Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When Late Book Marketing is Better than Early

When Late Book Marketing is Better than Early
It seems that every time I read an article on book marketing, marketers warn that the author or publishing company should be out there selling their books now. Don't wait until it is published. That's too late.  Well, I'm sure that can work for some people. But not in some cases.

But wait a minute. Let me tell you of an experience I had.

Some months before I published one of my books with a small publisher, I was reassured that the book would be out at the end of September in time for a conference I was speaking at. Then in November I was attending another conference. Perfect, I thought. I could sell dozens of books and sign them at the same time. So although I am very familiar with human nature and my lack of control over other peoples actions, I trusted what I was told. Besides, everything I was reading had confirmed that earlier marketing was better.

So about a month prior to the release I flooded the conference and e-mail lists with an exciting  summary and a few excellent reviews of my psychological thriller, Justice Forbidden.  People were excited about the book. The beginning of September rolled around and I asked the publisher for the exact date of release. "We're trying very hard to get it out for the September conference," was the reply.

Well, you've probably guessed it. The September conference came and went, and then the November conference came and went, and Christmas came and went  with no book. And I was frantically trying to recoup by sending e-mails to my list saying there had been a delay. The book was finally released in March and by then my enthusiasm had waned and so had everyone else's. In the long run I sold 200 books in the first couple of months instead of probably  500.

So now I wait until I'm sure I can deliver what I promise. Unless you are a best known author, people need the product ready to buy while they are excited about it. If you can't deliver immediately, the likelihood will be your customers won't come back. They will go somewhere else. And if you are writing a series, it is probably a good idea to have the second one ready or at least almost ready before you begin to seriously begin your marketing for the first one.
Good luck writers!


1 comment:

Willow Feller said...

I went through almost the exact same thing with my first book. The publisher said it would be out before Christmas, so I set up a website and took Paypal pre-orders. People ordered them for Christmas gifts, but the publisher ended up not having it out until after the New Year. It was embarrassing, to say the least. I've avoided a repeat of that by self-publishing the sequel through Createspace this year. Having control over the process has been wonderful for me.