Tag Archive | book marketing

An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond (and Christine Keleny) 

“The most interesting marketing opportunities are those that are unconventional.” That is how author-illustrator Lori Richmond sums up the case study we are about to present here. In to…


This is the beginning of an interview Dan Blank had with author and illustrator Lori Richmond about an innovative marketing opportunity she saw and followed through on. I wholly agree with Dan – this marketing effort Richmond made has paid off in many small and cumulative ways for her.

I think that is how most of the best marketing works for most authors. It’s not that one post or that one event you go to or that one person you meet, but over time, it’s all those posts, all those events, all those people you meet who add up to opportunities to share yourself and your stories with others.

Everyone is looking for a quick fix related to marketing their book(s). Think about it – if it existed, don’t you think someone would have found it by now. It takes time and effort, lots of efforts, actually, and missteps (lets not call it failure – it’s a learning process, right?), but there will be targets hit along the way and lots of fun experiences, too!

Here’s my example: I recently was invited by a librarian that I met at a art and craft sale to present at an evening talk event her library has a few times a year. Now this library is probably smaller than 1000 square feet and this town has a population so small that they can’t get a grocery store to move in where the old one stood for years. But this innovative librarian has partnered with a small pizza/ice creams shop (Central 52) in town (a big deal for this town) to host evening speakers a few times a year on all kinds of topics.

I showed up early, met the owner (a woman), and had an ice cream while I set up my books for display. Six people came out on a cold, wet spring evening to hear me talk about writing and publishing. It was a interactive, intimate group and I made some new acquaintances, had my picture taken with the librarian and her friend, which was posted on the shop website (which I then reposted, of course), and I was connected to the daughter of one of the participants who does editing (I’m always looking for proofing help for my clients), and I sold 5 books!

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I’m also going to go back for pizza with my husband. It smelled really good and we’re always looking for new pizza places to try. Who would have thought about all these connections and possibilities from a library that is no bigger than 1000 square feet in a town that isn’t large enough to have a grocery store.

Maybe that will be the end of it, but maybe it won’t. One never knows.

So keep, keepin’ on!  Get out there! Meet people! Keep your eyes and ears open. Over time you can’t predict how it will pay off, but it will.

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Source: An Incredible Marketing Case Study, with Author-Illustrator Lori Richmond – WeGrowMedia – Dan Blank

NetGalley Test – Book Reviews

So I’m dipping my big toe in the NetGalley waters.

NetGalley

What is NetGalley?

This is what they say on their website:

NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.

NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

Their description says they take ARCs, but they accept already published books as well. I’m putting my book “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” on their site – see the Netgalley page here.

Here is another post I ran about NetGalley in 2017. The link is probably still worth reading but I don’t know if the cost figures would still be accurate for today.

I am using NetGalley through BooksgoSocial (BGS). They currently charge $74 for putting your book in NetGalley for a month, $139 for 2 months and $199 for 3 months. I got a cheaper deal so watch their site for the occasional deal.

Here is a link to a youtube video of BGS telling you what NetGalley is all about.

After a month, BGS will send me the reviews. I’ll let you know how it goes and if the reviews seem to translate into sales.

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

10 Tips on Amazon Ads for Authors

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Laurence O’Bryan’s of Books Go Social post on Amazon ads has some helpful information. Most notably the link to kindlepreneur and a free book description tool. A good book description is very important!

Laurence mentions that it’s important to have some good reviews – I’d suggest at least 10, but more is better.  If you’re going to spend money on advertising, having reviews will help you spend your money more wisely. Remember, all reviews don’t need to be 4 or 5 stars. In fact, I think the reviews look more legitimate if there are a few 3 star reviews, not that you have any control over this. I just mention it because not everyone who reads your book will LOVE it and potential readers know this, so don’t worry when you get a few 3 star reviews. Hopefully your average is 4/5 or above.

I also agree that you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford. Pay attention to the ads – what they are charging and what money are you making. Keep in mind, the money they say you are making doesn’t take into account the discount – the 70% or 30% that Laurence mentions (item #5).

Note: I am not endorsing Books Go Social or the things they want to sell you in this post, but I know they are a good company and I do think they have author’s interests at heart – just below staying solvent (as all companies). I have not tried their free AMS ad course, so I can’t speak on that, but I think your keyword choice and your ad copy are two things that are very important with AMS ads. Those that can use computer-generated ad key words have an advantage. Unfortunately, that is not most of us, so we have to do our best.

Anyone who tries BGS free course, please share what you think. If I eek out some time to do it myself. I’ll also share what think.

Keep on Keeping on!

https://services4authors.com/2018/07/27/10-critical-things-to-know-before-you-spend-big-on-your-amazon-ads/

Why Authors Should Not Use Social Media 

Menna Azzollini wrote this post about why authors shouldn’t use social media. I agree with some of the things she is saying. I don’t think social media is the greatest place to sell books, but I think it’s a good place to make connections to readers and writers and a place authors can support each other. Yes, you putting yourself out there might not get a lot of attention, but if you are supporting other authors and they are supporting you, then your reach gets a little wider 🙂

I also agree that it’s not good to spend too much time on social media. I set up my website posts to go to FB, Lk’d-in, and twitter so one thing I do goes to 4 places! I “like” and post other author’s posts to twitter and facebook, which doesn’t take much time, either.

I do like her list of other marketing options.

What do you think about social media for authors?

Source: Why Authors Should Not Use Social Media | TCK Publishing

Book Awards (and Reviews!) – Readers’ Favorite

Readers Favorite - Book Reviews and Award Contest

There is still time to enter the 2018
Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest

Only 3 days left to enter your book – FINAL DEADLINE
Enter your manuscript, published or unpublished book, eBook, audiobook, comic book, poetry book or short story. We offer 4 award levels in each of our 140+ categories, allowing you to only compete against books in your particular genre for a more fair and accurate contest, giving you the greatest chance of becoming an award-winning author!

 

  • Chance to win one of $50,000 in free prizes just for entering.
  • Chance to have your book made into a movie or TV show.
  • Chance to be published by an award winning traditional publisher.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading author marketing and PR firm.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading literary management company.
  • More features including a book review, award ceremony, and publicity.

When you enter, you automatically get a free review that they post for you on facebook, twitter, google+, Barnes & Nobel, Instagram and Pinterest. They also ask the reviewer to put it on their personal Goodreads account (if they have an account there) and you are able to put excerpts on your Amazon author central page (Amazon won’t let them post a review).

I entered my second Agnes Kelly Series book “Narrow Escape in Norway” this year and already received a 5 Star review! I won’t know if I’ve won anything until September.

“…This story is for all those readers who enjoy suspense, mystery, and adventure. I like the way the author creates secrecy and intrigue around the disappearance of Agnes’ father and pulls readers in to learn what exactly has happened to him. The fluidity in writing gives a good pace and movement to the story and the adventure, suspense, and laughs make the book fascinating to young readers. There is a sense of excitement and curiosity that builds up while trying to find out about Agnes’ father, which will keep readers glued to the book till the very last page. I am sure that, like me, young readers will be waiting for the next book.”

                                                                                     ~  Mamta Madhavan

 Giving Away Your Ebook – Yes or No

The ongoing debate goes on – and for good reason. Like everything in life, the book market changes and so do the companies that service that market.

In the post link below, David Kudler explains various reason to go the free route and various reasons not to. As with most things, it really depends on what works for you at this moment in time. He also explains how to get Amazon to set your book for free, even though they don’t want to. But I wouldn’t go to that effort unless you’re going with perma-free. If you want free on Amazon and you’re not part of their Select program – just do an  Amazon giveaway.

Personally, I think the perma-free thing only works if you have A LOT of good reviews for the first book in a book series before you even set it at FREE. (How much is A LOT? – not sure there is a magic number. How many reviews would it take you to pick up a book from an author you didn’t know?)

There are so many ways for readers to get books for free now a days, a free book from a completely unknown (and unread – if you don’t have many reviews) does very little to make a shopper click that button and pick up your book.

That is not to say free for a week or free for a day or book giveaways aren’t a good thing. I think short-term giveaways associated with some other promotion you might be doing aimed at readers you know is a good idea. You do want to get more reviews. But keep in mind, just because you give a book away doesn’t mean you’ll get a review. I’ve given away a lot of books on Amazon and Goodreads and the Fussy Librarian but gotten very few reviews from those. Hopefully I’ve gotten a new reader or two. And it only takes one or two people who read your book to decide they like you and will tell others about you and your book to help get your name out there.

What you can do is set the price for the first book in a series (or a first book in a collection of books you have) at a lower price than the rest. If someone really wants to try your book,  $.99 or $1.99 or maybe $2.99 isn’t going to stop them.

And remember, pricing also depends on the length of the book and the genre your book is in. So check out what other unknown authors are charging in your genre to help you decide what to do.

Source: To Free or Not to Free: Giving Away Your Ebook – The Book Designer

Want To Be Interviewed

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Writers tend to be shy people (not all, of course), but being interviewed for a broadcast of some kind might be just the things for a shy person.

Getting on a local radio station, podcast, association website… There are various places to get yourself and your writing in front of others. Tom Corson-Knowles offers writers a step-by-step process to getting interviewed.

I was interviewed once on a local radio program and had a great time doing it. Did I see any change in sales after? It was quite a while ago but I don’t remember any changes in my sales, but then the station broadcast reach was quite small. I still enjoyed it and would do it again.

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality