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Maze Runner
12-27-2015, 02:01 AM
Well, my first novel is as of a few days ago available online through a small publisher, and so I'm beginning to think of what I can do to draw attention to it and to help us get some sales. This may be a ridiculously subjective question, but what have you done that's worked? And also what have you done that has not worked?

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

brainstorm77
12-27-2015, 02:20 AM
So far in my writing career I have marketed using:

Facebook
Twitter
Blogger
Giveaways on my blog
Giveaways on various reviewer websites
I have bought ads on various review sites
Goodreads giveaways(Print)
Participated in various blog hops
Sent out review copies

I can honestly say that I didn't see sales increase by doing any of the above though Goodreads giveaways have given me some reviews. This is just my experience. Promo for me has been basically fruitless.

I write MM romance, MMF menage, and MF romance.

Jamesaritchie
12-27-2015, 03:07 AM
The only thing I've found that worked at all is writing a novel readers can't stop talking about.

andiwrite
12-27-2015, 04:28 AM
I don't know how many books I've sold, so I don't know if anything has really worked. Based on my Amazon rank alone, as well as the novelrank site, it doesn't seem like I've sold many. :( I won't know for sure for a long time because they wait quite a while to show you sales reports.

I'm planning on trying some Facebook ads soon. I wanted to try Amazon ads, but I haven't figured out how to use them, and I'm not sure I have access to whatever I would need to do that since I didn't publish the book. Oh and I think I might have sold ONE book using my blog. I can't say for sure, but someone clicked on my Amazon page through my blog, and my sales rank improved later that day, so who knows? It seems like blogging is a great way to advertise, though. I just made the mistake of not even starting my blog until the book was already out. If I could do one thing over, it would be to start blogging long, long ago. But unfortunately, I'm not great at coming up with topics that relate to what I write.

What sucks about being traditionally published is I don't have free copies to give away. I would think having free copies would help a lot for getting reviews, doing giveaways, and I can't do any of that. My publisher did a lot of things like that around the time it released, but I only have six Amazon reviews, currently. I need more, and I don't know how to get more.

Sorry for being unhelpful. It's really, really hard and I hate this aspect of it. I'm strongly leaning toward self publishing in the future, so I have complete control and don't have to worry about losing my book deal due to low sales.

brainstorm77
12-27-2015, 05:30 AM
I have never found Novelrank to be accurate.

Your publisher didn't give you copies for promotion and to send out for reviews? I am traditionally published by three publishers and they each gave me copies for those purposes.

andiwrite
12-27-2015, 04:11 PM
They give out free copies to all the review sites they have connections with when it released, but they didn't give me any to give away later. They want people to buy the book, which I understand. It's just frustrating because I've found a few review sites I'd love to try for.

Good to know novelrank isn't accurate for others. My results on there are pretty depressing.

randi.lee
12-27-2015, 04:15 PM
Novel Rank is nowhere near accurate.

Maze, congratulations on your recent publication! I wrote an article for Build Book Buzz about the wild success I experienced after launching an image campaign on social media. Perhaps it will help you. (http://buildbookbuzz.com/social-media-images/) Best of luck!!

WriterBN
12-27-2015, 08:36 PM
Well, my first novel is as of a few days ago available online through a small publisher, and so I'm beginning to think of what I can do to draw attention to it and to help us get some sales. This may be a ridiculously subjective question, but what have you done that's worked? And also what have you done that has not worked?

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

There are lots of ideas and descriptions of what has/hasn't worked on the Book Promotion (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?48-Book-Promotion-Ideas-and-Advice) forum. The bottom line, however, is that what works for one author and book may not work for another.

With that caveat, this is my experience:

What has worked:
Amazon advertising (AMS)
Promotions through E-reader News Today, Fussy Librarian, Kindle Books & Tips and maybe a couple of others
Engaging with readers through social media (not promoting books)

What hasn't:
Goodreads advertising
Goodreads giveaways
Several free promotion websites
A few paid promotion sites like eBookSoda and Bargain Booksy

Maze Runner
12-27-2015, 10:08 PM
The only thing I've found that worked at all is writing a novel readers can't stop talking about.

Well, I've got the book I wrote, and I'm sure that you're right. Word of mouth seems to work best regardless of what you're trying to sell. I don't know if the book I've got will get readers talking, but the only way for me to find out is to get it in front of enough people.


So far in my writing career I have marketed using:

Facebook
Twitter
Blogger
Giveaways on my blog
Giveaways on various reviewer websites
I have bought ads on various review sites
Goodreads giveaways(Print)
Participated in various blog hops
Sent out review copies

I can honestly say that I didn't see sales increase by doing any of the above though Goodreads giveaways have given me some reviews. This is just my experience. Promo for me has been basically fruitless.

I write MM romance, MMF menage, and MF romance.

I have no facebook or twitter or website, but I guess I'll have to do that pretty soon. No, I am not looking forward to it. It seems so strange for me to extol the virtues of a book I wrote. Who would believe me? Why would anyone believe me? What am I going to say, it's terrible? It's like I can tell you all day long how wonderful my book is, and if you're anything like me the first thing that happens when someone does that with regards to any product is my bullshit detector goes off, my guard goes up, I realize someone is trying to sell me something and I want to run the other way. Now, if someone you know and trust, a friend of yours tells you how great my book is then you are likely to listen. Come to think of it, we should all be thumping, not our own books, but each others.


Novel Rank is nowhere near accurate.

Maze, congratulations on your recent publication! I wrote an article for Build Book Buzz about the wild success I experienced after launching an image campaign on social media. Perhaps it will help you. (http://buildbookbuzz.com/social-media-images/) Best of luck!!

Thanks, randi. You know, I just took a look at that link and it makes immediate sense. Glad for you that it's worked. I guess the point is to somehow capture the imagination of a potential reader--give them something to hang their hat on. I'll be signing up for the newsletter. Thank you very much!

Old Hack
12-27-2015, 10:43 PM
What you need to do is read the "How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)" thread in our book promotion room. It's full of excellent advice.

brainstorm77
12-27-2015, 11:13 PM
Using social media isn't about telling others about how great your book(s) are. I don't do that, but I do post links where to purchase them on occasion and when I have a new release coming out. Starting with some sort of social media would be a start I would think. It will let some readers know you have a book out and where to find it.

I am fortunate to have publishers who have a following already. I do think that is where most of my sale come from and I do have a large backlist dating back to 2010. I definitely think that helps with my sales.

And I think you should take Old Hack's advice and read that thread.

Fruitbat
12-28-2015, 12:51 AM
I have done the Goodreads giveaways, Library Thing giveaways, Kindle free days, used my books as my avi on forums I hang out on, blogged somewhat, participated in review circles and "free book for a review" things, had about 150 stories and articles published in a few fairly large magazines and a lot of small ones, won a few modest awards, been interviewed a few times on various e-zines and blogs, and written more books. I was given a turn of having one my books featured at the top of the page here too, which made me very happy. :)

Two of my books do what I'd consider pretty well for self-published books, with a couple/few sales per week, probably what many small press books bring in. One does less than that, and one does barely anything. My marketing attempts are haphazard and I'm sure there's also time between effort and return. Once in a while I'll have a spike, like ten of one of my books in one day, or my google alerts will show where someone wrote a blog post about me. Anyway, I really have no idea what works and what doesn't, aside from just getting more books out there.

As I get more books out, I see the trickle get thicker, so I see that continuing and picking up speed as my backlists grow. Now I consistently get over $100 a month on those four books (under two disconnected pen names), and sell about 40 a month in e-book and print form, plus a bunch of pages with Kindle Unlimited. I realize that would probably be hilarious to a big publisher and of course when I write something that seems like it might fit, I'll try for that brass ring again. But how the trickle grows with each book (rather, with almost each book) is enough to make me think it will eventually grow into a nice extra income even if I just keep on the same way.

It also makes a difference what your goals are. I always remain available to accept big bucks and fame lol but my main goal is really more personal satisfaction or pleasure, writing what I want, when I want. If you are more hard-driven than that, then you will probably want a more carefully designed plan. Good luck!

andiwrite
12-28-2015, 04:22 AM
Maze, congratulations on your recent publication! I wrote an article for Build Book Buzz about the wild success I experienced after launching an image campaign on social media. Perhaps it will help you. (http://buildbookbuzz.com/social-media-images/) Best of luck!!

I bookmarked this for later, thank you!


It's like I can tell you all day long how wonderful my book is, and if you're anything like me the first thing that happens when someone does that with regards to any product is my bullshit detector goes off, my guard goes up, I realize someone is trying to sell me something and I want to run the other way. Now, if someone you know and trust, a friend of yours tells you how great my book is then you are likely to listen. Come to think of it, we should all be thumping, not our own books, but each others.

I realize you feel this way, but have hope, because there are people like me out there. I impulse buy books due to seeing them advertised all the time. I actually like authors trying to sell me their books in a way, because I don't really know how to find new books to read otherwise. If I see an ad/twitter post/blog post with a decent blurb and an impressive cover, and the price is under $5 I'm usually sold.

I've started experimenting with Facebook ads, and it doesn't seem good so far. :( For one thing, I can't figure out how to set up an ad that will link directly to my Amazon page. Facebook only allows you to use a tiny amount of text on their ads, so if I describe the book at all, there's no room for the sales link. As of now I'm experimenting with a short ad just to see if I can get more attention on my page, and so far I've spent over $2 getting ONE new "like." Seems pointless and like a rip off to me. And I don't get why they make it so complicated to figure out how to use their ads.

Maze Runner
12-28-2015, 04:08 PM
What you need to do is read the "How to promote your book like an intelligent human being and not an SEO Dweeb (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?241431-How-to-promote-your-book-like-an-intelligent-human-being-and-not-an-SEO-Dweeb)" thread in our book promotion room. It's full of excellent advice.

There's a lot of great information on that thread. Thanks!