A friend scored a copy of the Bookscan sales report for my novel, Tornado Siren, last night, which was both helpful (good to be reminded of the reality) and depressing (reality bites). The book got off to a good start when it came out early last year, but since then sales have been slow. I've had a lot of experience marketing plays and play productions, but trying to sell books has been a whole new thing.
I've sold a lot of books just on my own to friends and family, which has been enormously helpuful. But most of those don't show up in Bookscan (which is what editors and agents can look at to see how well my book fared). I'm with a very small publisher, so their marketing and distribution power is tiny, and now that the book has been out for a while, it will be very hard to get additional reviews and press. (We're hitting the hot patch of tornado season, which might help make people interested in Tornado Siren.)
So I felt depressed for a while last night (you know--I suck, no one is ever going to read or buy this book again, I should have been working harder, I waste too much time, what an idiot, I don't know what the hell I'm doing), but I know that I just need to make a plan and get to work.
I'm in the midst of writing a new novel, so time is short. But I think I'm going to shoot for spending 30 minutes every day marketing Tornado Siren, and 30 minutes on screenplay marketing. I'll try this for the next 30 days and see how it's going. (My own little marketing binge.) I haven't spent much time at all on marketing either of these aspects of my work this year, but if I don't do the work, the stuff won't sell (duh).