How much do you market?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by TheCatholicCrow, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Grandmaster

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    Do you start only when you have a new release? Do you keep marketing your backlist? Do you spend money or use other methods (cross posts on blogs, indie interviews, social media etc.)?

    What does your book marketing plan look like?

    I'm not trying to steal anyone's methods btw, but as I prep to release my next Short Who Killed Granny and as I push through my first sci-fi series Vatos vs Robots (I'm embracing pulp- can you tell?) I'm starting to think more about what I "should" be doing vs what I'll actually end up doing. ...

    Anyway, I'm just curious to know what you guys use and why you've chosen the methods you have. Simple launch, move on and let the book speak for itself? Or do you feel it requires more time/effort/money?
     
  2. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Lore Master

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    I am always pushing the older stuff. In the world of the internet, of digital delivery and POD, where everything is available 'forever,' there is no point in not doing it. It helps advertise the latest work and vice versa. Not that I spend much money on it, of course, but I try to remind folks from time to time that it is there, especially when ramping up the next release—you know, 'If you can't wait for XYZ, try ABC, available from retailers everywhere!' Really, I think frequent new releases (reasonably frequent) might be the best advertisement for the older work.

    As far as the marketing of those new books, I could probably do more but funds and time are always limited. Again, the books will always be available so I do not push a big release event.
     
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  3. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    I don't have a book out, but my wife does and many of my friends do, some of them have more than 20 out and being marketed.

    I don't think you can maximize your sales with a burst of marketing when the book comes out and then "let the book speak for itself."

    Marketing is a full time, long term project. I believe you should be marketing your work all the time, in the way that is most effective for that work, and within the budget that works for you.

    You need to learn about marketing and understand the data around for effectiveness and the costs of various techniques and how they relate to your goals and budgets. The information is out there is you are willing to work hard enough, or pay enough to get it.

    You may wish to consider hiring professionals to assist you with your marketing and publicity (two different things by the way) if you can afford it and you are ambitious enough.

    Most marketing professionals are recommending that you do make an effort to market your back list, and as one leader in the field likes to say "your book may not be 'new' but it is new to me." This is supported by empirical data. Several studies were done around this issue where people were asked how many of the books they were buying were new releases and how many had been out for a lengthy period of time. I don't have the figures at hand but most people said that the strong majority of the books they were buying were "new". However when they drilled down into those numbers they discovered that actually the majority of the books being bought were out more than 24 months but they were only recently discovered by the buyers.

    The current book buying market is primarily understood by the Discovery, Conversion, Availability model, and if you take the time to learn and understand that model you can make your marketing much more effective.
     
    Rkcapps, TheCatholicCrow and Chessie2 like this.
  4. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Lore Master

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    I find marketing to be absolute murder! But seriously, as someone who is a Fantasy variant of Slipstream, I'm finding it particularly difficult to figure out how to market.
     
  5. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    It's very difficult. I struggle majorly with it. Facebook groups, Instafreebie, regular output...these have worked some for me. Also newsletter swaps.
     
    abydos6 likes this.
  6. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Shadow Lord

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    I have a friend who writes mid-grade fantasy. He does all his marketing online, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and such. He has a book currently ranked at #5548 Paid in Kindle Store. It's #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Animals > Foxes & Wolves > Foxes. He had been writing horror for adults, and not selling nearly as much as his mid-grade fantasies are. He made the switch to MG fantasy, came up with a new pen name, and is now thinking of quitting his day job and turning to writing full time. The book mentioned above is still selling over a hundred copies a week, and it was published in November, 2016.

    He has another book, just published in November, 2017, that's ranked at #65,046 Paid in Kindle Store. It's #51 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Values. He's been marketing it along with his other books, but it's not selling as well.

    You can say that the newer book hasn't had time to come up on readers' radars, but anyone who finds the Fox book can't help but become aware of the Values book. The Fox book has more popularity because readers like it better. Word of mouth is the best marketing.
     
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  7. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Those are some very sound numbers. I am curious what kind of marketing he might do on linkedin. Any idea?
     
  8. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Shadow Lord

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    I don't know off-hand. You can search for the name David Blaze and try to find out what he does.
     
  9. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Grandmaster

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    I just saw an article that claimed you should link your author blog to it so it will repost your articles. Not sure how effective that would be. I almost never use LinkedIn. Perhaps it's used as a networking tool to find other Indie writers/editors/cover artists in the genre for cross-promotional purposes? Or maybe it has to do with just creating a series of backlinks over time to increase internet presence? All I know is that I've never once looked for a book or an author on LinkedIn and it would probably be the last place I would think to look as a reader. . . which is why I suspect it has more to do with conducting business and having a professional online presence rather than actually pushing a product. Of course, I'm new at all of this self-publishing stuff so chances are I'm wrong or overlooking something.
     
  10. Russ

    Russ Istari

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    Good idea. I will Link In with him!

    I was thinking about it last night and I could see how a traditionally published author might use that platform to promote but still have trouble getting my head around how a indy author would.
     
  11. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Shadow Lord

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    Russ likes this.
  12. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I've been giving Instafreebie a try lately. I did once before and did good with it but gave it up for reasons. I'm back in it and running a giveaway with other authors. It's going better than I expected so that's the good news. My attitude about freebies has been slowly changing over the past few months anyway. My sales increased a little from having permafrees that I can also do giveaways and email list stuff with. So there are a couple more options for others to check out. Also, I've been getting a lot out of Your First 1000 Readers. I'm also exploring Goodreads to connect with readers more and so far I have to say it's going to take ages on all of these things. But it's better than not having a plan at all.
     
  13. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Mystagogue

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    I'm new to the whole marketing game, but while writing I established a blog. If I post on it, that automatically feeds out to anyone following my blog, Facebook and twitter. I must revisit my LinkedIn profile and join it to my blog. My LinkedIn was for law, but hey, that's reaching an entirely different audience, yes?

    I'm also on Goodreads. I should look for you Chessie2. What's a book name to search?
     
  14. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

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    How much do we promote? For my wife, it's a full-time job. Madness. She's on Twitter and Goodreads and Facebook and everywhere in between, updating our website and doing interviews (we just had one publish this week and she has a video interview coming up in a couple weeks), and networking/meeting new people, all while I'm writing my tail off and our third partner works the development angle.
     
    Russ likes this.
  15. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I'll PM you my link. :D By the way, you can also add your blog to your Goodreads author page. I'm having issues linking it to my Wix account but it is possible (did it back when I had Go Daddy back in the day). Another thing I'm doing is working it on Pinterest. I love Pinterest quite a lot and do try a lot of the recipes and crazy ideas I pin on there. My 1940's romance series has a dedicated Pinterest page (as does Rose Historicals but it's still a few pins right now). I'm doing it mostly for fun and I put the link to it in the back of my books and on my website. It also goes out as a link in my newsletters. The pin board has mostly historical pictures with some fashion/hair/make up tips from that era. It's a good deal of fun and I hope to connect with other people who like that sort of stuff. I don't know where this will take me (if anywhere) but it's another avenue to try.

    *Mailing lists, anyone? My goal is to learn automation in 2018. This will be the year I improve my relationship with mailing lists in general. For anyone doing marketing, just saying this should be our #1 goal besides writing good content!

    Lucky you! Wish I could get someone to help me out like this! Our biggest enemy is obscurity. One of the things I've been learning lately is that oversharing is better than not sharing at all. So the more you're out there getting A.E. Lowan's name into the open, seeking to connect with readers through any way you can it's all a positive. Good luck with it all!
     
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  16. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Article Team

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    Mailing lists are really becoming a must, according to my wife, and we are working on putting exclusive content together for ours right now.

    I know, I am super, super lucky to be on a team of 3! My wife is really good at the marketing stuff, much better than I ever was, and she is also our master plotter.
     
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  17. CF WELBURN

    CF WELBURN Apprentice

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    Marketing is a necessary evil and in general the cringeworthy pushy side that I find myself struggling with most. It's all well and good letting the work speak for itself, but if it's never discovered in the first place then we are stuck at square one. Unfortunately, it's a fact that many mediocre books reach shelves, many brilliant works remain in obscurity. One piece of advice which has always stuck with me is simply: keep writing, keep releasing new books. A larger back catalogue (of high quality, obviously) is more likely to stand out than a single novella, no matter how great. That being said, writing takes time... Another tip I heard is keep your profile consistent. If you write on various forums, use goodreads, twitter, kboards, facebook etc, attempt to use the same avatar. Sooner or later people may become familiar and just might make that one fatal click... I think mailing lists work wonders, something which I still have to bite the bullet and embrace and of course you can't overestimate the power of good, legitimate-seeming reviews... Good luck all.
     
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  18. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I did a little bit of marketing for Emma's Story when I released it. It wasn't much, and I kept telling myself I did it mainly to try out the wates and see what it's like. It didn't work out very well, but it was fun to try it.

    I too have heard that the best way to promote a book is to write another book, and that's the plan for now. It'll be another few months before it's ready, but it's under way and hopefully it won't be delayed too much.
    In the meantime I'm "promoting" myself as a writer/artist/person instead of the book I released. For this I'm mainly using instagram and my blog. On instagram I share little bits of poetry and random pictures of things I do.
    On the blog I write about stuff I do. Lately there's been a lot about my book as that's what's taken up most of my time and attention, but there are other things as well, and far from all of it is writing related.

    The theory is that if I get people interested in what I do, it'll be easier to get them interested in my books once they're available.
     
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  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Promote before it's done. I let my reader base, all twelve of them, know what I'm working on.

    So, I have a web site and a newsletter (every other month). There I say, here is what is currently for sale. Here is what I'm writing and roughly where I am in the process; you can look for publication in spring/summer/fall/winter. After that book is out, here's what's up next.

    As the publication gets nearer, I can say a couple of more specific things. One is the cover reveal. The other is to say the book is at the editor. I get to blame the editor for delays. <grin>

    I've not done any pre-release stuff--ARCs and the like. May do so on the next one (Into the Second World).

    Then, after the book is out, I do (will do; haven't yet) a sale or a giveaway.

    The above gives me something to say pretty much every month. I say these things in forums and in FB groups. I'm trying to care enough about Twitter to keep that up to date as well.

    And a comment. I don't think of this as promotion. I mean, it is, but that word (along with marketing) has such bad connotations for so many authors, I try to look at it another way. I'm communicating with my readers and with people I think would like my books. If I don't talk to them, no one else will. I have a couple of bands I really like and I sign up for their newsletter so they can tell me when they release new material. I've done the same with Josiah Bancroft because I'm dying to get my hands on his next book. Of course they are selling me something, but honestly the sale is already made. They're telling me something, and I'm glad to hear it. It's in that spirit I approach my marketing.

    >that one fatal click.
    Here's hoping the click is fateful, not fatal.
     
  20. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I've been working on learning Pinterest better. It's going pretty well so far. The platform is used mainly for shopping purposes and I know there are authors who market on it. My goal is to have a fun space to share information related to the books I write. There's plenty of that on Pinterest and it's great for creating inspiration boards.
     
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