Do you ever feel invisible?

invisible-man

Do you ever feel that no one can see or hear you? That no one can even sense your presence? That’s how I feel when I’m trying to market my books, and I’m not alone. There are millions, perhaps even billions of us, all clamouring for attention in a very crowded marketplace.

bazaar

Does that mean we should give up? No, of course not. We believe passionately in our work and should therefore try to give it the best chance we can to get it out there. That said, how? Of course there’s the usual social media outlets, such as Facebook, with its various groups, pages and timelines. But most of the groups consist of fellow writers, who on the whole are, naturally, only interested in promoting their own work. How many times have you seen a post about someones else’s book on their timeline, and just scrolled past it? Then there’s the “like for like” events, which help get your Facebook page some exposure. These are always plagued by people who post their pages, then bugger off, having no intention of returning any likes received. Worse still, there’s the scumbags who like a page, and once it’s reciprocated, unlike those they’ve lured into boosting their page. Why do people do this? My guess is their self-centred ingrates.

facebook

Twitter seems to have a greater reach, but you have to be prepared to spend an awful lot of time retweeting other members posts, in the hope they’ll retweet yours. Then there’s the drawback of following someone, who then messages you offering to “sell” you 10,000 tweeters, or asks you to like their Facebook page, without even having the courtesy to follow you back. Okay, if you don’t ask,you don’t get, but asking someone to do you a favour, with no intention of returning it, is just not on.

twitterFor example, I had a message from one member thanking me for following them, which to be fair, they’d reciprocated. The sting in the tail, however, was that they asked me to read their book. I was quite happy to do this and messaged them back, suggesting we do a read swap; fair enough? I’ve not heard from them since.

So, the moral of this tale is remember you’re not the only one trying to get noticed. Don’t be insular, be prepared to carry out read swaps, return tweets and likes, and you never know, it might just pay off.

reader

https://www.facebook.com/KatrinaAnneJack
http://www.amazon.com/Katrina-Jack/e/B008ZC8IKO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472500.Katrina_Jack
http://youtu.be/VYEFMsTHrvo

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17 Responses to “Do you ever feel invisible?”

  1. Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    Here’s one author’s take on the frustration of trying to market a book. I’ve read several articles lately by authors who are having the same trouble. Marketing can seem like a pointless task, so what’s the answer? Do we wait for readers to find us? Or do we participate in the mad scramble for visibility? I’ve decided to take a break from promotion while I focus on writing and editing. My approach might not sell any books, but I’m feeling more relaxed than I have in a long time.

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kate Jack’s work, I highly recommend both her blog and her books. Her blog is very informative. Her books are incredible works of urban fantasy which I believe most readers would enjoy. Please take a few moments to visit Kate’s blog. It’s time well spent.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged, Kate. This is an excellent post. There are dozens of authors (or perhaps hundreds) who share your frustration. Marketing can often feel very pointless, especially when it takes away from valuable writing time. I know authors who have been very successful in terms of promotion, but many of these writers are able to write and market full time. For those of us who work or have family obligations, we often have to choose between writing OR marketing. I can’t do both. I choose writing.

    Good luck to you, Kate. It makes me sad that your books aren’t selling by the truckload. You’re a talented, flawless writer who has written an extraordinary book. I hope the readers catch on to your series soon. They are truly missing out.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve just had a similar rant. I wonder why I bother sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel the same way. I’m not yet promoting, so I thought it would be the perfect time to get to know my fellow authors. Play around. Have fun. I feature them on my blog. Am happy to write reviews, retweet their tweets etc. Recently, I had this idea of writing a few guides for new writers who I’ve beta read for before they were ready. I wrote four guides which were so well received I thought of writing more. Organizing text. Dialogue attributions. The basics. But I received so many requests (word spread) I can’t do them by myself. So I asked my “friends” on Facebook to help by writing their own or, well, there are many ways to help, to “give back,” or “pay it forward.” One author said she might get involved. Another said she would if she had time. That’s it. No one even ‘liked’ the post. Sad thing – it’s the most engagement I had, and I tried it all. I once tried a giveaway. No entries. I have a pretty successful blog feature which gets many, many reads. But hardly any comments. It’s like unless you’re super successful, you’re an island.

    Having said that, they’re trying to carve a career for themselves. I have to remind myself that it’s okay. That they aren’t friends. They’re people selling me stuff every which way they can. And once my book is out, I’m expected to join them. Unless someone gives me an alternative. 🐹

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment, Carmen. Yes, there are a few people who are prepared to give back what they receive, but also they’re outnumbered by folk who think it’s their “right” to pester other writers for reviews, without returning the favour.

      Like

  5. I agree, it’s a problem. Even though I’m now in the fortunate position of being full-time in this writing game, I find I have less time for actual writing than I did when I worked full-time at a day job. But I imagine we’re all in this for the long-haul, so we’ll carry on, carrying on, doing our best to meet all the demands on our time and just hope for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s what I wrote on Tricia’s blog, sorry honey, somehow in the mess left behind by BT, this post went into my junk box! Ugh.

    It’s just damn hard out there and getting harder. There is such a sea of material out there, it makes us invisible to the reader and everyone else. Very hard to stand out from the crowd without antagonising a lot of people by being too brash and showy. I do think actually getting out there is the key, social media is all well and good, but it doesn’t really equate to sales, to actual books in readers hands. What marks you out from the crowd, is getting out there, going to conventions to sell your books and meet the public, doing signings, supporting local bookshops who will then support you. It’s not easy and it can be too time demanding and too expensive, but if you can swing it, it does work. 90% of my sales, two years ago when my old book was available, was through me getting out and doing bookshop signings etc., and when my new book (new & better edition of old book) is re-published, I shall be trying to do all that again! But yes, it is VERY difficult and only getting worse! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love to do book signings, but I’d have to organise it myself, and I can’t afford to buy the amount of books needed. But you’re right Sophie, getting out there’s the way to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The single biggest problem, apart from bug chains ignoring indie authors and small presses is just the sea of books and authors out there. We really are needles in a massive haystack, so so difficult to raise yourself above the masses.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hear and see you Kate, and other devoted writers who selfpublished within the last years. I’m not there yet – still waiting for my small publisher to package my first book.
    From what I observe, FB is a site to share one’s joys, inspirations and woes, but not a site to sell books. Sophie is amazing in organising her bookshop tours. I don’t think I’d have the stamina to do this without help.

    Twitter may work better for getting the attention of interested readers. I’m thinking of hashtags … #bookbloggers #bookreviewers #bookworm #reviewshare and so on. I haven’t gone there yet. It may be worth doing an andvanced search. Wishing you and all an occasional good surf on the top of a wave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ashen. No Facebook is not the place to advertise your books, whereas Twitter seems to have a closer connection between readers and writers. Some hashtags to consider are: #Promocave, #YABookPromo, #BookBoost. You need to follow them on Twitter, but they’re excellent at retweeting your tweets. I always reciprocate and retweet some of their posts as well, which has given me a good reputation as a valuable member of the twitter community.

      Liked by 1 person

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