More often than not, it’s the questions readers ask that lead to the most valuable revelations.
I recently had a query on my video trailer for The Dream Parade (Part One). It went something like this:
If you missed your publishing deadline, why did you bother leaving the book trailer up on YouTube? Isn’t that confusing readers rather than creating buzz?
Point taken. My article on How to Create Buzz for Your Book is now clearly marked as ‘Edited Post’. I have also updated the YouTube description of the video to make it clear that the book wasn’t published on Amazon in November 2017 but rather went up on Wattpad first…which does count as published, right?
To answer the question why I made this last-minute U-turn: to get some beta reads and some initial feedback which turned out more positive and helpful than I could have predicted, by the way. So, no regrets there.
Thinking back to the query now, I kind of do get why it might seem odd that I didn’t remove the trailer, blog post, and reference to my missed deadline. Why create buzz for a book before it’s properly published? Why publish chapters on Wattpad? Why bother?
I found the answer to these questions by chance via twitter thanks to @WriterAnnaB who tweeted a link to a blog post entitled This Is How To Create A Pre-Launch Strategy For Your Book by Rachel Thompson.
Whilst the post is primarily concerned with how to create buzz for your book at various stages of the writing process, it made me think about why anybody (incl. me) would bother with any of this.
I believe the answer is: most of us are unknown writers with big dreams. We don’t have the support of agents and large publishing houses (and even they require authors to have a social media presence and significant volumes of followers these days.)
We are toiling away (more or less in obscurity), updating a few hundred people each month on our activities and works in progress whilst also trying to be supportive and helpful to other indie writers by sharing helpful writing/ publishing tips alongside the occasional epiphany.
Or at least that’s my experience of this mad pursuit.
But then, every so often, we get to look at our social media stats (I do this annually) and we realise that our consistent blogging, tweeting, and other types of posting adds up to some amazing numbers. So, the more seeds we sow the richer the harvest we might reap upon finally publishing the books that we work so hard to complete.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t like to start building my audience upon publication. I want to know who some of my readers will be in advance and what they think of my work. I don’t mind if that means I have to give something away (time, chapters, advice, behind-the-scenes morsels of information about my writing life).
A purchase is an exchange of values and I hope that my readers will think of me as a generous, committed author with all of the best intentions who provides work that is valuable rather than as an unknown entity or a mere shadow called ‘writer’.
What do you think about creating buzz for your book whilst you are still in the process of writing it? Do you have a Pre-Launch Strategy? As always, let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, I wish you a productive Sunday.