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Marketing Tactics for 2020

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Mallet, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. Mallet

    Mallet Acolyte

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    Is anyone changing their marketing tactics/strategy for 2020, and if so, what do you plan to change and why?
     
  2. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Roll with the flow. I'll be pushing more into conventions and such this year, and will release the end of the first series, which is bound to change my approach some. How? Roll with it, see when I get there, LOL.
     
  3. LadyErynn

    LadyErynn Dreamer

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    No idea. I'm already on Facebook and Twitter, and will probably be more aggressive/interactive with the communities on there. I'm also planning to attend more conventions/readings and networking the old-fashioned way.

    Once my book has been published (which I'm hoping will be later 2020), it might be easier since I'll have a tangible product to offer. Until then, I'm just promoting my website, so it's a tad more difficult.

    Where do you advertise your websites/blogs? I'm open to any and all suggestions!
     
    AMObst, Momtoast and JGCully like this.
  4. JGCully

    JGCully Scribe

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    Your plans are pretty simular to mine LadyErynn.

    I'm doing my best to get word out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My novel I hope to have out early 2020 all being well and then I'll see about promoting more readily with an actual product.

    I've been advertising on goodreads as well the usual social media channels (Twitter, Facebook etc)
     
    Speranza and LadyErynn like this.
  5. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Probably not really. I hope to continue to build relationships with readers and keep writing.
     
  6. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    This is certainly true. I think it's also useful to have something free to give away when people sign-up to your newsletter (which if you haven't got is probably a good move).
     
    LadyErynn likes this.
  7. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    How is this working?
     
  8. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Beware of free products, they tend to attract people who like free products, LOL. This is a little tongue in cheek, but in essence I think it’s true. Many of these folks are crazed readers who will read and read and read and never pay for anything. And in a flooded market ever getting more flooded, that’s easy to do these days if you aren’t a finicky reader like myself. A freebie won’t hurt, unless you end up spending too much time or money chasing a market that doesn’t pay off.
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I'm trying to get my marketing lined up for the first time for books already out. Previously, all I've done is the rollout then went to writing the next book, always meaning to do some advertising, but never doing it.

    Now that I'm ready, it's all a bit daunting. There's running deals on Amazon but there is also running Amazon ads. Then there are Facebook ads, but these come in different flavors as well. When I do offer a discount or freebie, then there's promoting that on book services such as BargainBooksy or BookBarbarian and their kindred. Each of those ads run one day only and you have to book well in advance, so I might wind up with a booked date at one place but the next place that date is already booked.

    Then there's writing the copy for all this, because the word count (or even character count) varies by platform, and in any case the tone might need to be different.

    It was enough that I now have a spreadsheet. And that still doesn't help me decide whether to run BookA as free or as a Countdown Deal or as simply changing the price for a period of time. Nor does it help decide which to do first, second, third, in sequence or overlapped, nor when to repeat. Nor have I been able to find advice online or in books about this sort of down-the-road advertising.

    So my different for this year is to make a full-on effort more or less blind, and keep notes.
     
  10. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    This is a truth that hides another truth. The second truth being that—although many people will only come for the freebie—you'll still attract some serious readers who will go on to buy more books.

    Free, in return for joining your email list, still works. Permafree also works—even if not as well as before. These are just two, of many, nets to cast :)

    It makes sense that people who sign up to a list from the back of a book are the best because they enjoyed the story, but people who sign up on free promos can still become fans. I've seen it happen. The percentage may be lower, but it still has value.
     
  11. LadyErynn

    LadyErynn Dreamer

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    I don't have a newsletter. How would I create one? Are they really useful?
     
  12. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Yes, they're useful, but it takes time to build a mailing list. You'll need to sign-up with an email service provider. There are many and they cost money, but some offer free at the beginning. I use Mailerlite which is free up to 1,000 subscribers. You'll then need to create the forms and put them in the back of any books you have and on your website and FB page so people can sign-up.

    I recommend reading Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque.
     
    LadyErynn likes this.
  13. LadyErynn

    LadyErynn Dreamer

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    Thank you! I'll look into it.
     
  14. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    The first thing about marketing is to decide on what qualities you want to sell your product or service to people. What do you have to offer that customers might want? What customers do you want to reach?

    When you want to sell your own books, then you can't really appeal to customers based on the price of the product or the ethical treatment of employees or suppliers, environmental protection, or anything like that. Your only product is your text. So I think all the goal of all marketing is to convince potential customers that it's a text that they will enjoy.

    What qualities do you think your books have?
    Who do you think these qualities appeal to?
    How can you convince people your books have these qualities?
    (How can you make your books appeal more to these peope?)

    That's really were marketing starts. How you best use all the advertising tools you have available depends on the type of brand you want to create. Where you want to advertise or what kinds of events you want to participate in geeatly depends on these considerations. I think having your book promoted in the wrong places can actually hurt your brand if it becomes associated with other works of rather different qualities. If your book gets promoted alongside a lot of grimdark, people will assume it's grimdark. People who aren't into grimdark might ignore it because of that, and those who are might consider it a really bad grimdark book, because it's actually something else.
    So know what it is you are selling and how you want to present it to customers.

    Book title and cover art are massively important. I think might even be the most important marketing tools of all. Unfortunately, I believe most publishers will slap whatever they want on the cover, whether you think it best communicates the qualities of your book or not. I think that's actually a big reason for self-publishing.
     
  15. Mallet

    Mallet Acolyte

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    I've done free promos as well. I think they can be used effectively, but they are double-edged swords. If a bunch of people download your free book, but they aren't fantasy readers, or they don't read your sub-genre of fantasy, it can confuse Amazon's algorithms. Furthermore, it pollutes your also-boughts, which can be some incredible information that tells you where and how to focus your advertising efforts.
     
  16. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    I am always suspicious about giving a product you want to sell away for free. I tend to agree with the opinion that it decreases the perceived value of your product. If you give it away for free, it becomes associated with bargain bins, or the idea that it's selling so poorly that you have to give it away for free to get anyone to take it. Even if people do take it, there's a good chance it lands at the bottom of some pile and is forgotten because it's "just one of these free promo things" and not a book you chose to buy. And if they don't read it, they won't be telling others about it.
    It can work with some products, but I think with books you really want to maintain the impression that you have something of great value that is very desirable. Even people who read a hundred books a year are looking for quality content, not cheap mass produced stuff. Books are always meant to be a sensual experience, not feeding a necesarry need.

    Odd that I am finding an application here for the stuff I learned in trade school during my Gardener apprenticeship. :D
     
  17. Mallet

    Mallet Acolyte

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    It depends upon one's goal, I think. When we price a book, we typically price for either revenue or discoverability. My literary work has never been available for free because of that perceived value. But when I launched my fantasy series, I put the first book up for free for its first seven days. At the back of the book was a link to my newsletter and a promise of a free copy of the sequel if the reader signed up before the sequel's release. Otherwise, it could be pre-ordered at full price.

    Furthermore, the book was in KDP Select. Releasing it for free got me some attention. Even if no one ever actually read the book they downloaded for free, it was enough activity to spur interest in KU, so I did end up making money.

    And yes, I have away free copies of the sequel as promised, but it was worth it to me because I wanted to know if there was even a market for what I had. If I offered the sequel for free and no takers, then there'd be little point in continuing, right?

    But now that I have a brand and a reader base, I don't do free anymore. I'm not pricing for discoverability anymore. I'm paying my bills with this series now. I plan on raising prices this spring. But to an author just starting out, I'd say any attention is better than no attention. Free can work if done smartly and judiciously.
     
  18. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I agree with all of this. And the reviews you get after giving a book away for free can be worse because the readers are less likely to be the right audience for the book. But despite all of that, I plan to keep on with my permafree short story (at least for now). I've found that I've done better with free books on retailers other than Amazon. On Amazon, the read through seems to be worse.
     
  19. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I understand this POV, but free still works in certain situations. Free lead magnets have helped me build my mailing list—and I think this is the best use of free (I also have a permafree short story that gets a lot of downloads—this is less effective but still gets me more ratings and reviews, especially on Kobo). Strictly speaking (in the case of the lead magnet), I'm not giving it away for free, but in exchange for an email address.

    Read through has been less on Amazon, but on other online retailers it seems to be working quite well.
     

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  20. Speranza

    Speranza Dreamer

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    How have you found advertising on Goodreads?
     
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