HOW TO ADVERTISE WISELY
Over the past month, I have delved into the dark world of marketing for my first book, EXTRACTED.
This post will help you find what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to broadcasting your book.
Keep in mind that this is based on one month, and it has been from my own experience. Some people may disagree, and that is fine, but I am simply presenting some ideas of which I would steer clear.
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
I went the route of building a Facebook fan page just to see what interest I could pull in from fans across the Facebook world. What I realized has been what I expected from the beginning: nothing.
It’s great to have a host of fans following you, and this is a great way to give updates about your items, but this form of marketing is not your best avenue, as many fans on Facebook would prefer to click “LIKE,” though no sales would come from that click alone.
I wanted to test out how much money I could pump into Facebook for advertisements, and so I decided to set a budget of about $100.00 or so. Over the course of about a week and a half, I advertised through Facebook, and I did not see a rise in sales whatsoever.
There are many reasons for this, I’m sure, but I do not advise using Facebook Ads as a means for marketing in the beginning because it seems more like a money dump than an investment.
Keep in mind that some 300k people saw the ads over the course of that week and half. What that tells me is that out of 300k people, none of them were interested in purchasing a book from Amazon from a little-reviewed debut writer.
I also paid $7.00 to “promote” my links on Facebook, but I did not see an increase in sales from these promotions either.
Advertising through Facebook might prove advantageous later, but for starting up, you want to keep your marketing costs low, and I did not see any benefit from my Facebook Ads.
Now we’re getting into something that may be of interest. Twitter seems to reach the masses in a quicker fashion. It’s as if people are looking for links to click when they browse through Twitter.
Though my sales have not increased via advertising on Twitter, I did notice that hundreds of people downloaded my book when it was free after I posted it on Twitter.
Get your Hashtags right, and you should be able to reach a lot of people if you are marketing through Twitter.
Here are some common ones:
#fantasy (use your genre here i.e. “romance”)
I tried to use those whenever I posted on Twitter so that people who were trending those tags would be able to find my book. I even had a few people, whom I have never met, Retweet my posts.
This is a great idea! This is a benefit dinner that you host for your friends as an initial book launch. Keep it cheap and simple, but remember that if you invite 20 people, that’s probably a guaranteed 20 sales which will push your book pretty far up in the Kindle ranks.
Your friends will want to know how to support you. Tell them three things: BUY, READ, REVIEW. It’s as simple as that.
It may be weird to invite your friends to celebrate your success, but whose going to turn down free food? And remember, your friends want to see you succeed more than anyone else — at least the good ones do.
I saw my best sales from the Friendifit dinner that we had. About 30 people came, and each of them bought a copy of the book or at least they intended to buy a copy. There are still people, a month later, who could not make it who are asking me how they can help.
What do I tell them? BUY. READ. REVIEW.
The best way to market your book is to have more books available under your name.
The more titles that you have, the more apt people will be to purchase your books.
Consumers like to know that they are investing in an author if they like that author’s writing. It’s like those people who only wear certain brands of clothes. As an author, you are a brand, and you have to get more stuff out there if you want to be noticed. Where would Eddie Bauer be if he only sold one type of coat?
When we offer variety and lines, then we are branding ourselves as writers.
I know it sounds crazy to give away what you worked so hard on, but think of free books as “free advertising.”
On the days where EXTRACTED was free, I had a total of about 550 downloads. That’s four times as many as my actual sales!
I would say that after Christmas (two months after the first date that my book was free to download) reviews should start rolling in. As more people review my book, more people will be interested in buying it.
So out of the 700 people who have a copy of my book, let’s estimate that 50 people will review it. That’s 50 reviews simply by offering my book for free, which is worth its weight in gold when it comes to succeeding as a writer.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions!! Have a great weekend!
Unfortunately, the “free” book release doesn’t really work as there are zillions of people out there who download hundreds of free books every month just to store them on Kindle/whatever for future use. At the most you’ll get 1% of people to review, the same with sales. Twitter and Facebook are only useful to build up name recognition, NOT FOR SALES.
The old fashioned way of getting your books into libraries and then doing personal appearances in those libraries with book clubs, reading groups etc does work, as does using your local radio station and local press and book fairs. Like the idea of “friends evenings” although mine are all too skinned to buy anything these days:)
I agree with you, mostly. The truth is, though, that even if a few people review your book, it’s still worth it since reviews are hard to come by and building a fan base is nearly impossible. That said, I’ll see if I stick to my philosophy two months from now after my book has been out for 3 months, still only having 5 reviews haha
Try joining groups on Goodreads, as they’ll organise reviews for you, which readers who put their name forward must complete within 14 days. I haven’t had time to do this, yet, but will do so in the near future. Use LinkedIn discussion forums of writer/reader related groups to get more attention, too. Fan fiction sites build up a fan base, too, which sounds weird but is true, as so many people get to see your style of writing, never mind that the characters you write about where really created by somebody else in the first instance. Pick your favourite TV show and give it a go.
I think Fan Fiction sites are a good idea also. Two popular series, 50 Shades and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrumentals (she’s actually a darn good writer!) started out as fan fics. You could do your favorite show or book, or something closely related to the story your looking to promote. In my case, I’m thinking of writing a fan fic for Vampire Diaries (because I just can’t bring myself to read an entire Twilight book).