Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: Sharing Character Traits and Marketing Woes


Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! The first Wednesday of every month, we share our fears and accomplishments, then blog hop around to fellow members blogs to offer support and encouragement. If you'd like to join, go HERE. 

Many thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, our host, and this month's co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


This month's optional question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I'm sure most of us share some traits with our characters. With my MC, Indigo Eady, it would be introversion combined with a snarky and fun personality only those close to her get to see. With Franny Bishop (no, it's not her former profession as a Victorian madam!) it's her spirit of adventure. 

BUT, my real insecurity this month is my lack of marketing skills (which results in lack of sales). There is so much information out there that's it's overwhelming. I'm bombarded with ads, and everyone is an expert. And since there are so many experts, I tend to distrust them all. What's an author to do?  


What traits do you share with your characters?

Does marketing overwhelm you? What advice can you  share?


38 comments:

  1. I think we always insert some of our traits into characters, even if it's unintentional.
    Marketing definitely seems intimidating to me! I try not to think about it too much since I have to, you know, finish writing the book first.

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    1. I agree on the character traits. And marketing. Ugh! They say we should start thinking about it ahead of time, but I just can't.

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  2. Marketing is my bugbear too. There is a lot of advice, courses etc. out there, but it's hard to sift through as to what really works vs. all the hype. I run AMS ads (they work for my large print editions) and have experimented with Facebook ads (those didn't work for me), but I haven't found the magic fairy dust that makes my books sell millions of copies :)

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    1. I've tried both AMS and FB ads-it didn't do much :(

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    2. Help me out here--I'm truly lost... what's AMS? I have LT books in the same genre, so... :)

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  3. Yes, marketing terrifies me even though I have a great social network platform. Authors I interview always say to pick the marketing you enjoy most. Also some have recommended hiring a book review blogger that does blog tours to set one up for you rather than try to do it yourself. This could open you up to a whole new group of readers. Good luck!

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    1. I didn't try book bloggers. I was kinda afraid I'd have to write the blog posts and wouldn't have enough time or sound clever enough. LOL.

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    2. Gwen, try Great Escapes tours--www.escapewithdollycas.com. I have done one tour with them, which helped some, and review for them often. Tours for cozy mysteries are free (others pay), and she seems to have a lot of bloggers who participate. You don't have to write any posts, but I think the best results probably come from author interviews, guest posts, and the like, because people really like to read that more than they do reviews.

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  4. If I had to do all of the marketing for my books, I'd be sunk. It seems paying for free and discounted books is what really isn't working now.

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    1. Free has never worked for me. People read your free book and go on their way. LOL.

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  5. Take it slow. You don't have to try everything, and you definitely don't need to try it all at once. Do what feels right to you. The sad thing is, it is just really tough for every author these days, no matter if you're self-pubbed or with a small press. And we never know what will work and what will work for us. Hang in there! Good luck!

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    1. You're right at slowing down. I spent way too much on ads and didn't get much from them.

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  6. I'm with Chrys - I think it's best to take it slow.
    I also agree with Alex - stay away from the "free" book mantra. I tried that and it really didn't pay off in future sales for my series. I have a book discounted and a short story collection set for free for just July - but time limits are the only way to make those work.
    I have found that I do best on Twitter and Instagram, with some blogging. Facebook is not my marketing arena. It just isn't. I tried it for nine years and it didn't do anything for me.
    I don't feel like most of the paid advertising is worthwhile, but I know a few authors like those sites. It is really hard to discern which "thing" will work.
    Which platform do you like the best?
    And, are you a part of any "groups" like IWSG, but also in the non-virtual world? I have found those help a little bit.

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    1. I like Twitter. I know I should work it, but...*sigh*

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  7. Marketing seems to be a second full-time career for writers now. I'm with Sara Foster in not thinking about it too much, since my book also isn't [cough] finished yet. But it will be, first draft anyway, by the end of the month. You might reach out to some IWSGers who have navigated this. I know Ellen Jacobson has done a series on her blog about her journey.

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    1. It sure is a full time job on top of my other full time job! There is never enough tie to do my marketing justice when the writing has to come first.

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  8. Marketing my book scares me, I want to hide under my bed.

    I like your character names : Indigo Eady and Franny Bishop.

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    1. Ha! I want to hide under my bed too. Thanks!

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  9. Marketing scares everybody and it's constantly changing. We've found our niche marketing to libraries and appearing at sci-fi cons.

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  10. Marketing completely overwhelms me. There are so many books that it's hard to get noticed, especially as an indie author. My only advice is to have a shirtless man on your cover if you write romance. What can I say? Sex sells.

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  11. I have no confidence in my marketing skills. There many different opinions on what works and I believe what works varies from author to author. No one is an expert.

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    1. But there are those who say they're experts and then want to charge you to take their class. And they sound so convincing.

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  12. Marketing... our shared nemesis.

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  13. Marketing is intimidating and confusing sometimes.

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    1. Definitely intimidating, especially for an introvert.

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  14. You made me laugh about Franny Bishop and her profession! If that's what you shared with her this would easily have been the best post I've seen for this month LOL.
    I sure can relate about the marketing. Such a nightmare. I'm sorry you are frustrated.

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    1. LOL, glad I could give you a laugh, Julie! That made this whole post worth it :)

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  15. Funny--I share much the same traits with my characters, and also share the utter insecurity (or total lack of knowledge) about marketing! Seems like we all have that problem, which tells me, alas, that there's no magic bullet.

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    1. No magic bullet, or as Elizabeth says below, "Marketing Blows!"

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  16. Fun traits to share with your characters! Introversion is definitely relatable. And I know what you mean about marketing. I always feel like I'm failing at that, too...

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    1. But your illustrations speak for themselves. They're wonderful!

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  17. Marketing blows. And that's all I have to say about that.

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  18. all you can do is whatever you are able... and i don’t put much faith or money into book promoters. not yet, anyway. the only thing that has shown a drastic improvement was when i could coordinate a $.99 sale with a book newsletter — that’s harder to do these days because you have to do it so far in advance! and so many have caught on... it’s just a pain all the way around!

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    1. Oh boy. I'm not good at pre-planning sales. I'm too busy writing.

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