Looking for help with promotion of novel

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Tom Fitch

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Hi all,

Been a while since I was last around.

I have in the meantime self-published my first novel. I will not post its name or the platform I used as my intention is not to get free publicity here.

I’m rather looking for someone who could help me promote the novel through social media etc. I am a dunce at that stuff and don’t really have the time to do a good job at it anyway. I’m therefore looking for someone who could collaborate with me on the promotion.

Obviously, I’m willing to share the proceeds from the novel with the one who promotes it. I'm fairly basic and straightforward so, at this point, I have a simple 50/50 sharing of profits in mind.

Should you be interested, I suggest you sent me a private message on the forum here.

All suggestions are welcome.

Cheers,

Tom
 

Nether

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I have in the meantime self-published my first novel. I will not post its name or the platform I used as my intention is not to get free publicity here.

While I can't help you with the social media (and I'm not sure how much impact you'd get through social media alone), I feel like you're approaching promotion the wrong way.

You should have your novel listed as many places as possible. I can understand not wanting to spam -- and I'm not encouraging that you spam -- but if you're trying to promote a book, why wouldn't you have it in your sig? And if you're asking for help promoting your book, why wouldn't you at least mention the genre or a few details in case somebody with some social presence -- who doesn't necessarily feel like doing the heavy lifting for you (because suggesting somebody else can handle your social is a big ask, especially if they aren't invested in your project) -- decides it's interesting enough to share it on their profiles?

Right now your topic has had 67 views (so far). While that's not a huge number, each and every person would have had the chance to see some detail about your book. One of those viewers could have potentially discovered your book, loved it, and shared it with other people who loved it as well and in turn shared it with others.
 

Maryn

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It's fully acceptable here to post you book's title and a link to a point of sale in your signature. Many, many of the active members do it, with the owner's blessing.

I suspect no one here is likely to help you do online promotion for a share of the proceeds of sales, though. Sorry about that.

Why not? That's a perfectly reasonable question. Here are some possible answers:
  • Because "promote my novel on social media" doesn't have a specific meaning. Without knowing what the product is, no one knows how or where it could be promoted or whether that promotion is something they could do.
  • Because it's not a given that online promotion results in sales. Someone could make you a website, impersonate you on various media platforms so you appear smart, kind, and clever, yet there might be no uptick in sales.
  • Because your profit on each sale isn't much, and half of that is even less. Without knowing any details about your price point or platform, let's theorize you make two to seven US dollars per sale. How much effort does half of that get you?
  • Because you've been away for over six years, making you an unknown around here. People who don't know you as a longtime presence here might not be willing to take the word of a stranger on sales.
  • Because that's not how advertising works. People who create and publish (including online) advertisements get paid up front, not out of sales.
That doesn't mean you can't get the help you need with online promotion. It means you need to be able to talk about what you want and what you are willing to pay for it, determine where potential readers can be reached, then identify what specific social media promotion might be effective. Reading much of this board will allow you to educate yourself on some of the basics.

Maryn, wishing she could be more encouraging
 

lorna_w

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Point 1. WRITE MORE BOOKS. A single book is not worth promoting. Books sell books. Books that find their readers organically and get promoted via word of mouth are not only the cheapest books to promote, they are the ones that will keep earning you money for years.
Point 2. Write in one subgenre. Don't bounce all over the place. And it needs to be a hot subgenre. (check the top 100 at amazon weekly, and you'll learn what those genres are)
Point 3. In most genres, write in series. In some genres, that means stand-alones with repeating characters (like mystery), and in others, it means long sagas, split into novel-length sections, each with a specific challenge, climax, resolution
Point 4. Do not worry about promotion until your fourth book is out, with ideally three of those being in series. By that point, you'll have had a chance to research how to promote self-published books effectively.
Point 5. Learn to write every day, and produce a lot of books. The most successful self-published writers (I can think of two exceptions) write four or more books per year. Most of the millionaire earners write 12 per year. Books sell books.
Point 6. Spend $300 on the cover with a good cover designer who does this for a living (not your talented nephew). And get the blurb right. What's "right?" Go look at the top 20 in your subgenre and read their product descriptions. Do what they are doing, length, typography, verb types, how many characters named, all of it.
Point 7. And go sign up for all their mailing lists so you can see how they communicate with their fans. Look at their websites. When amazon tells you that people who bought their books also bought so-and-so's books? Read their blurbs and "look inside" sections as well. Study success, in other words.
Point 8. Any kind of promoting you do will only last as long as you pay for the promotion. So you get the golden ring of promotions (a newsletter promo that is pricey and competitive), and it's great, really, I've earned thousands in a week from it. But two months later, your sales look as if it never happened. So even that is really only useful when you have a big back list, for it might earn you long-term fans who then read everything you've written.
Point 9. Social media is for the fans who liked your books. You cannot generate sales that way in fiction.
Point 10. Put a signup form in your book/on your website for a mailing list. Get a free mailing list at mailerlite or mailchimp. When you release your next book, mail them. And answer any fan mail quickly, of course, to build fan loyalty.

And anyone who took you up on your offer would be a scammer. You're a self-publisher. That means, you are writer and publisher. So you need to learn how to be a publisher, and you can. If this is a good first lesson you take in and act from, great, my work here is done.
 

Woollybear

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Hey @lorna_w I have a question. I am giving up on rapid release as I don't have it in me. BUT... I feel like I can write backwards (writing the story that came before.)

So, if I release book #5 two years after book #4, but book five leads into book four story wise, (and book six leads into book five, and so on) is this a tractable way to get around the rapid-release model? Which I've given up on, because I don't have it in me.

Logically I feel it would still build my audience as effectively, just a hell of a lot more slowly.

I suppose a genre like mystery (same characters but standalone, so sort of the same idea...) might give me some clues. Can mystery writers afford to release on a less tight schedule? (Probably not.)
 

lorna_w

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Hey @lorna_w I have a question. I am giving up on rapid release as I don't have it in me. BUT... I feel like I can write backwards (writing the story that came before.)

So, if I release book #5 two years after book #4, but book five leads into book four story wise, (and book six leads into book five, and so on) is this a tractable way to get around the rapid-release model? Which I've given up on, because I don't have it in me.

Logically I feel it would still build my audience as effectively, just a hell of a lot more slowly.

I suppose a genre like mystery (same characters but standalone, so sort of the same idea...) might give me some clues. Can mystery writers afford to release on a less tight schedule? (Probably not.)
"Hard" mystery writers can afford to release 1-2 per year, yes. Because mystery readers are accustomed to that in trade. Cozies? As close to monthly as you can get.

In five years, how you got to your backlist won't matter. It only matters now. So if you're willing to wait to build success, then write in whichever order you like. But no, writing "backwards" won't circumvent the "release often" rule, which is just a cost of indie.

If people hate both rapid release/writing, and also hate doing the whole business research thing, reading their competitors' books, signing up for their competitors' mailing list, becoming friends with their competitors (which might mean throwing an occasional story at them for an anthology), studying Amazon's lists, maybe signing up for one of the places that spiders up data (for a few months, at least) so they grasp which popular keywords work and what the sales curve looks like on average for their subgenre, if they hate hate hate all that business research and cannot/will not rapid release? Then they should be submitting to agents, no matter how frustrating that is, imo, because while there are indie unicorns out there that hit with a single stand-alone book and nothing but a bunch of free weeks via countdowns to build the word of mouth, it's so so rare, you may as well hope for a six-figure advance through trade as hope that kind of indie success. Again, just imo.
 

Woollybear

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Yes, I think I'm rather happier with failure than all that, LOL!

Thank you. I will enjoy obscurity.
 

crimespecial92

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I’m rather looking for someone who could help me promote the novel through social media etc. I am a dunce at that stuff and don’t really have the time to do a good job at it anyway. I’m therefore looking for someone who could collaborate with me on the promotion.
The thing about social media is it is personal. If you post on social media it is as much about you as it is about your book. Authors who successfully use social media to drive sales of their book do so by becoming an interesting and reliable social media presence. You need to build your "personal brand" basically as corny as that sounds.

So with all that said the only person who can (and should) really sell your book on social media is you. It has to be you.
 

Tom Fitch

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Hi all,

thanks for the feed-back. I will take it at heart and follow up on it... in due time.

I'm combining this writing thing with a full time job, which actually is rather a 150% than a 100% occupation.

So, I'll take it step by step. No hurry.

First step has been taken: link to my first novel on Amazon has been added to my signature.

Now next step: list the book at more places... and continue working on the next installment of the series. Well, actually work has already started on that one, even if it's still pretty much pulp at this stage.

Again, thanks for the pointers. Truly appreciated.

Talk soon.

Kr,

Tom
 
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mccardey

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Hi all,

thanks for the feed-back. I will take it at heart and follow up on it... in due time.

I'm combining this writing thing with a full time job, which actually is rather a 150% than a 100% occupation.

So, I'll take it step by step. No hurry.

First step has been taken: link to my first novel on Amazon has been added to my signature.

Now next step: list the book at more places... and continue working on the next installment of the series. Well, actually work has already started on that one, even if it's still pretty much pulp at this stage.

Again, thanks for the pointers. Truly appreciated.

Talk soon.

Kr,

Tom
Good luck!
 

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Hi all,

thanks for the feed-back. I will take it at heart and follow up on it... in due time.

I'm combining this writing thing with a full time job, which actually is rather a 150% than a 100% occupation.

So, I'll take it step by step. No hurry.

First step has been taken: link to my first novel on Amazon has been added to my signature.

Now next step: list the book at more places... and continue working on the next installment of the series. Well, actually work has already started on that one, even if it's still pretty much pulp at this stage.

Again, thanks for the pointers. Truly appreciated.

Talk soon.

Kr,

Tom
Good luck! Yep, I reckon a lot of us can relate to having to work over a hundred hours a week and having little time left for anything else.

You might want to ask a friend or family member who has read and loved, loved, loved your book to help you with promotion. If they have a blog or journal or twitter or anything, their passionate raving about the book will do you more good than some stranger on the internet being paid to sell a book they've not even read.
 
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Tom Fitch

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You might want to ask a friend or family member who has read and loved, loved, loved your book to help you with promotion. If they have a blog or journal or twitter or anything, their passionate raving about the book will do you more good than some stranger on the internet being paid to sell a book they've not even read.

That's a good idea indeed. Will certainly look into that.

Thanks.

Tom
 

Tom Fitch

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So, if I release book #5 two years after book #4, but book five leads into book four story wise, (and book six leads into book five, and so on) is this a tractable way to get around the rapid-release model? Which I've given up on, because I don't have it in me.
I think Abercrombie has done this at some occassions, but mainly with short stories in which characters appear that had already been introduced in previous novels. The short story than focusses on a period in that character's life prior to that of the novel.

Tarantino made the movie Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, then published the book Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, focussing on aspects that were less dealt with in the movie.

Tom
 
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Al X.

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1. Don't discount social media. It's free. If you have a bunch of followers, well, you have a semi captive audience.

2. Three years ago if you would have suggested to me to put out a Facebook ad, my response would have been 'when has been the last time you ever bought anything off Facebook.' Well, the rules have changed. Don't waste your money on AMS. I make more sales off of Facebook today than I ever have on Amazon Marketing or Bookbub Partners. AMS is worthless. FB ads, if you are careful, are very powerful. Unlike the others, FB actually does share the metrics on audience like age, gender, and location. That is very important when it comes to marketing towards your target audience. (yeah I have a tolerance/non hate relationship with FB but less animosity than I have towards Amazon.)