Why is Self-Promoting a Book So Difficult?

On January 1, 2021, I made several New Year’s resolutions relating to writing. In one of them, I resolved to “develop a marketing strategy before the next book is released to help improve its visibility and to attract potential readers.”

Since then, I’ve been taking KDP classes related to book selling, reading about book promotion, talking to people, etc. I’ve learned that successful Indy authors have marketing strategies, and I’ve learned that there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of companies willing to tell you their strategy if you pay them money (sometimes lots of money).

This is the point in the blog when you may be expecting me to say, “Then I found [insert name of company] and they solved all my marketing problems!”

Yeah, that would be nice….if it was true.

Instead, I am just as uncertain about which (if any) of those marketing-strategy companies to approach as I am about marketing in general. No doubt, some of those companies have good ideas, but trying to decide which company to choose is itself a confusing and daunting prospect. Should an Indy author spend precious limited financial resources on strategizing or save them for advertising? While my beloved co-author is wonderful at developing and enhancing story ideas, he doesn’t know any more about marketing than I do.

The second draft of the new fantasy novel is done, and it should be ready for publication in June. John and I have a completed manuscript, cover art, and an excellent editor to help review the galley proofs. What we do NOT have is a marketing strategy. I keep telling myself I should create one, but I keep putting it off. (At some point, I should blog about procrastination, but that’s a problem best left to another day.)

So, I open the question to any of you wonderful blog readers who are also Indy authors, particularly fantasy authors. What strategies have you used to promote your books? Are there strategy and/or advertising companies that you have found helpful and why? Feel free to leave a comment. I would very much like to hear from you. Thanks!

-Susan 5/21/2021

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