If that first line conjures images of a mad flasher in a trench coat, don't worry. That's not the kind of exposure I'm talking about. I'm talking about getting exposure for your books. How can anyone buy something they've never heard of, right?
Now if you're like me, you don't have much money to spend on advertisements, even the cheap ones. Most of the time, I have NO advertising budget at all. But what I do have is time. I've been taking the advice of that editor who said that the very best advertisement is coming out with another good book.
I've got some pretty good evidence that she was right. Not that I doubted her. What she said made perfect sense to me. However, I see people advertising the same books sometimes when they haven't written anything new in years. I realize there are all kinds of reasons why something like this might happen. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not insulting those individuals. Not at all. I'm offering my opinion based on what I've personally experienced. That's all anyone can do.
Now, from my experience, after a year, sales trickle off on new books significantly. (Of course, sales trickle off before that, but that's when I've noticed the biggest drop.) However, each time I have a new release, sales increase for all my books. This increase continues to grow sometimes for several months.
This brings me to my next point, self-publishing is TOTALLY worth it. I've gotten more exposure with Frank and The Werewolf Tamer (my first self-pub title) than with ANY of my books with a traditional publisher. How much more?
In less than 2 months, Frank and The Werewolf Tamer, (including some free downloads offered as promo), has been downloaded roughly 2,000 times. Not all of those were free. Not even half.
My very best-selling book with a traditional publisher did not reach 2,000 sales for the YEAR.
That's what I call exposure!
Now, having said that, I made more money off the book with a traditional publisher in the first 6 weeks than I have so far with Frank. That was due in part to higher prices on the books and the fact some copies of Frank were offered for free.
I'm pricing my books as cheaply as I can and still earn a living in order to reach a larger audience. I've run some 99 cent promos, but I can't afford to leave my books priced at 99 cents. Writing is my only job. I need to earn a paycheck.
I'm sharing this in the hopes that it might help those who are still wondering what to expect with a self-published book. I believe the exposure is worth the time. People are enjoying Frank and The Werewolf Tamer and they are telling their friends. That's fantastic! I've never gotten so much word of mouth endorsements on a book before. How do I know it's word of mouth selling more books and not something else? Because I haven't done anything else. I haven't spent one single dime on advertising for Frank and The Werewolf Tamer.
I've done some guest blog posts, but that's it. Several authors were kind enough to let me be their guest and I'm sure that continues to help. My point is, it didn't cost money. You don't have to spend a fortune to sell books.
I'm sure this is great news to everyone who has to pay for marketing all on their own. Wait, that would be everyone. Ha. Ha. Ha. Sorry to burst that bubble. Even big names still pay for much (and in some cases all) of their marketing. Those banners with your book and smiling face right beside your name in HUGE letters, not to mention like 100 free copies, only happens in the movies.