Wordpreneur Notebook • May 4, 2021

Why is fiction book marketing so difficult? #2

Continuing on from yesterday’s introductory post on why marketing novels is such a PITA. Besides the fact that as a new/unknown author, you’ll be pushing an unneeded “product” onto the marketplace, there’s this massive doozy:

You have competition. LOTS of it.

And if you think you’re just butting heads with the latest crop of authors, oh sweet summer child, it’s time to burst that bubble so you can see what you’re really facing with your push.

You’re competing against recent authors. And the ones before them. And before those. Not to mention the ones that preceded that bunch. And on and on and on, for who knows how many decades back.

How quickly do you think books go stale?

It’s now 21 years after the turn of the century. Here’s a perfect example: Rowling’s Harry Potter series. They still top the bestseller lists of their genre, by significant numbers. The first three titles of that series came out in the latter 90s, before the century even turned. And we know hers aren’t the only titles first published back then (or even prior) that are still going strong. Forget strong… how about all the ones that are still going just adequately? It all spiders out exponentially from there.

If we all decided to stop pumping out new books for a while, even the fastest readers among us aren’t going to run out of any books to read anytime soon.

Discouraging? Why? This isn’t anything new. Product-wise, it’s always been a heavily crowded market. It’s the game you’ve chosen to play; best keep this reality in mind—and the others I have yet to post in this series—as you develop your book marketing strategy.

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