Tag Archives: marketing

What Would You Like to Ask Authors?

Authors Answer has been going for 58 weeks now, so we’ve done 58 questions. Now it’s your chance to ask some questions. I’ve done this before and had a great response. Now I’m looking for you to step up again and ask some great new questions.

You can check the questions index page for past questions just so you don’t duplicate any. It hasn’t been updated with the last few questions, though. I must get that done.

So, since you have a few authors with varying experience, different genres, and plenty of personality, you’ll get some very interesting answers. I would like you to go down to the comments section and ask your questions. Ask as many as you like. The first ones may actually be asked in January, so you don’t have to wait long. To get as many questions as possible, I have a request for everyone. Can you share this post on social media, as well as with friends? Reblog if you like, too. The more the merrier.

I look forward to your questions!

Book Business Cards and Cheat Sheets

In last week’s Authors Answer, one of the more common questions we hated to answer was “What’s your book about?” It’s a difficult question to answer because we usually don’t have a rehearsed description of the book we’re writing. So, I thought, why not just write down a brief description of the book, like it would appear on the back cover, and give that to anyone who asks?

Turns out, this kind of thing is real. But they’re simply author’s business cards. However, you can put a book blurb on one side of it. That’s fine for if you have a published book, but it doesn’t work for a book you’re currently writing.  And why would you write the blurb before you even finish the book? That’s not an easy thing to do, since your book may change drastically by the time you publish.

So, make a cheat sheet. Just write down what you feel is the best description you can make of your work in progress, and keep it in your wallet. Whenever someone asks, pull it out and read it to them. Even better, memorise it. Or if you like, print out a bunch of them on paper and hand them to anyone who wants to know, along with your name, email, and website’s address.

Anyone ever seen something like this? What do you think?

99 Cent or Free eBooks? I Won’t

When someone goes to work, they expect to be paid a fair amount for their work. When an artist creates a work of art, they expect to be paid for the work they have done. So why would an author work for months on a book only to sell it for 99 cents or just give it away for free? I won’t do that.

Sure, I’ll do the occasional promotion where I’ll drop the price to 99 cents, but never free. I want to be paid for the work I did. I’ll never keep a book at 99 cents, either. That is unless it’s one of my first books in a series and I’m comfortable with reducing it to that price. But I can’t guarantee it.

So why won’t I do this? It turns out, from what I’ve heard, that offering free books may get more downloads, but they’re unlikely to be read much. When people buy books, they will read them. A freebie is just that. Something they’ll put on their Kindle and forget about it. Low priority.

With that said, I do download free books, but I want to give back to that author in the form of a review. If I really liked the book, I may buy a print copy. I like physical books, because I’m a bit of a collector.

So, permanently low price or free book? No. I want to be paid for my work. Low price promotional copies? Yes. It’ll boost my visibility and hopefully drive regular price sales. I will have to experiment, though.

How do you feel about free or 99 cent books? Let me know in the comments.

Star Wars Soft Drinks?

In Japan, Star Wars mania is everywhere. There are posters, ads, products, and toys everywhere. Japan loves Star Wars. With the upcoming movie premiering in only a month, the ad campaign has many people excited about the movie.

Well, there’s a campaign with Kirin (it’s a drink company) where they are selling Star Wars themed soft drinks. They come in two flavours: Mets Blue Force and Mets Red Force. From what the label says, the Blue Force is refreshing, and likely a somewhat minty flavour. Red Force says spicy/dry (they use the same Chinese characters). It also says cayenne, which makes me think it’s spicy. I have to wonder if it truly is spicy.

I haven’t tried them yet, but I’d like to. I’ve seen them everywhere, so it’s only a matter of time. I’ll probably take videos to taste test them. So, look forward to that.

Which would you like to try?

My Take on This Whole Blogging Thing

I write this blog for many reasons. I’m sure everyone has their reasons, and not everyone is the same. But I think most people would like to have other people read their blogs and interact with them. How can we attract readers? Here are some ideas I have and what I’ve done.

Focus

Your blog should have a focus. Try not to be too broad in terms of topics. People looking for a certain topic will be more likely to stay and read more of your posts if you stay on topic.

What I’m doing is focusing on writing, books, and anything related to the genres I read and write in. I focus on science fiction and fantasy, so I will often post about writing in those genres, book reviews, worldbuilding, and so on. I write about science, as well. But this relates to science fiction and using science to make it more believable. I will also be writing a lot on geography, which goes hand-in-hand with worldbuilding. I want to understand the world I’ve created, so I’ll study our world and make mine more realistic. Consider it a big research project.

Reply to Comments

If you want to have people return to your blog regularly, make sure that you reply to their comments. They’ll see that you care about what they have to say, and they’ll want to engage with you on your blog more often.

I do this. I reply to every comment that I can. I’ve built a good group of regular commenters, and I thank them every month with Commentition. This month, I’ve had a slow month. My views are down, the comments are down. I’ve been slow at replying. I think there is a direct correlation. However, consider the fact that my sister was here for half of the month, and I was writing mostly shorter posts and haven’t had much time to reply regularly. My sister has gone back home, so things should return to normal now.

Post at Regular Times

It’s best to understand when your readers are online. Consider where they live, and what times they’ll most likely be online. Post at those times if possible. If not, then set your blog to post at those times for you. Use the scheduling feature. Your posts will be more visible, and they’ll come.

Most of my readers are in North America, so I tend to post around the evening and morning. Interestingly, the most popular time on my blog is in the morning, so I try post at those times. This post will be visible to everyone in the evening, though. But that’s fine, because that’s also a busy time.

Reply to Comments Part 2

Reply to your comments after you post. That way, those who come to read your comment will check and see if you’ve posted anything else.

Exactly what I try to do. In fact, after I post this, I’ll be replying to comments!

Comment Elsewhere

Don’t just comment on your blog, comment on other blogs. Comment on blogs that are popular. You’ll get greater exposure that way. And if the owner of that blog happens to like what you say, they will probably visit your blog, and who knows, maybe they’ll reblog something you post.

I try doing this, but it seems that I often don’t have time. I need to work on this myself.

So, does all of this work for me? It has worked quite well. That is, it works well when I stick with it. I don’t always do a good job at taking my own advice. Looking at my blog stats, I notice that this month is likely to be my worst month this year. But that’s because of my sister’s visit. Two years ago, I crossed the 1,000 view per month barrier. Why? Perhaps because of a post a day challenge I set for myself. I then decided to continue doing a post a day for 2014, and my numbers kept going up, eventually passing 2,000 views per month. Then for this year, I increased that to two posts a day, and I topped 3,000 views in January. I’ve repeated that a few times this year, and not one month has been below 2,000 views. I must be doing something right.

But there’s a problem. This year, I’ve stagnated. The views haven’t increased.  The comments have, though. I have far greater interaction on this blog than I ever have, which is wonderful. I’d like to get more readers, though. So what’s wrong? I think this goes back to commenting on other blogs. I’m not attracting those other bloggers. I don’t comment elsewhere regularly enough. This is something I must focus on, and it will be my big focus over the next few months.

Other things that definitely help are the following:

  • Use social media to plug your posts.
  • Provide a link to your blog in your signature on discussion forums.
  • Tag your posts with appropriate tags, but keep it under thirteen.
  • Invite comments on your posts by asking questions.
  • Do a weekly series that keeps readers coming back, and post them every week on the same day.
  • Provide links to websites you reference. This can help your search rankings.
  • Link to blogs, don’t reblog. If you like another person’s blog post, say something meaningful in a blog post about it, and link to the post. People often don’t like reading reblogs very much.
  • Use pictures in your posts. They’ll be more visible in your blog reader, as well as social media.
  • And finally, be yourself. I think if the post sounds more personable, then people will like it more and want to interact.

So, my question to you is this: What else would you recommend to help increase readership and interaction? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And please share this post. Let’s get some great advice.

Authors Answer 48 – Writing and Publishing Isn’t All Fun

It’s the final month of the first year of Authors Answer! By the end of this month, we will have been doing this for a full year. 52 questions answered. I’m glad to have gotten this far. It’s been a lot of fun. But, this question isn’t all about having fun. No, writing and publishing has its difficult side. Authors tend to have some aspect of writing that they hate, or at least dislike. I call this the dark side of writing.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 48 – What’s your least favourite part of the writing and publishing process?

H. Anthe Davis

Right now, I would say the rough draft phase, since I’m currently in it and it is driving me slowly insane.  I have mountains of notes, but translating them from nebulous ideas to coherent text is always difficult, and it ends up feeling like I’m just throwing putty against a wall and hoping it will stick in some sort of pattern.  Not having a clear sense of where I’m headed is disheartening — even though I know I’ll suss it out soon enough.

When I’m not in the middle of a new work, though, marketing is definitely the worst.  Which is why I don’t do nearly enough.

S. R. Carrillo

I’m certain I’m not alone when I say I like marketing the least. As a writer, I’m an inherently introverted person. I crave alone time and not standing out, most of the time. Marketing a book requires all sort of extroversion that I occasionally cower at the thought of. Expose my heart and soul to the general public? Entice total stranger to dissect my innards? HOW COULD I EVER?

But then I do it, and it still sucks, but it’s really not that bad. It’s a mental thing is all. And, sometimes, that can be the worst part of it all.

Paul B. Spence

The business side. I love to write, but I hate the business of selling.

Caren Rich

I really enjoy the planning and plotting. It’s such an adventure to start with an idea and build a world populated with characters you’ve created. Granted they don’t always behave as you would like, but that can be fun as well.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I despise the editing part of the process.  It’s a necessary evil, but it’s also the one part of the process that makes you question all your knowledge and skills.  “What’s that?  How did I miss the question mark at the end of this sentence?  How did I use the wrong ‘your?’ I know better than that!  This whole paragraph is garbage, just delete it all.  I can’t send this to a beta, they’ll laugh at all the mistakes I didn’t catch!”

Eric Wood

My least favorite part is sending out my manuscript to publishers. The reason I’m not published yet is because the book I’ve written (co-written to be more precise) has been rejected a dozen times. We didn’t go through an agent. We simply sent it straight to the publishers.

Allen Tiffany

I do not enjoy the traditional publishing route. Been there, almost done it. Did not like it.

To be specific, I once sent a manuscript to a publisher after taking a year to write my first novel. This was back in the day…I sent the whole thing unsolicited, printed out and placed in a box. They loved it, offered me contracts for it and two more, and then we went to work editing. And more editing. And plans for a pub date a year in the future, and then they killed their fiction line. So I found an agent and started over. Two years later, after a couple near misses with other publishers, both my agent and I gave up on it. So nothing to show for three years of stress and strain, of which almost none of it had anything to do with writing.

So at this point I’m all about self-publishing, and I really do enjoy all aspects of writing and publishing. Certainly parts of it can get tedious. For instance, before I published my first novella, I surely read through it over 50 times, which got very tiring, and another ten times after my editor made her changes. And researching keywords for loading in the Amazon book setup is a heck of a way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, I recognize the value of doing both of these things well, and I get excited when I do them well, when I make little discoveries that can help me tell a tale in a more engaging way, or when I figure out how to help my book show up in relevant searches.

The thing I don’t like about the entire process is that there is never enough time to do all of it, especially to do it all as well as I’d like.

Jean Davis

I have to say my least favorite part of the whole publication process is the waiting. Waiting on submissions, waiting to hear from editors on edits, waiting to hold the finished piece in my hands. Mostly, I suppose it’s waiting on all the things that are not in my personal control. I have this issue outside of writing too, which might make me a little bit of a control freak. Maybe.

D. T. Nova

Probably one of the parts I haven’t gotten to yet.

But out of what I have done, I can’t say I like writing about myself, which is a necessary part of promoting my own work.

Gregory S. Close

Honestly, the hardest part of the writing process for me is getting the first draft of a story down.  I tend to obsess over the small details of a first draft, which makes for a fairly clean first draft but also delays the creative flow of ideas to paper/screen.  Once ideas are on the page I feel immense relief and actually enjoy editing and honing them for the audience.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Well, the very first thing that came to my mind was marketing, because I’ve spoken before on how much I damn well hate having to deal with marketing myself. But then I thought, marketing isn’t really part of the “writing and publishing process”…that comes afterward. So what’s my least favourite part of writing/publishing? Well, I’ll probably have to go with final editing. Some people don’t mind it, but I think it’s a pretty universally hated part of writing because by the time you’ve gotten to final edits you’ve had to re-read your own work a dozen or more times and you’ve gotten to the point where you’re genuinely starting to hate it. Even if you thought it was awesome before, by the time you get to final edits you start to feel like tossing the whole thing into a fire.

At least, that’s how I feel. lol

Linda G. Hill

At the moment I’d have to say trying to figure out how to go about getting published. It seems like a maze with things to do at every corner but I’m never sure I’m going the right way and whether I’m doing it in the right order. I hope once I’ve got it figured out the second time will be easy.

Jay Dee Archer

I haven’t gone very far, but I can see how marketing can be rather daunting. I’m getting practice with marketing my blog with some success, but it’s still an uphill battle. I like writing, I don’t mind the editing process, I love the worldbuilding and character creating. But I think trying to get the word out and actually sell my book are the most difficult things. I’m not certain if I’m a good salesperson. It would be nice if it just sold itself, but that’s not the way it works. From what I’ve heard, writing is only ten percent of the word. The other ninety percent is marketing and selling.

How about you?

If you’re a writer, what do you find the most difficult aspect of writing and publishing? If you’re not a writer, what do you think would be most difficult for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 46 – Promoting with Blogs or Websites

These days, there are a lot of indie authors who need to promote their own books. Many traditional authors also do a lot of promotion themselves. It’s very common for an author to have a website, run either by themselves or someone else, and also quite common to have a blog.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 46 – How do you use your blog or website to promote your writing?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I use my blog to talk about characters and stories I’m working on, and some things I learn while making them.  On occasion I participate in blog hops like Weekend Writing Warriors and post snippets of my writing.  There’s other content not related to writing, like recipes.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My blog, No Page Left Blank, is my home base for all things writing and social-media related. Though it is consistently the least viewed of my social media outlets (I’ve had it for three and a half years, but my YouTube channel of one year has more followers), I bring everything through this blog.

As far as using the blog to promote my writing, I of course have a page on the blog to promote my book, ‘Nowhere to Hide’, and I’ll write a special blog post if I’m having a sale or a giveaway or anything like that. In addition to that I recently started using two new features on the blog to showcase my other writing. On ‘Memoir Mondays’ I write about my own thoughts, memories, and experiences to show my ability to write non-fiction, and on ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’ I share a brand new piece of flash fiction written just that week. Finally, I often share information about progress on my current works-in-progress, word counts, whether something is in beta, contests I’ve entered, and so on.  Basically, if it has something to do with writing, I’ll share it or talk about it on my blog, and if it’s something continuous or permanent (like a published book) I’ll designate a separate page on my blog to it.

Eric Wood

I originally started blogging with Blogger but was struggling to make connections with other bloggers. That would have been in October of last year. I made the switch to WordPress just after the new year and it has made all the difference. I’ve connected with other bloggers, found bloggers who write about the same stuff I do and other stuff I’m interested in. I’ve discovered a whole blogging world. At the moment I’m just interested in writing about my interactions with my two sons “Crash” and “Bang” and about the parenting lifestyle. I suppose I’m working on building a readership before I get published – should that day ever come. In the meantime I continue to plod along sharing the fun and frustration of parenting.

H. Anthe Davis

I probably don’t use my blog very well, heh.  I don’t post too often anymore, partially because I’m working on the 4th book in a series so talking too much about it would be major spoilers for anyone reading the earlier three.  I also posted a lot of world-related content back in the day, but either ran out or rethought the features I was doing.  I’m considering posting some character interviews again…  Otherwise, I announce free days and giveaways like everyone does, but I don’t do much blog-hopping.  I could promote myself better, I’m sure, but I’d rather just write.

S. R. Carrillo

My blog is more of less my primary avenue of promoting my books. I blog about them often and keep all the information on them easy to access. My website, www.srcarrillo.com, is dedicated to all my published books. I keep my brand strong by using similar taglines, links, pictures and information across all my social media as well, so all I have to do is whip out a simple URL.

Jean Davis

Hey, I just happen to have a blog where I promote my writing!    Summer tends to be slow with posting, but I do try to stay updated with what I’m working on, what’s getting published and likes to everything I’ve had published so far. On occasion, I also have talks with my discarded characters and rant about things that make me angry. My blog is most active during April and May when I’m in short story mode and participating in the A to Z challenge.

Caren Rich

I don’t do it very well. I enjoy blogging but I’m not sure how much it actually helps promote my writing. I have a static page set up specifically with links to my writing. I blog about my WIP and do cover reveals/new release events. I’m still learning self-promotion.

Paul B. Spence

Poorly.

[Comment/elaboration from Paul’s clone-sibling, Thomas: He uses MY blog (http://northofandover.wordpress.com) to promote his writing… or I use my blog to promote his writing, or something like that. 🙂 On his own blog, Paul mostly posts about interesting science articles he has read.]

D. T. Nova

Probably not as much as I should, but after realizing I was a little farther from publication than I thought. I’ve temporarily slowed down on directly mentioning it. I just think it would probably turn people off if my blog had too much “my novel, my novel” before I had a novel published. Even so, I have often included a mention of my novel in posts that were about general subjects or tropes of which it contains either a good example or a counterexample.

My blogging about other subjects might indirectly promote my writing, though. I don’t make a secret of my influences, and if I blog about other works that have influenced my ideas, then that may attract readers who might be interested in my writing even though it’s not blatant or even intentional self-promotion. (While I’ll blog about anything I like, I’ve recently noticed that I do seem to be somewhat more likely to blog about things that have influenced me than things that haven’t that I otherwise like equally well. I wasn’t really doing this on purpose.)

I haven’t done much of this so far but after I have a novel published I intend for my website to have a substantial amount of supplementary information, as well as (probably as a second blog) an in-character question and answer feature (which would be a semi-defictionalization of something mentioned in the novel).

Gregory S. Close

I actually don’t do a good job of promoting my writing in general, and my blog is no exception.  Every once in a while I’ll feature a review or a guest blog, and I’ve also used it as a platform to advertise a special or a giveaway.  I’m in the process of revamping my website, maybe that will inspire me to do the same with my blog.

Allen Tiffany

I put a lot of thought into my web site. In fact, after I paid for it and set it up, I kept it hidden for about about three months as I built it out and practiced posting articles, tried different organizations, learning as much as I could about SEO optimization, etc.

All done, I’ve very much enjoyed working on it, and have posted about 3 articles a month. A few have been well received and have been to my benefit as I refined my own thinking on a few points.

But as a tool to promote my own writing… Not sure it is worth the effort. Maybe someday it will be, but so far I’m not at all sure it is driving much in the way of sales.

Check me out at WWW.ALLENTIFFANY.COM and let me know what you think.

Linda G. Hill

So far my blog is my writing. I have both a regular blog (lindaghill.com) and a fiction one (lindaghillfiction.com), but I haven’t published anything yet outside of those. In the meantime I’m studying what other authors do in an attempt to discover what is most effective. I often read articles about how counterproductive it is to advertise too much – there has to be a balance there somewhere. I hope to find it.

Jay Dee Archer

I’m pretty sure you all know about my blog, which happens to be the one you’re at right now, I Read Encyclopedias for Fun. I talk about writing, science, and other topics that are of interest to me. But I also help others by occasionally promoting their blogs, too. I’ll occasionally post flash fiction here, but most of my writing goes on my official author’s website/blog, which is self-titled. I spend so much time with this blog that I don’t really do much with my author’s website. My writing has been slow lately, but I’ll be far more active next year, and will be posting a lot of Journey to Ariadne then. I’ll also be writing a lot of supplementary material in the form of the Ariadne Encyclopedia there with plenty of information about the world. And that is one other thing I enjoy doing and will write about more on this blog, worldbuilding.

How about you?

Are you a writer? Do you have a blog or website? Share them with us, and let us know how you use it to promote your books.

Authors Answer 43 – Promoting the Book

It’s time to panic. It’s the indie author’s worst nightmare. It’s that horrific stage of publishing known as marketing and book promotion. This is probably the one thing that most authors dread having to do if they don’t have a traditional publishing contract. This time around, we have a reader question, from tlclark.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 43: I would love to hear anything anyone has to say about book promotions and what route work best for them.

S. R. Carrillo

So far, the best promotional value I’ve found is in my social media presence and giveaways. Particularly, giveaways.

D. T. Nova

So would I, since I lack the experience to say much about them myself.

Linda G. Hill

Promoting my novel, when it’s published that is, is not something I’m looking forward to. It sounds like a lot of work no matter how it’s done. I did have one idea of my own however; there’s a book drive for the Alzheimer’s Society in my town twice a year. I thought about donating to them and perhaps volunteering to sign some books when they’re sold, with all the money from the sales going to the cause.

Allen Tiffany

This is a tough one because it is so big and the ways to be successful can be very diverse. The question is kind of like ‘how to be successful in life?’ That said, there are some things that you can do to help improve your odds. I claim no expertise in this field, but I have recently published a novella on Amazon, and I’m averaging about 3.5 sales a day over the last month or so, and sales are ramping. So all those are good things. But 3.5 books a day does not mean I have it all figured out. I don’t.. For what it is worth, I’ll share a few points:

First, it all starts with the basics: Great story, well told, and well edited. Also must have a great cover and an engaging blurb. You need to maximize your “SEO” features on Amazon as well as on all your Social Media platforms.

The one thing I do think I have done well is get mostly 5-star reviews from Amazon’s top reviewers. It was a time-consuming task, but I carefully hunted them down and engaged them personally, asking them to review my novel. About 15% have, and I now have 10 such reviews from top reviewers, to include Amazon’s #2 reviewer.

I’ve actually written an exhaustive article on all the other things I’ve done, what has and has not worked, etc., on my own blog. You can see it here: WWW.AllenTiffany.COM.

Gregory S. Close

I’ve had little luck with book promotion through Twitter or Facebook.  Certainly not sufficient to make the investment worthwhile.  Amazon sales and giveaways have provided some temporary bumps along the way.

I’ve found that the best type of promotion has been mostly unintentional.  There is a really great community on reddit (no, seriously, on reddit) that I discovered at WorldCon in San Antonio a couple of years ago.  It’s a great place to discuss the fantasy genre, very accepting of different viewpoints, well-moderated, and very supportive of indie and self-published authors (at least the ones who engage the community for more than just self-promotion).  I’ve probably gotten the most “high-value readers” from that forum.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

In my personal opinion, book promotion is the worst part of being a writer. Give me the self-doubt, the revision hell, and the rejection letters any day; trying to promote your book is both physically and emotionally painful.

I’ve gone a couple of different routes. The first promotion I ever did was a free e-book day; I made “Nowhere to Hide” free for 24 hours on Halloween. It was successful in the sense that a ton of people downloaded the book, but it was a failure in the sense that not one of those people rated or reviewed the book, which was what I was hoping for. Later I did a couple of Kindle Countdown sale days, each of which only saw a tiny handful of sales. After that I joined the Self-Publisher’s Showcase, which got me a couple of sales in the beginning but then died off completely. Eventually I did a Goodreads giveaway and had some modicum of success; I gave away five books and got four 4-star-or-higher reviews in return.

I have also, of course, talked about the book on multiple forms of social media and encouraged people to read the first chapter for free on Amazon. In general I have found that no method really worked in any significant way. The most sales I ever got were right after publication (when all my family and friends were buying it) and sales have been pretty abysmal ever since.

I hate to sound like such a downer, but I’m just telling the truth!

Jean Davis

So would I. Beyond the usual blog tour, local signings, twitter and facebook posts, and online giveaways, I’m all ears for additional ideas.

Eric Wood

I have no experience here.

Caren Rich

I don’t have any experience with book promotions.

Paul B. Spence

I’ve run limited-time offers of the first book for free in digital format. I’ve also run Goodreads giveaways for signed copies. What seems to be working best at this point is giving away free short stories to get people hooked.

H. Anthe Davis

I’m a big chicken when it comes to promotion, so I’m just going to listen to the rest of the crew here and resist the urge to hide under my bed.

Jay Dee Archer

I have no experience promoting books, but I have had experience promoting blog posts. While not the same kind of thing, considering books are much longer than blog posts, I think some of the principles do apply for both. A good social media presence can help, and does get me some exposure, but it’s not the best way. I’ve found that the best way is through word of mouth, sharing by readers, and making things interesting and engaging.

You see, I tend to have busy days when my blog posts are promoted by others. Applying this to books, you could give away some promotional book in exchange for reviews. Make sure they’re on Amazon, though Goodreads can help, too (at least from what I’ve heard). Another thing is to have interesting content that will keep people coming back. I have a very good group of loyal readers here, and the same logic can be applied to books. Give them little bits that hook them, like short stories or little snippets of your writing on your blog/website for free. If they like it, they’ll be more likely to buy your book, and if they like that, they’ll want to see more. Write your books well, and you’ll have loyal fans who can’t wait to see your next book. And those are the best people to have, because they’ll rave about your books and convince others to check them out.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to get your name and writing out there, but definitely take advantage of your readers ability to promote for you, and encourage them to write reviews.

How about you?

Are you a published author? How do you handle book promotion and marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Call to Arms – Book Marketing Results

Very interesting statistics regarding marketing. Check out what works and what doesn’t for a variety of book prices.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Following my Call to Arms, a number of you responded by sharing with me your book marketing experience. I now have about a hundred responses by some fifty authors. Although some of the responses were expected, there were quite a few surprises in there for me.

Methodology

For anyone wishing to take a look at the raw data, you can download this Excel spreadsheet. I grouped the results according to whether the book was offered full-price, discounted or free. I also have a fourth category titled Other, that includes any entries where this was not specified.

To compare the various ad media, I came up with a number that represents the ratio between number of sales and cost of advertising. In other word, if you spent $1 and had one sale, then this number would be one. If you spent $1 and had two sales, the number would be two, etc.

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How Amanda Hocking sold 1.5 million on Amazon: I’m revealing the secret!

Well, this is actually very, very simple. Who knew it worked? This is a reblog, of course. I’m not revealing the secret, someone else is.

Leona's Blog of Shadows

You might have heard of Amanda Hocking, the indie superstar who sold 1.5 million on Amazon and got picked up by a big house and signed a movie deal for her Trylle Trilogy.

This is the exact quote from her explaining how her sales exploded after the book bloggers spread the word:

Then in June, something truly magical happened. I discovered book bloggers. I had no idea such people existed. They just read books and write about them. And I don’t mean “just.” These people take times out of their busy lives to talk about books and have contests and connect with followers and writers and other readers.

These guys are honestly my heroes. I’m a little in love with all of them.

I asked several if they would be interested in reviewing my books, and most of them said yes, even if they didn’t generally review self-published work.
Then…

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