1. Keep writing great fiction and nonfiction.
2. Continue learning about my craft through books and/or classes and/or other authors.
3. Daily refilling my imagination with both life experiences and enjoying the wonderful entertainment of excellent movies and written stories.
I realize my lack of marketing in my marketing plan seems to be a terminal error. But it really isn't.
At the heart of it all, I believe a well-written book will find its intended readers. At whatever speed. The "if you build it, they will come" mentality.
On the flip side, marketing, IMO, is about increasing both the speed and the number of sales. In other words, it is about making additional bucks faster. Which is great if you can mold and mix your social media into doing that for you. And everyone's situation is different, to me. Therefore, the marketing must be different. Which means you (or the expert you hire) still need to do some maneuvering of the components to get the right recipe for you.
I find it a tad frustrating myself, so I don't do it. I just do not do it. I'm not into torturing myself.
I prefer to wait one year or so while the readers find me, with nominal marketing efforts on my part, rather than making myself go slowly mad while I discern the marketing maze. I've decided to chuck all that and do what is fun, thereby giving my days more peace, more freedom, less stress, less pressure.
That said, there are two ongoing social media avenues that captivate my soul. Pinterest, my newest one, is great as I find I am actually creating those dream boards I have been meaning to do for decades.
My older love is blogging, which serves some deep-seated needs: my need to teach (in my teens, I first thought I should become a college math professor) coupled with my innate irrepressible need to share what I've learned from reading--the best of the best--for my fellow authors, whether traditional or Indie.
Last month, I took advantage of a one-time-only promo (per quarterly enlistment?) within Amazon's Lending Library by giving away my debut novel, Good Ole Boys, a love story, for the five days leading up to and including Valentine's Day. You can view my earlier posts about that exhilarating (and exhausting!) ride. Some 2096 readers here and abroad have an e-book with my name on it. I'm still amazed.
I am reminded of a quote courtesy of Jim Rohn: " . . . escape is easier than change." Of course, to escape (literally or figuratively, as to be entertained) takes less effort on our part and shorter time frames. Examples: To watch one movie, two to three hours. To read one novel, five or more hours. To make drinking eighty ounces of water a daily habit, at least twenty-one days, if not a year (or a lifetime).
So, my focus this year is on novels (the escape/entertainment portion of the above quote). Yours may be on self-help How-To books (the change part of the above quote). Go your route. Even a combo of both, as I did last year.
With novels in mind, it helps to have more than one to offer to your readership (so keep on writing). See my earlier blog post on Joe Konrath's success. Series or not, have something else to offer your followers. It may take us three months to imagine, NaNo write, edit, polish and upload a new book, whereas it only takes five hours to devour it. Much like cooking, the time spent preparing a meal is far greater than the time spent eating it.
But worth the effort still.
So here's my theory. After about a year, it seems that other Indie-published authors have been making some decent sales on their fiction. Note: my first novel released December 19, 2011, so I have a ways to go before I reach the twelve-month mark. Meanwhile I'm focusing on getting more novels completed of my eight WIPs.
I am willing to wait for that year, keep on writing, do minimal social media (the kind I really like and my personality seems made for), even if that means I take a day job here and there to make the freelance fees and book royalties meet my monthly obligations.
This works for me. You need to detail what works for you.
Since March 27, 2011, I've uploaded six e-books (one fiction, five nonfiction, more of both on the way). All the nonfiction works were created within 2011. The debut novel was created around 2009 with the Final Edit done within 2011. I hope to sustain or exceed this number of e-books released each year hereafter.
Again, I have a mind-set that may rock the status quo. My books are not for everybody. My books are not even for half the readers on this planet. I happily accept this. Of the estimated seven billion populating Earth, I don't need even one million readers to become self-sustaining (living totally off my writing royalties).
In fact, if I did have one million readers (at the 70% royalty rate on a $2.99 sale, or about $2.10/e-book), I would never need to sell another book in my expected 120-year lifetime.
If these up-and-coming readers total two million (this time all at the 35% royalty rate on a $0.99 sale, or about $0.34/e-book), I could still pay off my house and live quite well until age 100 or so--and never need to sell (much less write) another book.
However, I'm an author. I write. I cannot help but dream up new stories, engaging characters. It is my purpose in life. So I would continue to create, just with no worries ever about paying the mortgage or this month's electricity bill or finding the $3,000 to meet insurance deductibles.
Yes, I realize I don't have a celebrity lifestyle. Still, you need to figure your "pay off" figure. What would it take for you to have no bills except for utilities and food and gas for the car? Knowing this can relieve a lot of stress. Gives some much-needed details to your goal setting.
Plus recognizing that you don't have to connect with all readers, just your fans for your particular voice, for your select genre(s), allows you to breathe that sigh of contentment now.
Like the Bible tells us, our gifts will place us before kings. So count your costs, then do what brings peace in your heart.