In 2011 I published 10 short stories/novellas on Amazon. I didn't do a whole lot to market them. I created an author's facebook page, a Wordpress site with my available titles and a tragically unupdated blog, and a Goodreads author's page. Needless to say, though I'm happy with the copies I've sold, I haven't sold many and I'm pretty sure that the one's I did were purchased by friends and relatives.

During the last couple of months I've been reading a lot about and actively trying to market my stories. However, I've found that I've been very unproductive with my writing, even though I have ideas and outlines ready to be tackled. Luckily, I have a backlog of stories and a publishing schedule that will allow me to publish a story a month until the end of 2013. Unfortunately, the time I would usually allot for writing has been consumed by marketing my stories.

Has anyone else run across this problem? Does it have to be an one-or-the-other situation. I had no idea that trying to my my existing pieces visible would be so time consuming.
 

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I'm a fan of out-of-flesh socializing. I usually go, "Ooooh," and drift about the room incorporeally, shaking rusted chains or banging shutters.
 

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Dalya said:
You need to cut more things from your life.

I suggest cooking, bathing, and in-flesh socializing.
HAHAHA! I put off cleaning the house to last. And I do wash somewhere in the middle. Naked days don't work too good when you have to go grocery shopping. :)

I prioritize what I'm doing. The last 2 years, I've been doing the shotgun method of marketing to see what yields the best results. Its very time intensive and frustrating. This year, I'm taking what works and walking away from the rest. Today I have a bookbub ad running. I made my blog post and fan email a few days ago so that everyone would know. Those things work. I didn't sit around for hours tweeting about it. That never worked well for me.

I'm doing the work smarter, not harder and K.I.S.S. method (keep it simple stupid) this year. When you are self employed, you have to manage your time like its priceless.
 

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Hang on, someone just knocked. Have to hide in the attic until the outside world goes away...

If you're finding it that time-consuming to get your name out there, maybe you should try passive strategies that don't require a lot of steady effort. Like Select giveaways or a permafree title or something that won't eat into your time so badly. I mean, not writing isn't generally the best foundation for a writing career. ;)
 

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I have studied and taught marketing at the graduate level, and having said that I do not market my books, because it's a waste of time.

Even the most aggressive marketing, can only lead to the first purchase.  After that it's the product quality that would lead to repeat purchase and eventual brand loyalty.  To get that first purchase in the Indie books category, you're better off investing in a killer cover and a good blurb, than spending your time and money on blogs and Facebook.  Giveaways (samples) are also good, but they will work to generate a repeat purchase, only if you consistently write well.  Take the analogy of a restaurant.  They can set up a hip place in a central locale, put up expensive ads, give away free samples and do everything to attract customers

At the end of the day, if their food is not good, all the marketing in the world will not help.  However, if the food is amazing, you will hear of it, even if the restaurant has cheap decor, runs no ads and gives no free samples.  This is W-O-M (Word of Mouth) promotion, which is the epitome of success for a marketing campaign. 

If you want to instigate brand awareness through "trial," go for a perma-free book, or select free days.  After that, it's upto your writing!  Your time is better spent, writing a good book, than spending 1 hour to generate brand awareness with 1 person, which not even translate into 1 sale.
 

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Of course the business side will cut into writing writing. If one is spending all his time writing, then any other activity will cut into it. Eating, sleeping, business, job, etc. They all do it.

 

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holly w. said:
HAHAHA! I put off cleaning the house to last. And I do wash somewhere in the middle. Naked days don't work too good when you have to go grocery shopping. :)

I prioritize what I'm doing. The last 2 years, I've been doing the shotgun method of marketing to see what yields the best results. Its very time intensive and frustrating. This year, I'm taking what works and walking away from the rest. Today I have a bookbub ad running. I made my blog post and fan email a few days ago so that everyone would know. Those things work. I didn't sit around for hours tweeting about it. That never worked well for me.

I'm doing the work smarter, not harder and K.I.S.S. method (keep it simple stupid) this year. When you are self employed, you have to manage your time like its priceless.
You + me = same person. :) Except that I'm still trying to figure out that "walking away from the rest" part.
 

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Susan Kaye Quinn said:
You + me = same person. :) Except that I'm still trying to figure out that "walking away from the rest" part.
There were things I was doing that didn't pan out very well. I'm not spending my time there anymore. There's more than one way to skin a horse, so I thought if I kept at it, tweaked it, tried it this way, at this time, etc that it would do better. Screw that. I found a few things that help pull in new readers. If I try something new, it needs to not be time intensive. :)
 

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The harder I work, the luckier I get.

I forgot who said that. Too busy to Google it. )
 

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I do very little on the business side (which hurts the business side, ie selling stuff.)

What gets in the way of writing is more the mechanics of trying to stay alive - and possible sane. :p
 
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