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Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com by Pascual Lopez

Marketing a book feels like a walk in the jungle with lions, tigers and bears in the bushes looking for an opportunity to minimize your needs and over maximize theirs. But the Internet is a wild wooly place with more good than not so good. White hat (ethical practices) tactics win in the long run but maintaining that at times becomes difficult. Many people help along the way with their blogging, comments, chats and general articles across the Internet. Most only ask you to pay it forward to someone else, give credit where credit is due and update them if you find something that works. A variety of services exist to fit any budget whether a package deal or by pieces.

What I Have Learned

For us do it yourselfers who patchwork together a marketing plan that is part services and part our own creativity the Internet is a lifesaver. The Big 6 (Publishers like McGraw Hill, HarperCollins) have huge marketing machines. A handful of writers make it and are chosen. For them it is a grand excursion but it leaves out the thousands of other writers whose book is high quality and a possibility as well. The proof is the rise of self publishing even on Amazon.com. Most writers love to write, are compelled to, and would do it whether they ever got paid. Bills have to be paid, and food put on the table. Room at the table exists for many more and be able to make a living say $30,000 to $60,000 which most of us Americans do just fine on.

How the Campaign Goes

My book came out in late May. It took till the middle of July to get the full marketing machine in swing online. This is the first prime Christmas buying season I have experienced as a writer marketing a book. Fortunately, I practiced FaceBook ads, Google ads, and LinkedIn Ads in the summer reading season and learned much. So this round I knew a more personal touch was called for. I like that better any way. It bothers me people buy my book and I don’t get to thank them. Most people work hard for their money, and I truly do appreciate when they spend it on my book. On Facebook as someone clicked the like button I would write a simple note like I use to do my children in my classroom. Naming them by name, sincerely thanking them, and tried to say something to make them smile. It is one of those things your parents teach you. “Say thank you for the gifts or someones niceness.” My friend, Rajiv Karran, who inspired me has a saying he does every morning. He says “I thank you, thank you, thank you and accept the gift for today.” A grand reminder that life is about thanking and giving blessings what ever your faith is or not.

That is what writing is __a gift. A chance to say thanks, to point out paths, to express a philosophy, to share ideas, and to work on issues whether they are yours, society’s or a groups. If you give a gift you always get it back in some way. For this season that recognizes giving, may you be generous, may you help someone one along their chosen path, and may you never forget the people who got you there whether it was extremely unforgettably pleasurable or even if it wasa bit  mean and nasty (just do not pass those negative methods on to someone else make pleasurable ones).

Have grand escapades of the holy light kind and if that is not your cup of tea then do random acts of kindess.

Mary Author of The Grand New Delhi Escapade