Here I am at The Book Center in Cumberland, MD, on Nov. 19. I'm the one on the left, in case you couldn't tell.

I’ve been a published author since 1996 and an independent author since 2001. While each new book that I publish presents new challenges, I’ve been able to build upon the things I’ve done to market my previous books. It doesn’t make marketing my books any easier, it just gets me up and running faster.

Now, I’ve come to realize that I’ve learned quite a bit about marketing over those years even if I might not be able to summarize it.

However, I have just come to realize that by seeing how far someone else has to go. In working with a new author, I’ve seen in him a large reluctance to market, a narrow focus on market area, a heavy reliance on book signings and Facebook fan pages, and a resistance to stepping outside of his comfort zone.

I used to do a lot of those things myself, and I can see that looking back. I can also see how wrong those ideas were. For instance, one of the reasons I became an independent author was because I thought that I could focus tightly on marketing my novel to a limited area. That worked until I started getting orders from places outside of the area where I was marketing. Then I realized that I couldn’t be so tightly focused.

I was also resistant to go outside my comfort zone, but I’ve forced myself to do that because I’ve seen the benefits as my book sales increase.

This is not to say that I’m at the end of the long journey of learning how to market books. I’m not, not by a long shot, but at least now, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. I can see that I have learned marketing lessons and applied them to my work.

So experience does pay off if you’re willing to learn the lessons that it is teaching.