Lockdown cliche that I am, I'm been listening in to a few seminars recently. To do with work and to do with my rather bedraggled attempt at being an author. This week's seminar from The Society of Authors
promised to combine both - the topic was Marketing your Books.
I did pick up a few tips and once I'd got my head round the idea that the speaker was talking more about what I'd call sales, I was happy to listen in to learn what I should really be doing to sell my books - getting an email newsletter together.
I won't be doing that, though, for a simple reason. Sales is not the prime objective of my marketing. And it's for this reason that I found the tenor of the talk slightly depressing:
There are no new ideas in marketing
All marketing is a numbers game
Just copy from those who are doing it well/properly
This flavour of marketing is something I've touched on before, in relation to creativity. Here
, and here
. The idea that with a mix of templates, frameworks, tools and algorithms, you can create by formula. And I've discovered a myriad of websites that can churn out content to promote your book, from Canva
And yes, I probably will give them a go, and stick it on Instagram
to see what happens. Although I'm not sales-driven, I'm never going to say no if someone wants to buy my books. Of course not.
I am sure I could find a antique-looking map background and possibly some representation of a scorpion and create a nice little promo for my book. But I fear it would get lost amongst all the samey coffee cups, socks, flowers in vases and shabby-chic backgrounds that one sees in book promotion.
The map would not be the genuine article of the place that inspired the book, from the early 1960s, still encrusted with a hint of desert sand.
And the scorpion wouldn't be a fluffy one.
The thing is, there's more to marketing than numbers.
There is magic, mystery, creativity, novelty, authenticity, surprise.
And none of these things are available via a template.