My greatest latest marketing ploy was something of a team effort!
You see, I'd been wrestling with one of my authors about a particular method she uses in writing that heightens curiosity but drives me nuts.
Of course if I were such a person that takes everything personally, I'd believe she did it on purpose to drive me out of my mind. In reality it's just her writing style...and it's 'fricking perfect for an idea I had because of this thing she does.
I can't begin to explain so I'm going to show you. I've included an exclusive passage from the book Hers to Claim as it is the passage that inspired my marketing ploy.
“Lord Ramsey, I would like you to go with Adonia.” Fleur glanced across the room to Ramsey DeKieran, and Adonia disguised a laugh with a cough when he abruptly straightened after a hard poke from his wife. While the rest of the party sat in the comfortable sofas and chairs around Ari’s office, DeKieran and his new wife had remained lounging, side-by-side, against the wall by the door. Adonia had caught the intense stares and occasional murmurs Ram and Steffania had exchanged throughout the past hour. From the blush that crept up Steffania’s cheeks when Ramsey fingered her exquisite choker of beaten gold, Adonia doubted that either had heard much of what had transpired in the last few minutes.
ADONIA ISN'T THE ONLY PERSON THAT'S WANTS TO KNOW WHAT DORAL SAID!
Am I the only one with the burning curiosity? No--apparently not! See for yourself:
Speaking of cameos and awesomeness - Patricia A. Knight included a feature I'd not seen before (but appreciated the wisdom of) a live-linked Easter egg embedded in the dialogue. Doral whispers something in Ari's ear... The reader clicks the link (and is asked to sign up for Patricia A. Knight's newsletter) and the page reveals the secret whispered.
Well, thank you! But it was something that came naturally. While I am the publisher, I'm a huge fan of Patricia A. Knight! I'm into these characters and think about them. I think about what they might be doing now *dirt thought* and want the best for them. I even wonder how their children might carry into the series.
You see sometimes the best marketing tactics come organically. When you think of marketing as a fun way to let people know about your product it's not icky. I wanted to know what Doral said and PAK gave her readers a way to find out!
ACTION ITEM: What imaginative thing can you do to make marketing fun?
Another session during #RWA14 was with Laura Kaye dealing with promotions. She describes the difference between Marketing and Promotion as...
Marketing = paid stuff you do
Promotions = Free stuff you do
She focused on FREE this session and explained the 6 things you want to achieve to promote your book.
Now if you're looking at this list and thinking, "huh?" then you might need a bit more explanation. Take a look at each social media outlet. These are the places you'll find the six different types of promotions where most authors find success. For instance, most authors find that Pintrest is a great way to 1) Get exposure for their book, 2) Get Recognition as an author and 3) Can build relationships with readers.
Now look at the chart again. Make sense?
What this does is tell you that maybe your promotion of finding new readers should be concentrated on Triberr, Group Blogs, and Blog Hops, but not Twitter, Facebook or Pintrest. Want sales? Concentrate on your blog, blog tours and Group blogs.
ACTION ITEM: Build a promotions strategy based on this knowledge.
To Blog or not to Blog: Really? Think about what you just said. You’re basically saying, I don’t know what to write.
Writers spend a lot of time writing stories. Some say, I don’t have time to blog. I don’t know what to blog. Blogging is just so overwhelming.
Let’s take a close look at each of these excuses and determine if they are valid.
1. I don’t have time to blog.
Either you don’t see the value, you don’t know how to write short, sweet and fast or you have the issues of thinking what you have to say isn’t worth reading. Let’s look at subject A:
a) I don’t see the value in blogging.
*Sigh* You might have heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is one way readers find you. Remember, you write for a variety of reasons, but you PUBLISH for only 3 reasons. Those are:
- To inspire
- To entertain
- To solve a problem
Yes, you PUBLISH for one of those 3 reasons. Guess why I’m writing this post. If you said all 3, you’d be right! Back to "I don't see the value in blogging". The value of blogging is to reach readers. They don’t always search Amazon for your key words or specific title. They may type in “Free stories” or “Free money” or “Free sex” – whatever. If you had a title like that, I wonder how much SEO you’d get. The more eyes on your writing, the better. Sometimes you get people who want your books because you write well.
b) I don’t know how to write short, sweet and fast.
That’s okay. You know the recommended amount of posts are 2 – 3 a month. That’s because you can promote the post everywhere. Sure I do once a day but they are mostly short 300 – 500 word articles. You don’t have to write fast. You don’t even have to make the posts long.
c) What I have to say isn’t worth reading.
Okay. I’ll come out and say, if that’s how you feel, then don’t publish. Stop the bullshit “I’m a horrible writer” crap excuse to prevent from blogging. If your ego is so low that you’re constantly asking for an ego boost by way of compliment, you don’t have thick enough skin yet to publish. If this is the excuse you use for not blogging, don’t publish yet. Get your boot straps laced and pull your pants on first—then blog.
There’s a theme here—there is only one good reason not to blog. If someone tells me they don’t want to—that’s a good reason. They think it’s a waste of time, blogging is dead. Well, I say, it depends. Thirteen year olds aren’t allowed to go on social media yet and therefore, they interact with blogs because it’s the only social thing they can do. Maybe your audience isn’t thirteen year olds. Maybe your audience are people that can’t discuss the kind of things on social media platforms because it’s a hot button. Those adults will find your stuff if you present it on your blog. Politics for instance—for some they don’t want to discuss it with friends on Facebook, but they would on another forum if they felt safe enough to.
Through out this, the point that’s most important is the 3 reasons why you publish. When you don’t know what to write, think about why your write. It’s 1 of the 3, or maybe all of them. So blog about your writing inspiration, blog to entertain people, blog to help other people. But don’t think you have nothing to blog for.
ACTION ITEM: Find your reason to blog: to inspire, to entertain or to solve a problem. Remember that helping a reader find your book is under the "solving a problem" and the "to entertain" category because being bored and not finding the right kind of entertainment is a problem. :)
I have the ultimate Sylvia Day Rafflecopter contest! If you've already read "Holiday Submission" by Marilyn Lakewood and haven't reviewed it yet/or even if you have, here's your chance to win print copies of the following Sylvia Day collection!
One lucky winner will receive these items:
I know Amazon can be--difficult--so a screen shot of a confirmation for the review sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will due! All the others, I just need a URL of the review in the rafflecopter box and your set!!
A readers honest review is the life blood of authors, but I know it takes time and thought out of your day, so I wanted to make this prize extra special for taking the time for this debut author. If you like D/s M/F stories, this is a hot little read!
If there is anything I can do to make it easier for you, the reader, please let me know!! We appreciate your support of our debut authors! Thank you!!
I've been searching for book translation companies and I finally settled on Bablecube. So far we've put up 3 books and we've gotten translators within the week signing up to translate "Forever and 365 Days" in Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Italian so far.
Offers come in, we review them and sign the contract. From what I understand the publisher gets 30%, the translator gets 50% and Babelcube gets 20% of the royalties. So it's free to start for the most part but I need to provide the manuscript (of course), and the covers for both Amazon standard ebook and CreateSpace dimensions for print.
There customer service responds within 24 hours. If you're looking for your books to be translated but don't have the money for translators and don't know where to put the books up afterward, I think Bablecube is a company to check out! <-- that would be an ACTION ITEM.
My overview take is that KDP Select is good for new authors with a little bit of a funnel but once you get more known, you want to give your book value by not giving them away free.
I think there is a threshold where you can only give away so many books before it doesn't justify the means.
Here is what I've found ~ with some promotion, a little hype with twitter we were able to get one under 10,000 downloads with one title and we so far have gotten an extra 13 reviews (so far) from the effort.
I don't think KDP Free is what it was, and it may continue to decline, but doing free in a smart way is still the way to attract new readers to you. I still do a free promotion, but in other forums.
ACTION ITEM: Try FREE in places like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Kindle.
Woe is me! I only have one book!
Down at the bottom of this post you can hear my thoughts in the MP3 file instead of reading them! I absolutely have to give props to Online-Convert.com for charging me nothing to convert my .ga file to an .mp3 file.
So here's what I said, not verbatim but close:
When you, as an author, write a book and market that book, you are not offering a book. You are offering a service--the service of entertainment or knowledge.
Your book is not a product.
Yes, you can hold a book in your hands, you can hold an e-reader in your hands, you can even see the book on your computer. But while your book is tangible, it is not tangible as well.
Because while your words and feelings in the book can be read, it's your thoughts within that book that come out. That is the service that you give to the reader. Your offering that service of knowledge or entertainment. That's not a tangible thing.
You're giving them a service of thought.
So the next time you go to market your book stop thinking about it as a product and start thinking about it as a service. When you think of it like that, my model for writing is the best possible option. While one book can reach thousands of people you still have a consumable service. Write more books! Frick, you're a writer. Write.
Action Item: Write good books. <--- PLURAL on purpose.
Hey look! I talk too! Push the button! Push it! Push!
You Tube! I thought I'd never find you!
Over the weekend, me and my author had a conversation that went much like this:
My Author: Do book trailers help sell books?
Me: (long pause) stoic stare.
My Author: oh, I guess that's a no.
My Author: Okay, skip it then.
BUT WAIT! YOU TUBE! YOU LOVE ME! YOU REALLY LOVE ME!
How do I know You Tube loves me? Because it declared it's love with this article...http://mashable.com/2013/05/15/youtube-tresemme-shoppable-video/
"To shorten the path to purchase and translate video views to sales, today we’re introducing a new channel gadget on YouTube that will enable consumer goods brands to connect consumers directly with retailers throughout the entire YouTube experience. This new channel gadget will enable shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing how-to videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices and make a purchase, all with fewer clicks than today."
That means Luke's Tale video is not just an all for the fun of it! Imagine clicking the video and buying the book! Awesome! That is more useful than anything! Yes, book trailers have now become a viable funnel!
Action Item: Let's explore this click-able You Tube link thing together!
Well now...I've started a trend! LOL okay I know you don't take me seriously but I found this article and found it to be a wonderful addition to the previous topic.
I especially agree with points #1 & #6. Not so much 2 &3 and point 5 is just...outdated.
A tag line is very useful. Something short. So far we have:
Key Class Etiquette.
Unconditional Love as seen through a dogs eyes.
Dirty stories revolving around Social Taboos.
Epic Adventures in Sex.
Dark Heart Heroes and Shorts-off are also brands.
As far as points 2 & 3...well, I'm not doing hard cover and some of us write erotica...a memorable picture will not include an image of the author. Some of them want to keep their anonymity thank-you for the thought!
Point 4 I'm doing with my own Shorts-off AND including an excerpt, and a link to previous books, and a link to the author website so...I think I've got the links covered.
Point 5 Amazon controls. I don't have any say in the matter. What I can do is have a decent amount of text in the front, but Amazon gives you something like 10% of the book to review so...this is either an old post or the guy hasn't really paid attention to the rules of Amazon. You're not allowed to expose more than 10% even when giving an excerpt on other sites. Thems' the Amazon rules. I try not to piss off the mogul of book sales.
Point 6 Book Cover Continuity I'm all in! Notice he's referencing a serial. Not exactly helpful when you've got unrelated books, but--you can immortalize the author name with font, color or an unusual pen name. My favorite font/color combo immortilization is Patricia A. Knight.
I could be bias though as truenotdreams and I created that together.
Yeah, love that...
Point 7 which is viral Word of mouth. Yes, a well written book will get noticed, but if you don't put it in front of readers, people aren't going to just get a mental telegraph thinking ~ I'll buy Carol McKibben's book today! Never mind that I've never heard of her.
Jeez, this guy just thinks getting readers is ALL to chance? Really? Seriously? Books are a business. You have to treat it like a business. Yes some businesses get really well known really fast, when fast = 10 years.
Yes, book cover design, a nifty slogan, ease of buying and all that is part of becoming legendary. But there is a formula. I've seen it happen. When you have a good product people will buy. But first they have to know it exists.
Do you like your tag line? Is this what you want to be known for? If so, let's find a way to put it on your social media pages. We can also put it on your books. Give me the shout out!
You know what I'm talking about. The mythical readers. You're unable to believe stats of 20 million e-readers out there there because the sales of your book don't seem to reflect there are any e-readers in the world. First, the prep talk. Take this to heart.
1. It takes me an average of six years to find the latest greatest author of my heart. I did not find Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison until they were on their 6th or 7th book of their respective series. I did not find Atlas Shrugged until twenty-five years after the author died. I did not realize Konrath lived until his two hundred and twelfth book. Okay, yes, Konrath doesn't have that many books--yet (I think). But he's on his way!
2. There are 3,000 e-books uploaded to kindle every month/day -- something like that. So, give your readers some time to catch-up!
3. Readers may not find you first. You may have to reach out and grab them before they know they love you.
So now you're going to ask me--how do I reach out and grab them?
Well, if I came out and said it you'd laugh at me. I am going to blurt it, but you're still going to laugh. Ready?
go ahead...laugh...I'll wait. But your curiosity is going to get the better of you.
You see, my author Facebook site is actually a hub. No it's not terribly active. I don't have beautiful pictures of all the great places I'm visiting because I'm right here at my desk, writing to you on how to get more readers. But I do spend maybe $40 a month on Facebook getting more people on my email list.
It's simple. I give them a free story, they give me an email. I tell them if they like my stories, here they are. 99 cents is a good price for my shorty-shorts. I get fan mail. I connect with my fans--they actually have my email and I respond to everyone.
Brian Moran would shake his head at me and tell me to do it for free and not buy ads, but I'm a busy writer and have to expedite my time.
But I'm here to tell you the email plan works. Build your list, find your fans and write!
Here's the 1,2,3 if you don't understand how to gain people.
1. Have an author page. You want more than 2,000 fans right? So don't limit yourself to the personal 2,000 limit. Plus you need widgets to put on your page.
2. Get set up with an email list manager. MailChimp, A-weber, Constant Contact--anything that will help manage your list. I use MailChimp because it's easy.
3. Put up a Facebook ad. Get a good picture, offer something for free and connect that free something in exchange for an email.
That's it. Then you can scrub your email list with people who really love you vs. those that are just one time curious. Real fans will emerge. Offer people something and they will come back.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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