Georgette St. Clair

NYTimes Bestselling Author of Paranormal Romance

BBW romance, paranormal romance, and just all kinds of romance

Does marketing actually sell books?

I’d like to think that it does, but that hasn’t been my experience so far.  Once upon a time a while back I had another pen name.  I was trying to write to market, and the results were kinda meh.  I wrote press releases and paid for them to be sent out, interviewed bestselling authors and posted to my blog, I guest posted on other people’s blog, I interacted on several forums on a daily basis, I built up a big twitter following and tweeted frequently – conversationally, interacting with other authors, not spamming – and, nothing. My sales were okay, but marketing made absolutely no difference.

I’ve talked to countless authors who paid for advertising in various places, with mixed results. In some cases, they got a big temporary boost and then things sank back to normal.  In some cases they even made their money back with additional sales – but again, sales went back to what they were before the ad, and it didn’t make any long term difference.

So I created a new pen name. I wrote what I personally wanted to write, what I loved to write.  I got great feedback from my readers. I decided to try paranormal because that is what I read.  I got even better feedback.  And finally I published a BBW werewolf romance, and here’s all the marketing I did – I sent out an announcement to my 43 newsletter subscribers a few days beforehand.  And I announced it on Twitter but nobody clicked that link; I checked, so I know. And I announced it on Facebook, to my 6 Facebook followers.

And the book took off like crazy, and very quickly hit the top 100 on Amazon, and now I have hundreds of newsletter subscribers, and I’m still ranking in the top 100.

So, my feeling is – it’s the book, not the marketing.   From now on I shall continue to write absolutely the best book that I can, forget about what’s selling, what’s trendy, what’s the flavor of the week, and just write what I would want to read.  And I’m going to spend most of my time writing, not marketing.

And now – back to writing.