The circular logic of advertising to authors
My mother is publishing her first novel. I mean I'm publishing it for her so that means putting on my marketing hat. So I've been diving into some marketing gimmicks to see which one works. When I first published my own I was like an eager pup who didn't know what the difference between wide and kdp. Now I can approach it a little better, especially since it isn't my precious baby I'm releasing into the world.
All this lead me to author pages on facebook. I signed up to as many who would take me. Posting in discussions and the like so I don't look like an amateur who only posts pictures of their book when my mother's book is released in two months time. But It has been only three days and I've come to the face palm realisation that the only people on these pages are other authors. Okay, some authors are readers but the problem is that this is a generic bunch who love to write but not necessarily interested in the genre I write in or my mothers.
All we are doing is... actually I don't know what I'd call it but marketing it is not. A great place to get advice and to sign up for beta readers and multi-author box sets so my time on these sites aren't completely wasted but they will not help me launch my mother's book.
The other place I see this is book festivals. New Zealand has its own book festival which has grown up in the last few years. They are great for talking to agents, other authors and maybe a publisher or two. But marketing? Not so much.
Last year I was involved in a festival author getaway kind of thing. I was lucky to be invited because I happened to be a local author and knew some key people. I thought awesome some exposure. I got two lines in a national newspaper and spoke to some awesome people. Including a woman from SpecficNZ. Love those people. So again not a waste of time but did it help with marketing. Nope. Didn't sell a single book because of the event.
Which all begs the question why are we advertising to other authors. I mean most of us are poor and if find a book that looks good and we know the author we'd most likely hit them up for a free copy with some nebulous promise to write a good review. Actually I wish more people would hit me up for a free book in exchange for a review. I'd even put their review on my cover. Social proof is a fantastic marketing tool. But besides that these author gathering places are useless for gritty converting to sales marketing.