I am still fairly new to this published author business. My book, THE WITCH OF ZAL, has not been out quite a year yet, and in many ways I am still finding my feet.
Marketing is not something that comes naturally to me. While I do not subscribe to the “if-I-write-it-they-will-come” theory or think people owe me something because I wrote a book, I find it very difficult to put my introverted self out there and try to get people’s attention. I mean, I have spent a lifetime honing skills to avoid being the center of attention. Still, it must be done if I am to make a go of this publishing thing.
I have found, in this year, that there seems to be a “selling season.” Perhaps this is unique to children’s books, as our target audience is scattered far and wide in the summer season. All I know is that I spent very little time doing live marketing events (I still did online things) over the summer. That my own child was home with me during the summer might also account for this drop in live events—in fact, the only live event I did over the summer was a workshop at her summer camp.
Then came school time. Suddenly, my calendar filled. An Author Expo in Ocean City, a table at Eastampton Fun Day, Collingswood Book Festival, and Vineland’s Indie Author Day all followed one on top of the other. Up next is River Reads on October 23rd, then part of a group event at Open Book in Elkins Park, a table at the NJ Association for School Librarians conference, and an author panel (my first!) at my high school alma mater. Whew!
I haven’t even done any school visits yet. I have programs ready, but I have not yet had the courage to set them up. I know that when I do it will be fine, and that once I get the first one under my belt the rest will come easier. But as an introvert with anxiety disorder, I need to wade in rather than jump in the deep end. I feel I am finally finding my feet with the type of author appearances I have been doing, and so school visits will be next on my checklist.
And again, they will be during the school year.
So tell me, is there really a “selling season,” or is my perception skewed because this is my first full year? Or does it vary depending on genre and audience age?