This year has been a doozy, not only for the whole world, but for me personally. In the midst of my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I’ve been in pain and exhausted. I’ve had to cut back on things like author interviews (switching from video-based to text-based) and have cut waaaay back on marketing efforts. Namely, advertising.
Now, I’m not telling you this to get a sympathy bump. I just honestly want you to know what life is like with RA, and how we can all keep moving forwards in the midst of really bothersome life stuff.
I have managed to keep writing books. In fact, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month and am currently very pleased with my progress. I haven’t had this good a NaNo year since, gosh, four or five year ago. I am thrilled with my stories, and when I’m not thrilled, I move on to a different story to try and loosen the gears a bit. So far, it seems to be working.
I’m also moving forwards with my editing work. It is absolutely refreshing to read a book and analyse it. It flexes different muscles in my brain than does just reading or writing and I remember why i love linguistics and language so much. I will soon be offering my services on a wider platform, and I’m even holding an an end-of-year discount, just to make the world a better place.
All of this is great, even in the midst of my other problems. But you know what isn’t great? Marketing.
Marketing is kicking my tailfeathers quite soundly.
Okay, okay, let’s look at this objectively. I’ve never been hugely capable at the whole marketing thing. I can talk to people on social media, but in terms of putting together adverts, targeting people for audience, even building my newsletter audience, I’m just not that great. And with the RA sapping my energy, I have to focus on the things that I know I can do, that will help move my work forwards. And those things are not marketing.
As an indie author, a good portion of what we have to do (besides writing books) is marketing. We don’t have the clout of a traditional publisher behind us. And that is fine! I enjoy being in charge of my books and my brand, and I can learn how to do marketing. (Actually, I know how, I’ve just been so tired to do anything.)
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I might need to rethink how I go about things. I have, near as I can figure, a couple of options.
1. I do serious planning ahead of time and do marketing myself on a very regulated schedule throughout the year. This is probably the most difficult option because it would require me to plan everything in advance so that I could put together marketing schemes waaay out. Possible, but given how exhausting marketing is for me, I would have to devote a good portion of time solely to this, before I could get back to writing.
2. I slowly build up my marketing presence. This would mean doing things like rapid-release publishing with one or two adverts for the whole series. Or offering free reader magnets for my newsletter subscribers (actually, I’m working on this already). I would spend maybe a half-hour more on social media per day. This would take longer, but it might be more manageable in the long run.
3. I hire someone to help out with adverts and things. This one is the most expensive, monetarily speaking, and also the most controversial. Generally speaking, people want indie authors to do everything themselves. Many author websites will offer tips and tricks for doing the marketing yourself, but will not point you to anyone you can actually hire to help out. I don’t know why this is. If I have the ability to hire someone, and it is difficult for me given my current health circumstances, would not this make the most sense?
I am still ruminating over my options. December is my planning month for the next year, so I will likely lay things out and see what makes the most sense at that point. If you have any thoughts on marketing, I would absolutely love to hear them! I am, officially, a little stuck on this point and am trying to figure out how to move forwards.