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Ready to Promote Your Own Book?


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:42 AM

We see a lot of virtual wailing, wincing, moaning and shuttering from writers and authors who feel that marketing/promoting their own book is like having to run naked through their neighborhood at 8AM on a Sunday morning, screaming "Look at Me, Look at Me. I'm the Batman!".

And not just one, "okay-I'll-do-it-and-get-it over-with" Sunday. But every single Sunday.

And it doesn't matter if you're being traditionally published or if you're going out on your own via e-publishing/self-publishing print copies of your book. All authors and writers have to market and promote their own work.

And we think the vast majority of you all are feeling completely lost and intimidated about the process of promoting your own books.

So we've been thinking a lot marketing/PR/and promotional strategies and what "marketing/PR/promotional" really means?

What's really involved?

No, really?

As a result, we'd like to offer up a few "test" questions that we think are vital to understanding how to actually sell your book -- not just how to slog through the motions of promoting yourself.

If you're uncertain about the answers of ANY of these questions, then you probably need to stop twitching and flinching, and instead re-think exactly how you expect running naked through your neighbor's yard is really helping to sell your book.

Not just how it's serving as entertainment for your neighbors.


1. How does my book's price affect the sales of my book? And yes, "free" is also considered a price.

2. How does my book's genre (and sub-genre) affect both where AND how I can market and promote myself?

3. How does my book's price compare to all the other books within its genre?

4. How can I target readers -- not just other writers and authors who also happen to read?

5. How can I increase the chances of readers finding my book through Google search?

And for the record: we don't think there is any right or wrong answer to these questions because it depends on the book. The only right or wrong answer to these questions is not considering them for YOUR book.

Caveat for #5: Facebook.

Facebook is currently the one place on the internet that is partially excluded from Google search because they are building their own internal search as a way to compete against Google's search. So despite our own personal antipathy for Facebook, we do understand that Facebook is actually its own beast to be tamed.

#2 Peter Burton

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:22 AM

We see a lot of virtual wailing, wincing, moaning and shuttering from writers and authors who feel that marketing/promoting their own book is like having to run naked through their neighborhood at 8AM on a Sunday morning, screaming "Look at Me, Look at Me. I'm the Batman!"


Ya know, as crazy as promoting can get ...that just might work. :biggrin:

Ok, time to get serious. Promoting doesn't scare me, (Quality of product does.), so I've been giving it a lot of thought as i polish the first MS for production. As for Crew's questions:

1. How does my book's price affect the sales of my book? And yes, "free" is also considered a price.

Since the book isn't out there yet, I can only speculate here. The first try as a POD did sell a few copies at a price comparable to commercially produced paperbacks of the same size, but that could have been a fluke. I would think the free edition e-book may do better depending on how other promoting tactics are handled.

Price will always affect how an item sells, regardless of what that item is. Therefore, beyond staying within a competitive range, or slightly undercutting the competition should produce better results. (Again, depending on how other promotional efforts are handled, and received by the public. Trying to separate any single aspect of promoting from the others is as hard as trying to get a politician to tell the truth)

2. How does my book's genre (and sub-genre) affect both where AND how I can market and promote myself?

Genre will have a great impact on where and how some aspects of promoting are done. IE: Promoting a Regency Romance on a site dedicated to Science Fiction is almost as silly as deep sea fishing in your bathtub.

One of the first rules to marketing, and I'm always surprised by how often even the big boys ignore this, is: To catch a lot of fish, you have to go where the fish are. In our aspect, you also have to know the kind of fish you're after, and tailor the bait to fit the species.

True, if your product is good enough, you might catch fish that are not normally in your fishim' hole, but that's a bonus, not the focus.

3. How does my book's price compare to all the other books within its genre?

Price, and this is something my ignorant tailbone didn't really understand, should always be within the competitive range. If possible it should be slightly lower than your competition. If nothing else, it should match.

So, regardless of genre, my price should be equal to, if not less than, all other books of the same type. In short, competitive with all other e-books, and POD competitive with all other PODs. Greed is the enemy here.

4. How can I target readers -- not just other writers and authors who also happen to read?

Here is a sticky wicket. This depends on imagination and creativity. Writers are supposed to be creative, and imaginative people, so it's hard for me to understand how difficult this is for some. A few ideas in this general area are:

Advertise: and I DO NOT mean spamming. As hated as that form of advertising is, I can't imagine anyone short of a name brand using it to any degree of success. There are low cost alternatives to high end advertizing. Project Wonderful is one.

Offer reviews on your own website. By own website, I mean one that is yours alone. To me this is no place to cut corners and get cheap. Free sites are nice, but a bought and paid for site says you are serious about yourself and your work, otherwise you would't be spending money. And it isn't as expensive as you might think. Just Hosts has some great guarantees, and a site with unlimited broadband, including domain name is only around $45.00 a year. I'm poor as a church mouse, but even I can afford that. (And i happen to think my career is worth 45 bucks a year. Even if it isn't going anywhere at the moment.)

I have a few other ideas that are of my own twisted design, but I prefer to keep those to myself until I see how well they work. I don't want to share things that won't work with my fellow writers, I want to share things that give solid results. (And believe me, if they work, I'll be the first one crowing from the barn roof for all to hear. :wink: )

5. How can I increase the chances of readers finding my book through Google search?

One, and this is probably the hardest to pull off without spending mega bucks at Google, is to optimize your site for search engines (SEO). Since this is almost impossible to do without knowing the algorithms Google uses for top page placement, and even harder to pull off the known ones, such as being mentioned on, and linked to from other sites. Content is probably your best bet. the problem here is relevancy. A unique content will get you on the first page for some searches, but how many people are searching for what you're spouting? Being at the top of a page thaty only three people are looking for is just as bad as being on the 88,000th page.

The only sure way to get to the top of any search engine, (and there is far more than just Google being used out there folks) is popularity. So, yeah you have even more work to do. Make your site as popular as you possibly can, and your book will be coser to the front of all search engine results, not just Google.

Yes Google is the 'most popular' search engine, but why tune just for it. In internet terms, you are throwing away thousands of potential readers by taking a narrow view, The goal should be to be popular on ALL search engines, not just Google. That's like just paying attention to the popular kid in school. It's nice, but it sure limits your vision, and in marketing/promoting you can not afford tunnel vision; it will cost you sales/readers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK, that's enough of my amateur BS. Most of it is based on marketing/promoting research I've done over the years, but I've yet to put it to the test, and I believe in results. So, take it all with a huge grain of salt. (Mnt. Rushmore size should be about right.)

If any of it works once I get things rolling beyond my initial experiment in POD publishing, I'll be sure to share. If I wind up with egg on my face ...I'm not sayin' a word about it! So there! :tongue: :wink: :laugh:

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John


#3 Brenna

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:43 PM

Great test questions, AQCrew. So much to consider.

 

I was wondering (trying to plan ahead) if anyone has purchased book ads for their self-published novel in a couple of strategically placed big markets and was it worth it? Print ads or online ads?



#4 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:02 PM

Great test questions, AQCrew. So much to consider.

 

I was wondering (trying to plan ahead) if anyone has purchased book ads for their self-published novel in a couple of strategically placed big markets and was it worth it? Print ads or online ads?

 

I'm subscribed to the daily newsletter by Publishers Weekly. Sometimes they email me ads for books, but I have yet to do more than glance at a single one before deleting. I've never clicked one of the ads.

 

On the other hand, Goodreads sends me monthly newsletters with new releases catered to my interests. Even though it is also pretty much an advertisement, I look through it vary carefully and have discovered some good books.

 

So to summarize: it really, really depends. Traditional advertising is considered to be mostly ineffective for books. You have to very specifically target your audience (i.e. Goodreads limiting what they send to my personal tastes) and you have to catch potential customers at the right time (i.e. if I got those emails more than once a month, I would probably stop paying attention to them).

 

Interpret that as you wish. ;)

 

M.W



#5 Brenna

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Thanks, M.W.,

 

Good advice! I had forgotten about Goodreads.



#6 K.M. Hanson

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 12:02 PM

I advertised on FB, I have advertised on Twitter, I am promoting through Goodreads... nothing. I just don't get it... the whole promoting thing is killing me. 

 

I'm subscribed to the daily newsletter by Publishers Weekly. Sometimes they email me ads for books, but I have yet to do more than glance at a single one before deleting. I've never clicked one of the ads.

 

On the other hand, Goodreads sends me monthly newsletters with new releases catered to my interests. Even though it is also pretty much an advertisement, I look through it vary carefully and have discovered some good books.

 

So to summarize: it really, really depends. Traditional advertising is considered to be mostly ineffective for books. You have to very specifically target your audience (i.e. Goodreads limiting what they send to my personal tastes) and you have to catch potential customers at the right time (i.e. if I got those emails more than once a month, I would probably stop paying attention to them).

 

Interpret that as you wish. ;)

 

M.W

 

So how did you get your series moving along, Midnight?


The%20Attuning_Cover_175Thumbnail_zpsomk

 

I would like to thank R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan for raising me in their fantastic worlds.

 

https://www.facebook...ristoferMHanson

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#7 Andrea Lambert

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  • Publishing Experience:My first book, JET SET DESOLATE, was published by Future Fiction London in 2009. My second, a book of poetry called LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN, was published by valeveil in 2009. Lost Angelene published my chapbook, G(U)ILT, in 2011. My poetry has been anthologized in HAUNTING MUSES, WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES, OFF THE ROCKS #16: AN ANTHOLOGY OF GLBT WRITING, THE L.A. TELEPHONE BOOK VOL. 1, YOU’VE PROBABLY READ THIS BEFORE, and CHRONOMETRY. My work has been published in 3:AM Magazine, The Fanzine, Entropy, HTMLGiant, ENCLAVE, Queer Mental Health, Five:2:One Magazine and elsewhere.

Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:03 PM

Great advice, AQCrew and posters.

 

What has helped me is building a website through Wordpress, Twitter, Facebook, doing readings, and in-person and online networking. I also donated copies of my two obscure European small press books to the local library and libraries at universities that I went to. 

 

Marketing is hard, sometimes it's harder then even writing the book, but it's crucial


Website: https://andreaklambert.com
 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaLamber

 

GoodReads Author bio: https://www.goodread....Andrea_Lambert

 

Amazon author bio: https://www.amazon.c...ine_cont_book_1
 
JET SET DESOLATE from Future Fiction London on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/0578016257

 

LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN: EXTRAPOLATIONS ON LOS ANGELES from valeveil: http://www.valeveil.se/posts/196
 

HAUNTING MUSES from Bedazzled Ink on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/194383752X

 

WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES from Trans-Genre Press: http://trans-genre.n...the-walls-down/
 
THE L.A. TELEPHONE BOOK, VOL. 1 from ARRAS.NET: http://www.arras.net/?page_id=658

 

 


#8 Determined1

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 08:09 PM

Goodreads will allow self-published writers to advertise? I did not know that. Helpful, as I am getting ready to self-publish shortly.






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