Promotion, Marketing & Random Actions to Sell my Book – Part 1
First up, folks, let me say a couple of things
- I am not about to give you the secret to selling thousands of copies of your book (because I don’t have it) – nor will I claim to, just to get you to read my post (in the hope you are inspired)
- I do not claim to be an expert, in fact, I’m a newbie to promoting books
- I do not claim my strategies work because I haven’t been able to track exactly how they are working due to unavailable sales figures, or it is too early to tell or I have not been able to get data. I am working on this – a marketer should be able to track and measure effort
- What I will say is, I am a writer – a dedicated writer, with one foot in the traditional publishing arena and one foot about to be stomped in the indie camp
- I say this loud and clear: YOU must believe you are a WRITER, be passionate about, you the author, and your books. If you are not passionate about them no one else will be
- Work with your publisher if you have one – they can do things for you. You just need to ask or insist if they are resistant or get permission to go it alone
- I have a Bachelor of Management, majoring in Marketing (a bit out of date, but I guess the principles haven’t changed much) and a BA in Professional Writing and Communication which included Public Relations subjects
- I am determined to make a successful, financially viable career out of writing, so I am also a dedicated promoter of my books
I want to acknowledge and give credit to:
- Jonathan Gunson for his courses on Blogging and Twitter which I found extremely useful being a technology backward baby boomer. BestsellerLabs.com
- John Kremer with his book 1001 ways to Market Your Books
- Various internet sources – either long forgotten sources or lost in the volume
Anyway enough background trivia
- My first thought is – if you don’t have your book in both e-book and print you are behind the eight ball immediately because 40 to 50% of people still want to buy a ‘real book’
- My motto is to ‘think globally, act online – think locally, act personally. (a twist on an environmental quote)
- If you are inexperienced I strongly suggest Jonathan Gunson’s courses: value for $ – I learnt all I know about twitter and blogging from him
Social media, of course: Blog, Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+ etc
From my experience:
Blogging & Website
- To write interesting, readable posts; it takes time and thought – time away from writing, but it holds people’s attention and gets them interested in you when they find you
- Getting traffic to the blog can be slow and challenging for the time put in
- Yet to see evidence of increase in sales
- Ask your publisher if you have one – to write a guest post for you or get you a guest post request
- Ask other writers in your genre to write guest posts
- There is lots to blog about – go for it.
- Limited on how much to say at one time so need to be succinct – good for improving your prose if you tend to be long winded
- To me it seems like every one is yelling from their soap box – promote, promote, promote. Is anyone listening – look for something to respond to from your followers and those you follow
- Getting followers and suitable people to follow is time consuming – must source and filter
- Direct messages can be frustrating – I personally don’t really like them and when you right one back only to find you can’t send it is frustrating.
- Auto responses even more so – need to filter followers
My thoughts on this is;
- Write really interesting, funny or controversial tweets every day – not always just promoting your book or directing people to your Facebook Page – Hey, I want to connect with you, the person behind the tweets, not just have a promo line shoved in my face and I hope you feel the same
- Add images to your tweets
- Find quotes – people often respond to meaningful ones
- Respond to others who also have interesting tweets – some of them have nothing to do with books either – it might even be a meaningful quote and they might return the favour and retweet or favourite you, increasing your exposure without having to increase your followers directly
- Retweet those with interesting tweets, again they might be nothing about books, but a ‘connection’ can be built – pay off might come later – like a guest post request.
- With Twitter I often feel like I am standing in the middle of the Super Bowl or MCG, 10 minutes before the final siren of the grand final hoping to be heard and nobody gives a damn because they are all too busy yelling. Twitter is a very noisy crowded place for the newbie – hang in there, tweet interesting
- Lots of pictures, promoting your book – can be a bit more in your face about promotion here – many things you can do though, on your blog. Drive visitors from one to the other.
- Still working on getting more traffic
- Not sure of the value of likes – yet to see evidence of ‘likes’ turning into sales
- Always ask people to share on their page if they like your book or do a review (Amazon, Goodreads also) – not everyone will do a review but most will share or allow you to share a promo for your book on their page.
Goodreads, Google+ etc
- Write a fascinating profile, keep checking in, link to all your other social media sites – good to get you out there on as many sites as possible – even the less prominent sites – look them up on the internet and if they allow a free profile or add, go for it. All exposure is good.
- Ask readers you know personally to do a review – not everyone will though.
You Tube, Guest Posts, Book Bloggers
- I have done some guest posts – fun, and had them returned, but not sure of the value other than to build relationships with fellow writers – it depends on how much traffic they have to their blog.
- Book Bloggers – yet to have any success here probably need to spend more time commenting on these to get my name known. So much to do – so little time
- YouTube – is for later
Please take what you can from this post I hope to help someone out there trying to make a go of it and I welcome feedback and other ideas about promoting your books from those more experienced than me. There are lots of ideas out there to try. As John Kremer’s book states – 1001 ideas.
Let’s share our knowledge and give a leg up where we can, but remember, you are the writer – it’s your book. Be proud, and passionate, of your creation. Communicate that passion to your potential readers without hesitation or doubt.
Please leave a comment and your details so we can start a conversation about book promotion and build each other up.
Ignite passion – Read a Romance
More to come on getting your book out there.