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I’m a big fan of Winston Churchill – one of life’s great over-achievers (soldier, journalist, politician and artist) – and in particular his repeated exhortations to just stick at it, variously “Never, never, never give up”, “If you’re going through hell, just keep going” and, of course, “Keep buggering on”.  I too am one of life’s plodders: I’m not given to flights of fancy or flashes of brilliance but I am a great sticker-at things – including the marketing of self-published books.

I try – some weeks more successfully than others – to do at least one marketing activity per week.  I keep a list of ideas and suggestions in a little notebook and when I have time I try to cross off, or make a little advance on, one of them.  They vary in size and complexity – from “contact events person at local Waterstones” to “get to grips with how Amazon ads work” (there’s a project…) – and, as with pretty much all marketing initiatives, it’s all but impossible to know which will bear fruit and why.

On my list at the moment are these:

  • Once the IngramSpark versions of my books are finalised [nearly there – paper proof copies are on order] update all the ISBNs on Amazon and elsewhere
  • Wait several weeks – it seems to take about six – for the IngramSpark catalogue to update in the Gardners system so that bookshops can order the books, and then think of ways to get them to do that…
  • Contact events person at local Waterstones – no point doing this until they can order the books (see above)
  • Consider running a BookBub promotion – general consensus in the indie writing community is that this is a good idea but hard work as you need to jump through dozens of hoops before BookBub will take you on
  • Consider releasing a “box set” of the first three Sam titles in Kindle format – this has been recommended by a writer friend
  • Get to grips with how Amazon ads work

Today I have asked for a quotation from my cover designer to create the new image I would need for Amazon for a box set.  And now I am going to read some of the thousands of blog posts out there which discuss Amazon ads and the black magic that seems to underpin them…  It’s not glamorous and it’s not much fun, but then neither was being sent to Bangalore with the Fourth Queen’s Own Hussars in 1896 – if Winston can keep buggering on, so can I.