Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Indie Life: Variables


Sometimes being an indie author feels like you’re drowning in variables., especially when it comes to marketing, advertisement and promotion.

If I advertise on Facebook, will it bring me the exposure I need? And what about Goodreads? Some have had success there, but will it work for me? Maybe an online magazine ad might work. What if nothing seems to change my sales numbers? What will happen if I get a bad review?

Unfortunately, all these variables don’t always add up to a nice neat solution. Sometimes it feels very random and out of control. Frustrating when all you want is the answer to one equation: how do I effectively get my book into the hands of my readers?

I felt like I was drowning in variables when my book first released. I debated on where to invest my few advertising dollars and time. I read blogs, books and articles on how to do effective marketing and tried many of the suggestions there. I tracked my progress and took notes on what worked…and most of the time, what didn’t. In all that, I noticed that another equation began to rule my thoughts: indie publishing + marketing = frustration.

As I tried to manage my frustrations, I realized that I’d overlooked one important variable: freedom. Indie publishing gives me so much freedom that if one of my variables doesn’t work, I am free to come up with something else. I’m free to experiment. I’m free to be creative with my marketing and maybe learn something new that I can pass on to others.

Sure, the equation doesn’t always work out, but the beauty of indie publishing is that you can change the variables. 

13 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Thanks for participating in Indie Life. It's very nice to know that we can try some marketing efforts and then stop if it doesn't seem to work. I''m still working on building my bookshelf so I don't do a lot of promotion. :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I love indie freedom! And not drowning in all the variables is a constant battle. And I'm an engineer! I like numbers! But a tsunami of data still doesn't help you understand what's happening. Sometimes the best thing to do is keep a constant sight on the horizon and just sail forward.

I hope your 2013 is awesome!

Terri J. Haynes said...

Laura, god-speed on building your bookshelf. It's important to have something to promote :)
Do you have a daily word count?

Terri J. Haynes said...

Susan,
Indie freedom has been a surprising bonus for me. I went into indie publishing anticipating all the bad. It's nice to find the good, too.

Terri J. Haynes said...

Susan,
Indie freedom has been a surprising bonus for me. I went into indie publishing anticipating all the bad. It's nice to find the good, too.

Laura Diamond said...

There are so many variables, it's impossible to predict how things will go. What's nice about it is that there are so many options, a writer can really pick what suits them.

Great post!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You hit it right on the head. All those variables and all the ways we can use them or not.

Terri J. Haynes said...

Laura D.,
You have an excellent point. There are so many options, many of which are out of our control. And it is impossible to anticipate the outcome of them all. Sometimes indie publishing is like a really wicked science experiment, but the fun part is that we can always try another experiment. Writing is not for the faint at heart :)

Terri J. Haynes said...

That's right, Susan G.K. We are in control *pumps fist in the air*!
Okay, so maybe we don't always feel like starting a revolution, but we can bask in our freedom.

Heidi_g said...

Random and out of control sums it up quite nicely...a lot of the time, lol!

Sean McLachlan said...

I do both indie and traditional publishing and both have their positives and negatives. Keep on writing!

E.J. Wesley said...

Popped over here as part of the Indie Life group, Terri. Very nice to meet you! :-)

I'm right there with you on the advertising front. I've no idea what works at this point. I'm trying a large-scale, organized blog tour for the first time next month. I paid to have it done so I could get access to some of the bigger book review blogs. We'll see how it goes!

ali cross said...

I love this post so much! You hit the nail on the head, for sure. It's true what works for one author might not work for another and that does breed a lot of frustration. But it doesn't rule our own success out. We just need to keep looking and keep trying.