If you are a writer, then you must have dwelled with this question is it marketing or a good book. Especially when you are about to publish your work and a hint of doubt starts to creep in your mind. Of course, marketing is important but is it all about marketing or the trust you have in your book that it will sell itself.
Today we will look a little bit deep into this topic. We will see specific case studies about the authors and their work. Hopeful many things will be clear when we finish this and we will know
is it marketing or a good book
For me I have always been clear on this matter I will always prefer a good book. When I am writing and producing a book, I try my best that it should be the best I could do. Now it depends on the audience to decide whether it’s a good book or not but for me I should be satisfied with the product.
And that is my strong suit and also my hamartia. I am a struggling writer and I have to be careful with what I do with my money. I don’t have the luxury of spending extravagantly and lavishly. So, I focus most of the budget in editing and making a good book. The downside is I am not left with much money to promote my book. And in recent times I have realized that it’s a mistake. I too have faced this question is it marketing or a good book and I choose a good book every time which is a mistake a partial mistake.
The argument here is all the classic authors from a different era didn’t have the social media and the boon of technology and even though their work got attention and they were nothing short of celebrities. In old times how they used to recognize the new talent how they used to get viral. The gatekeepers held all the key and they made sure that the person had all the skills and more. A good amount of buzz, readers sharing the work they like with good mouth of word. And it’s not like the advertisement didn’t exist but they were constrained and the fame used to rise slowly. The most reliable advertisement was good mouth of word from readers and other fellow authors.
You see somehow the basic hasn’t changed even today and it remains the same but today the advertisement market has become so vast and complex.
• The other key thing we have to remember is that to get the good mouth of word from the readers, you had to be very skillful matching up to the writers who already have done it. And less crap was produced no matter what you say with all the advanced training and different types of classes our generation is producing more crap.
Yes, we are now “Sophisticated” but even you have to admit that if we compare any era before this internet boom, we have produced more crap even with our all training and expensive degrees.
I too belong to this generation so don’t think I am being biased I am just stating the fact and I will give you the reason also why we are producing so much crap. Because now we were producing more, There are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone, depending on which stats you believe. Many of those – perhaps as many as half or even more – are self-published. On average, they sell less than 250 copies each.
So you see its the quantity which is hampering us. And it has been made possible by the self-publishing industry. I still believe that self-publishing industry is great and it has given us the freedom to express us as an artist to fulfill our fantasy and write about it. But to be very frank and blunt it’s like a free country where there are no consequences because you are free. So, you can do whatever you want to do and nobody will hold you accountable. There are self-made rules which have worked for somebody and when people try to follow them many of them failed. So you see its the perfect chaos because with one push of a button you can call yourself a writer.
It’s a great thing, I tell you but as a writer, I am also starting to realize that with so much freedom. We have forgotten what it’s like to be a writer and what it takes with effects the quality of book we produce. Sometimes we neither think about marketing or a good book we think about sales. I too have a bad batch of books all my poetry collection is controversial because I don’t edit them and you will find many grammatical mistakes. Although it’s intentional, I wanted to publish the way they were written in the moment of heat but I am very careful about my fiction because that is my main line. You will find my fiction much more polished than my poetries.
The point I am trying to make is that I wouldn’t even think about publishing my collection of poetry in any other era or even if I did I would have to make many changes to make it decent. In simple words, I wouldn’t be so careless.
I think the only one I can remember that boomed before this social media is the Harry Potter series. People liked it very much and a good mouth of word with promotions too scaled to the heights of popularity that it is now today. And to be fair, it’s a good book not because it contains magic elements but even in general points with world building and story structure it’s good. It gives us the answer of marketing or a good book because frankly it’s bit of both.
I am a self-published author and I advocate for it, but I too feel that now we have too much freedom to publish and with quantity there comes a load of crap with it.
The reason I am telling about the good book is that nowadays when we have realized that we aren’t able to produce quality books so now, we are focusing much on marketing. The over publication of books has been the honeypot for marketers and to all those who call themselves marketing guru and all PR companies. The two are related because I am sure in old times they didn’t talk about the budget you have for your marketing hiring expensive PR team. They used to talk more about books how you can make it better. And in those times that’s what mattered but times have changed now. And I am not saying that advertisement didn’t exist but it was not as aggressive as it is today.
Yes, there is valuable information and there are people who can teach you how to market correctly but like books, the population of so-called marketers have also risen.
It’s the rule of economics to satisfy a large number of user there has to be an equal amount of providers. It has become so much volatile that now even a teen with few hundred followers is selling their service as a marketer.
The good thing is that now you can reach a wide variety of audience but the type of audience you will reach is good to create buzz not sales. And then most of the writers wondered why their marketing campaign didn’t work.
The most impressive case study of targeted marketing in recent times is fifty shades of grey by E.L James the story of fifty shades was born as fan fiction on Twilight series with a little twist. The audience was already hooked into the character what James did was tap into that audience and give them something more something steamy connecting it with female fantasy and hardcore erotica. What else could you need?
So, the millions of fans who were already hooked with twilight got hooked with fifty shades of grey too. It’s just a back story but nobody actually knows why a book works but it’s a perfect case study for us.
The book sold itself against the authors who are spending thousands of dollars on marketing. Now, I don’t claim that I have figured it out, I have the ultimate method. I don’t do that I myself is struggling writer trying to figure out just like you. But I have been in this industry for quite sometimes and I have seen something’s and observed.
So who wins the marketing or a good book.
If we see the fifty shades example, the marketing wins although some people will say you can’t technically say that’s marketing it was a matter of luck. But targeted marketing with a fan base works each time. And I believe every writer should do that.
So that means fifty shades of grey is not a good book?
Personally, it was okay. I get it why people hate it so much there have are better books in that genre and I will agree if you say it’s a not a great book. The best way to put it is to say its a successful book and sometimes that is all a writer’s needs.
So that means marketing is all we need?
No, I don’t agree. As I also talked about harry potter series. I am talking about harry potter because it’s well known although there are books like Fault in our stars and The Alchemist but harry potter has a wide range. And I will be foolish if say that marketing was not involved at all but I personally believe the reason behind its success is that it grabbed the readers nerves it gives you more than a plot and characters. You can read my article on that topic here.
And if I tell you to compare both the series fifty shades and harry potter and tell me which is better?
I am guessing most of you will say, Harry Potter.
Few will say that their genres are different and core audience so you can’t compare. I agree but if talk about only the literary terms then I think it’s safe to say Harry Potter and both are fiction so you can say we can’t do that. My main point here is not now it’s not about the question is it marketing or a good book.
The point here is to think that that the aggressive marketing will compensate for your bad book or your good book will compensate for your marketing is a mistake.
I used to be one of those authors don’t commit that mistake.
First, learn how to be a good writer and learn the skills. Try to publish better books with better themes and characters but when it comes to marketing do target marketing and not just general marketing. Find your base, find your readers because an artist needs an audience. And if you are still thinking is it marketing or a good book and if you have chosen anyone then you are wrong because in this generation and era you need both.
* It can take you a little long time to find your audience.
So, what do you think is it marketing or a good book. I have taken two biggest examples and try to be simple so that it becomes easy for everyone to understand. Hopeful you will learn from my mistakes and this article has provided you with good information. Share this post and comment your thoughts and subscribe to our blog.
Keep writing, keep reading, keep inspiring.