When publishing, it's easy to underestimate the extensive legwork required to get people to notice you. It's infuriating, because with 6 billion people on this planet everyone has an audience even if they're a piece of shit.
The last time I marketed my stuff I was at Comic Con back in 2014. I had a thousand cardstock mailers with a download link to my book via a Box.com link that I set up on my own. Everything was so touch and go, like having sex for the first time. Of the thousand, I was able to pass out almost 500. (Not bad for a first effort.) There were SDCC volunteers catching on to my schemes toward the end. I had to evade them like a cold war spy in Russia.
One thing they don't tell you is how to deal with rejection. I still remember to this day the feeling of passing out that first card, and someone declining, as if they wanted extra shit to cart around in an ever expanding grab-bag of toys, fliers, comic books, and so on. But still you take it personally. Today I kind of laugh about it, but back then I wanted to shrivel up and die. But to anyone passing out fliers just remember quantity is key. I estimated a 2-3% response rate (looking at the download metrics on Box). Of the 500 or so I passed out I got about 40 unique downloads. (A whopping eight percent!)
Marketing techniques have evolved over time, with Google AdSense and Facebook data mining to the infinitesimal, making advertisement the easiest in decades. The caveat to this is the saturation of ads. Just like Journalism, its easy for good content to get drowned out by every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a blog. (And, yes, the irony is not lost on me.) So you may have noticed two pages appear on my blog: two personal thank you notes to prospective buyers of my two books (one available, the other's sale date TBA).
It feels apropos to do this. Sony never thanked me for buying their bluray players or Apple, their phones. If you click on to these pages, my sentiment is sincere. I know that I can be an anti-social, cynical asshole sometimes. But I care about the people who care about good art. They are the human beings that need to keep breeding. These two projects, and all my future ones are my best effort at contributing to the great body of Western Literature. (Though I'm not above writing pulp drabbles time to time.)
So, like all authors, I begin my journey, my trek into deep space, shouting into the void for alien life. To bridge cultures and opinions with tales on the human condition. I'll need help. I am many things: Husband, Father, Christian, Author, IT Consultant, Avid Reader, Player of Beep-Boops, and Anxiety Medicated Agoraphobic. But I'm not good at being all at once.
It takes a village to publish a book. And I'm thankful to everyone who fights along side me.