Why Marketing as an Indie Writer is Hard

You know when you’re on Goodreads, playing in the forums, checking out recommendations, updating your progress – those sidelined “sponsored” ads – oh, what? You don’t notice those?



Why? Because most of the time those books are self-published, and on a whole, people tend to ignore those ads because of that assumption. (And, let’s be honest, a lot of them have bad covers and worse summaries.)

Not saying that the books in the example picture have bad covers or bad title or summaries; these are the books that happened to be on my main Goodreads page.

One thing I’ve discovered is that a lot of readers (not all, but some) shy away from books that they know are self-published. This is due to the assumption that self-published books are not well-written, are not edited, are not professional in the way that traditionally published books are – books that have gone through several people in the publishing industry who know what they’re talking about, how it works, and what sells.

Traditionally published books have been “approved” as well-written, solid stories, whereas a self-published book hasn’t.

That doesn’t mean that self-published books are bad or that traditionally published books are good. There’s exceptions to every rule.

But, those exceptions are RARE.

Traditionally published books have been approved by pros. A self-published book, like the ones on CreateSpace, don’t require any sort of validation or approval other than those that make sure it fits their printing perimeters – as to the content, there is no quality control.

It could written by a well-known author who’s been dropped by their agent. It could be an author looking to write in different genres.

It could be written by a thirteen year old girl with an unhealthy obsession for vampire smut. It could be someone who has read a few books and decided that he wants to write one, even thought he’s not sure what POV means or how dialog formatting works.

I suppose… this comes from me being bitter at all the indie book review requests I get where the books just sounds so… unpolished, poorly written, and just overall bad. (Like never read a book before kind of bad.)

And back to the topic – those little “sponsored” ads get passed over. The big upcoming books are given the big, bold ads, the colorful ones with gifs and trailers – like for writers that are guaranteed to sell, like Patterson or King.

There are so many “advertisements” aimed at indie writers out there, scamming the unsuspecting indie author out of their hard earned cash for a shot at being seen. I’ve fallen for some of those. No, they’ve not paid off.

When you are an indie author, marketing is hard. People assume your book is second-rate (they might be right) and getting your foot in the door is like trying to interview for a job you’re not qualified for.

And discouraging. And depressing. And disheartening.

But, can’t lose all hope. Maybe that next query will be the one, yeah?

One thought on “Why Marketing as an Indie Writer is Hard

  1. That’s a bit sad, but thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been thinking about where I’ll want to place my ads when I’m ready and I don’t think I’ll be paying Goodreads my money for an ad many people may overlook. Hopefully Amazon would yield better results?


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