At long last I received the email that I have been waiting for from ‘acx’; The War Wolf has passed the final hurdle and has been turned into an audiobook! It has been a long process but the day has finally arrived. Of course, releasing a title into another medium has meant that I go back to what I consider the bane of bring an author without a publisher; marketing!
It is a necessary evil. The market has been swamped by new releases and it is very difficult to get your book noticed. I have toyed with marketing previously and never really enjoyed the experience. I know why as well. I write books because I enjoy the creative process and although there is some requirement to be creative in marketing it is not the same. Okay, I am going to stop whining about it.
The fact is that my new audiobook needs some advertising and no one else is going to do it other than me. I have used Twitter several times, most recently to promote ‘Mesozoic’, my time travel dinosaur adventure technological thriller. Despite investing a lot of time on creating and tweeting a series of cards detailing all the wonderful dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that can be found within the book they did not seem to attract a lot of attention. That is a shame really because I think that the cards look quite good, but there you go, just because they have dinosaurs on them it does not mean that you are going to succeed! If static pictures of dinosaurs could not cut the mustard then, I thought to myself, perhaps I should have a go at a simple video instead?
I created a presentation based on The War Wolf. It was very simple, just one slide with a little bit of animation to bring in the pertinent information and look a bit jazzy at the same time. Once I was happy with this I exported it as a video and then attempted to tweet it via Twitter. This did not work. There was no warning signs, no notice to corrective action required, nothing. I switched to using Hootsuite, a facility that allows you to compose and schedule a number of tweets. This proved to be more successful as it told me exactly why I could not use the video; it was too tall, too wide, and not in the right format. Thanks for nothing Twitter!
Armed with some of the requisite information I created another presentation based on the physical measurements Hootsuite had provided me. I also created a very simple one animation video based on these height and width parameters also. Using good old Google I was able to find a website that could and did convert MP4 video in the correct Twitter format. I tested it with the simple video and it worked. After that I felt much more optimistic and finished the longer, by a whole 10 seconds, presentation. I loaded this into the converter and then attached it to a tweet. Success! It worked. Tweet launched and marketing a huge success. Of course not. The fact is that I doubt that a single tweet is going to do anything for me; if only it were that easy!
Although I do not like the idea it is obvious that I am going to have to accept that marketing is indeed a necessary evil for a writer like me. I have tried social-media and it is flooded by the same sort of thing that I am doing. In truth I am no different to anyone else. The only way that I am really going to get anyone to notice my work is by buying their attention. I am going to have to spend some cash on proper advertising. Of course, I do not have lots of free cash knocking about the place. It is that old vicious circle again, to earn money you have to be successful and to be successful you have to spend money. However, as I can see no other alternative if I want to continue as a writer then I am going to have to create a budget for marketing and take the plunge. I have done a little bit of this in the past and none of it returned any great streams of revenue or even a single book sale from what I can tell. I have to admit though that previous attempts were very much on a shoestring. I think that I will have to commit a larger amount of money to the project, which brings me back to the release of my new audiobook; The War Wolf: The Sorrow Song Trilogy, Book 1. Written by Peter C Whitaker and narrated by Jack Glanville. Available from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. All proceeds will go towards my marketing campaign that will, finally, see me established as a successful author.