Hello everyone, I just popped on to vent a little. No, I’m not angry or anything like that, I just have an abundance of anxious energy surrounding me right now and I feel the need to channel it into something productive. What am I nervous about? Well, I’m glad that you asked. The answer is, I’m nervous about marketing my upcoming book, Soulless (due to be released on Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold on March 8th, 2016). Yes, I’m now trained to say that every time I mention the book. It’s seriously become a Pavlovian response to hearing or speaking the word, ‘Soulless,’ (due to released on Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold on March 8th 2016)–damn it!
Why am stressing this so much, one might ask? Well, it’s simple. As anyone who’s read any of my previous blogs will know, I am not exactly a social media butterfly, or even a social butterfly. I’m more like social moss because I only grow on the side of rock that no one touches or talks to. Once you add some mobility to the rock, I fall off and start anew somewhere else. Okay, so this isn’t an accurate analogy, but you get my point.
Being published by a smaller publishing company means you can’t just rely on name recognition to get your sales up. You have to share the responsibility of getting your name out there.The other day I tried talking up my book to people at work, and the results were awkward to watch and physically painful to endure. I was uncomfortable and gassy, and I couldn’t get the taste of bile out of my throat. Fine, maybe it was acid re-flux, but I blame it all on marketing.
As my release date rapidly approaches, I find that I made a huge marketing error when I chose not to publish my book under a pseudonym or pen name. I mean no one knows who Ismael Manzano is, but if I’d made up a name I could have chosen one that sounded enough like a popular author to have fooled readers into buying my book, Soulless (due to be released on Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold on March 8th, 2016).
I know it sounds crazy, but imagine you’re perusing the bookshelves or the internet and you stumble across a “NEW RELEASE” by Steven King? Or J.R Kowling? Or George-George R. Martin? If you blink or just don’t pay close enough attention, you’ll have purchased yourself part one of my new series Soul Broker, and you’ll probably be halfway through it before you realize your mistake. The hope is that by that point, you’ll be so in love with the book that the incident goes from a clear legal case of false advertising to a comedic story about how you stumbled across your new favorite author, John Clancy.
But even if I had gone with a pen name as unheard of as my own name, the anonymity it would have offered me could have done wonders for my marketing strategy. By using my real name I’ve completely cut off a wellspring of techniques to get my name out there, like randomly talking about my new favorite writer Arthur Cross to every person I meet. They don’t have to know I’m talking about myself. Likewise, my idea for randomly throwing my business cards at people like Gambit from the X-men flies out the window because the card will lead them to my real name and information, and I wouldn’t want a bunch of strangers I’d just thrown laminated piecdes of paper at to know where they can find me. That’s just madness.
I guess, when all is said and done, I’ll just have to stick to less outlandish marketing strategies like joining writing groups and tweeting, facebooking, and just generally talking with like-minded people about my work and see if I can generate buzz about it. It seems impossible, I know, but I’m willing to give it a good go. Wish me luck, and I hope you’ll check out Soulless (due to released on Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold on March 8th 2016).