Whenever anyone talks about the indie-publishing movement, the words “discoverability” and “platform” come up over and over again. These words are different ways of saying “getting yourself known enough that people buy your books”.
Basically what everyone calls marketing.
When I had my professional organizing business, then later my online coaching project, I hated marketing. In fact, I gave up both not because I didn’t like what I was doing, but because I hated having to find clients. For someone who leans towards being introverted, marketing is a nightmare wrapped up in torture and sprinkled with constant fear of humiliation.
I know authors who talk about their books all the time, who promote themselves with deals, with segments from their novels, with whatever “trick” might get more people to look at their works and buy them.
Many established writers say that the best marketing is your next book, that the only thing a career writer needs to worry about is getting more out there, and that at some point the tipping point will be reached and all their books will begin to sell.
However, I’m not a career writer. I’m a hobby writer. If I’m lucky I get one book done a year. Stick that one book in incredible volume of books that are published every day, let alone every year, and that one book will disappear without anyone ever knowing that it’s available.
So, what can an introverted writer who hates marketing do?
In my the answer was: come up with something that builds my name in the writing field without actually having to sell myself.
And from that idea, SpeckLit Magazine was born – it’s an online magazine that features drabble-length fiction, published more or less every other day. In December 2014, SpeckLit will celebrate its first year anniversary and it’s gaining in popularity, slowly – ever so slowly, but I get between 300 and 400 stories submitted for each quarter’s 45 slots.
It’s not a cheap endeavor and I know that I’m going to have to continue this project for years before I see any effect, but it sure beats the pants off of having to “sell” myself and my books.
I also have plans for the magazine. Originally, I thought I’d include movie and book reviews, but I don’t have time to maintain those parts. These things constantly evolve. It’s time for a revamp of the website, getting rid of the reviews. Instead, the magazine is going to start doing highlights on each author, providing the writers for SpeckLit with a place to send others to find all their publications in one spot. I also have a few other ideas swimming around in my head that can increase SpeckLit’s platform, which in the long term will increase my own platform.