In between working on Questionable Minds and Undead Sexist Cliches, I’ve also been studying how to market them. My main source has been my friend Gail Z. Martin’s videos on the Continual Facebook page (sample here). They’ve been very helpful, though I also see a problem (for me, not inherent in the advice).
The helpful part is that to market your books, study how other people market theirs. How do they describe them? Do you see consistent words coming up again and again in blurbs? What sort of experience do they promise: cool worldbuilding, humor, friends you’ll want to stay with? Do they highlight the tropes the book contains? Trigger warnings? Then take all that and refine it.
The problem is that Gail recommends planning this out several months ahead of your book launch. Which would require me to know when my books are going to launch, and let’s face it I don’t. I thought they’d be done last year. They weren’t. Then I thought they’d be done by my birthday this month: Questionable Minds may be (though the cover may not be ready) but Undead Sexist Cliches almost certainly won’t. Is it because I consistently misjudge the time I’m going to take? Or that with no deadlines, it’s easy to let them slide a little so I can complete paying gigs or meet other people’s deadlines?
Is the solution to just sit on the book for a few months once it’s actually done and the cover is set? Or to speed myself up (yeah, good look with that)? I don’t know, but at least I’m asking the right questions.