Book Marketing - 7 Additional Things to Consider

Sunday, June 17, 2012


So, having Distraction on the market has put me back in the position where I’m stressed, thinking that I’m not doing enough. The reality is that usually, I’m not. Doing enough, I mean. However, based on last Monday’s post, The Book Marketing Challenge – 7 Things to Consider, I thought it would be a good idea to keep a record, this time around, of what marketing angles work and the activities that don’t. 


  • (1) I talked about finding my targeted readers and listed the Jamaican disapora as part of my secondary market.  I’m about ready to jump on that one. I’ve been messing about and not following this one up, but I believe nothing happens before the time. I was blown away when I checked the site this week and found these stats in an ad for interns - views average ‘850,000 page views and 178,000 unique visitors per month from all over the world,…
         
        In a word, impressive. 

  • My approach will be to serialize one of my books for the site and provide links to my work. What I’ll be getting back in exposure is worth more than I will be giving the website owner. Period. Got a cover for the story, so I’ll have help in identifying my ‘product’.  It’s not finished, but this is what I have. Haven’t done anything about the Caribbean angle this week, but ideas will come.   
  •  
  •  (2) Just today, I found Indie Romance Ink. Found is not the right word. I just sat up and paid attention to a newsletter article in my inbox. Indie Romance Ink is a group of indie and self-published writers who share tips on marketing and advice on the craft of writing, among other things. This is something I’d recommend for all of us who write, no matter the genre. Find a focus group and get involved. I tend to join and then forget to dabble. I need to change that.

  • (3) I contacted one out of the three big review sites I’m targeting. With a lot of focus, I’ll get to the other two this week. (Point here is to stay on top of things like this.) I also asked people who visit here to let me know if they’d review Distraction. I’m still open to that.  In keeping with my luck, my first reviewer on Amazon just had to leave me a 1-star review, but to continue, I need reviews before I can do a couple of other things I have planned.  For those of you who like to do things the hard way, I’m running a giveaway over on The Readers’ Suite.

  • (4) I took out an ad this past week on an African-American book review site, but it’s too early to say how this will pan out. I have to give it some more time before I take out a Facebook ad.  I want to be sure I know what’s bringing in readers and what isn’t. Sure, the ad I took out will be running for a month, but I want to give that a couple of weeks lead time to see if my sales figures move. With how hard money is to come by, I can’t be spending it willy-nilly.

  • (5) For a while now I’ve been thinking about incorporating my blog and my website. Quietly, I did that. Some of you might have been redirected here. See the address bar. I’ve also made the header more specific to what I do and cut out the work of trying to maintain a separate website, which I hardly updated. I did some work on the book page and will list my books here in some cohesive way. I've added a 'Book" tag above. Please bear with me while the construction goes on.

  • (6) I need to break down my short-term and long-term marketing plan, which forms part of a business plan I should have written ten books ago. I don’t want my energy and ideas to fizzle in the middle of everything I have planned. This will happen if I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing two months down the line or four months on. Things like free promo days on Kindle, the other free Kindle book sites and a blog tour take organization and are different from jotting down the day to day stuff that needs doing.

  • (7) This last one is undervalued, but works wonders. There’s no way I can keep track of what I’m doing unless I’m writing daily tasks down somewhere. Sure, I can come back here and see what I did and what I plan to do, but for a stationery junkie like me, this has advantages. Either I use my regular Things-to-Do book or I get a specific notebook. Need I mention pens and highlighters?  Being organized, however you do it, is key. It’s always worked for me to be able to look at a list and tell at a glance what areas I’ve covered and where I’m slacking off.  

Now, it’s your turn. What is working for you in spreading the word about your writing? Is it your scintillating discussion on your blog? Is it advertising? And while we’re at it, what have you done lately about finding your target markets? If you’re not sure what I’m going on about when I talk about this and secondary markets, have a look at Deborah Riley-Magnus’ blog.

Have a great week reading and writing!

45 comments:

  1. Joy, I don't have much to say about marketing as I'm not as focused on that. I have noticed, however, that people are finding my blog by typing "day laughs, night cries." I don't know if it's because of my Facebook page.

    I'm quite impressed reading about the stats. Keep it up. Diaspora is a word that's used a lot - put it with other words and I guess there's magic.

    Hope everything works out -- for the best.

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    1. Blogger does carry interesting stats as it pertains to what search words bring people to our blogs. Dunno why the letter s brings people over here, but it does. :) Guess maybe from the A-Z Challenge. Who knows?

      I'm hoping to tap into the Jamaican/Caribbean market.

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  2. Twitter is great for finding your audience, too. You can type in a book or movie like yours, then start talking to people. But I'd say there's no magic elixir. Just have to keep grinding away at it.

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    1. Mary, yes, I realize there is nothing for it, but to keep slogging away.

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  3. Great tips on marketing, JL! I think Pinterest is a great site for that purpose. I've been using it to flesh out my stories into pictures, which might help people get more of a sense of whether they'd read the book or not.

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    1. Interesting, Julie, but I've been holding off on Pinterest, because I look at it as yet another thing I have to do when I'm filled to the brim already.

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  4. I'm only just beginning to learn about marketing and most of the time I feel over-whelmed. It's such an alien area for me.

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    1. If I think about taking anything more than one step at a time, I being to feel overwhelmed too. I keep reminding myself that I don't need to do everything all at once.

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  5. I've heard that facebook ads are a waste of money. Don't do it.

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  6. The real work begins after the writing. =) I'm learning as I go. Thanks for the great info.

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    1. Elizabeth, yes, I found that out after I got a publishing contract. By then, it was too late for me to do anything else but swim just so I wouldn't drown.

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  7. I'm learning a lot from reading your marketing thoughts. I did get redirected and didn't realize it until you pointed it out. I was about to mention that I liked the colors in your header :) Love the cover for Taming Celeste too.

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    1. Thanks, Rula. I'm now spending a bit of my day just looking at what people are doing and trying to get ideas for what I want to do in terms of publicity.

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  8. I'm SO taking up space in this same boat with you. I'm better organized than I was, but I'm not there yet. I think I need an old-fashioned tickler file that says "Do this (whatever 'this' is) today." I'm going to check out your links. Thanks.

    Oh, and I love your new header!

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    1. Carol, I'm in good company then. I too realize the need to be better organized. My memory is not what it was and lists have always worked for me, so I'm sticking with that. :)

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  9. Your blog is a how-to for marketing a book! Thanks for sharing your goals and knowledge!

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    1. Hi, Emily,
      I like learning new things and I do need to make a bigger push in the marketing department, so now's a good time and place as any to start.

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  10. I'm still at the honing stage rather than promoting as not published yet! I'm really enjoying your blog though and have nominated it for a Versatile Blogger Award, find out more here: http://saintlywriter.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/i-won-award.html

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    1. Thanks, Amanda~ Glad you like it over here. I'll be by. :)

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  11. Having no book to promote, I don't really have much of a marketing strategy. Thank you for sharing what you're learning/have learned about the process, though!

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    1. GE, happy to share what I'm learning.

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  12. If I ever do get books out into the world, I'm very nervous about this aspect. Marketing is tough. Putting yourself out there is tough. And it's all time consuming too. Thanks so much for sharing your process!

    Just an FYI - when I clicked on your google profile on the character depot link, it didn't direct me here - it brought me to a search engine. I had to type in your name and link to get here. I wonder if there's just a glitch because of the switch over??

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    1. Jemi, you captured the hard parts there in your first comments.

      There is probably a glitch happening somewhere. I have to look at google's 'how to' thingie to see what's going on with that.

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  13. It sounds like you're doing everything right! Best of luck with all the hard work, and I know it will pay off. The serializing a book sounds like the right idea. That's what I'm always hearing.

    Best!

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    1. Thanks. I know it's going to take time and stick-to-it-iveness and a determination not to give up.

      I figure I can still publish that book at some point even if it is serialized. There will naturally be tons of people who haven't read it.

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  14. Spreading the word about a book is easier than ever and more challenging than ever. There are social media everywhere, so authors have all kinds of tools at their disposal. However, the competition is severe, so rising above the clamor is a huge challenge, especially as a new writer on the scene. I guess the best thing to do is write one super book, then another, then another.

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    1. You're right on both counts, Clee. Never has it been easier and never has it been harder.

      I've put my mind in a place where I'm thinking 'slow and steady'. It's easy to become discouraged and slack off when my book isn't selling, but as you say, the best thing to do is to keep writing good books.

      I'm a voracious reader, so I'm also looking at all the things writers and marketing gurus are telling us will work. Knowledge is power.

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    2. Slow and steady. I vote for that. I'm so much more a tortoise then a hare. You'll do well.

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    3. Thanks. Now if only I could remember that balance is key too. Haven't written anything other than blog posts this week. :( Will try and play catch up this weekend.

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  15. Joy, I've been a quiet writer for the past 15 years, never really telling anyone I write. Now that I'm published, I've learned that word-of-mouth has been helpful in selling books. One thing that boosted sales for a (limited) time was new reviews on Amazon. Once my book is out in paperback, I need to approach the libraries and the local book store. Our area is truly supportive of local writers. But I am struggling with finding my audience. Most of the writerly people I know read YA books. My most recent release is women's contemporary (with some elements of literary fiction). It's hard. But I, too, believe organization is key. As well as follow-through. I'm like you: I tend to let things slide sometimes to my detriment. I'll be reading DISTRACTION soon and will write a post and a review. Not much, but every little things helps.

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    1. Wow! That's a chuck of time writing. I also understand your reluctance to tell people that you write.

      Good for you on the local support. I think that you have to focus on whatever is working for you. Could you get some sort of feature done in your local paper, maybe in the arts section? That would create more awareness in your area.

      I too have now fallen into the woman's fiction area based on Distraction, so I'm scouring the net and lurking around blogs that feature women's fiction. You do get tons of sites that feature YA and romance, WF, not so much. Whatever I learn, I'm happy to share with you, but what I do know is that women form a huge chunk of the readership on Amazon, etc. and I am trying to find the right combination - ads/promo/marketing that will work for me. I know there's so magic formula, so I suspect I'll be at it for a while. What I've observed is that word of mouth does wonders for a good or bad book.

      Like you pointed out, not staying on top of things is a killer. I'm determined to treat my writing as a business and as such, I have to put in the time it takes to build a solid base, just like any other business. Keep at it. I'll be on the sidelines cheering you on.

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  16. Whew Joy, you've been busy! I'm delighted to find someone else who resorts to pen and paper lists - I've tried everything electronic but keep going back to my little pads and paper. I will be interested to see the results of the ad - I've often wondered if they draw a large amount of traffic or not.

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    1. I know what you mean. I've been roped into things like Ms Outlook and other scheduling programmes, but what happens is that I set them up and then never look at them. Pen and paper are handy and sit on my desktop. They can go everywhere I go and I get such a feeling of accomplishment when I see my boxes ticked for all the stuff I've done.

      I'm not seeing much of any sales yet, but I don't know if what I have are coming from the ad I placed. I'm holding off on placing another just to see if things pick up from that and the other things I'm doing.

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  17. I am so impressed with all that you are doing. You make me feel a little guilty. ; ) I find it hard to divide the time I have available between marketing and promoting and writing the next novel. I can get so wrapped up in the marketing and promotional stuff that I don't get enough writing done. And that's not good.

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    1. It's hard to balance. I'm behind on deadlines I've set myself, but I'm learning not to stress too much. I find that when I fall behind with writing, one good sit down session gives me writing I can mould into something better. When I MUST write, I reward myself with taking breaks to check email and such, after I meet my target.

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  18. I've not published anything yet, but my mind boggles when I think of all the avenues for marketing. I don't think I would find it easy to promote myself - but I do believe that word of mouth is still the most powerful tool of all. Quality will shine through, and having read your stuff, you've got no worries on that score! Which reminds me, I need to review Don't Get Mad Get Even. I'm trying to get in the habit of reviewing whatever I read, which is new to me, but I realise more than ever how important it is.

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    1. Oh, yeah. Good thing is you have a blog up, so you already have people who are reading your stuff and will be there to support you when you're published. I still feel whorish putting myself out there, but it has to be done. I haven't gotten used to it and I suspect I never will, but it's a lot easier sitting in front of a computer screen that marketing myself in front of an audience.

      It would be cool if you could share your thoughts on the books. Had a small setback today. For some reason, Amazon is deleting some reviews off writers' books. I think they have some new policy about 'paid reviews' but I wonder how they determine that since I never paid for the ones I got and don't know most of the people who left me reviews. :(

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  19. Go, you, J.L.! This is something that stresses me out when I think about it. Even if I get picked up by a publisher I'll need to be proactive in my marketing. That's just the way it is now. Good luck!

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    1. It was way too late when I realized I needed to be working on marketing my first book. I've been playing catch up ever since. :)

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  20. Do you do any email marketing? Do you have a list of people already reading your novels and touch base with them throughout the year? Just curious. Sounds like your plan above is a good one.

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    1. Mina,

      I keep hesitating over a mailing list, which is as easy as adding the sign up field in my side bar. I keep thinking that it will be one additional thing to do - that is write a newsletter. Some writers mail me though Google, which is a good thing when there's hot news to share. I get this on Linked In. So much to do, so little time. Excellent idea, Mina. I need to stop hitching and just do it.

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  21. I'm still learning a lot about marketing and I'm glad I stopped by today.

    I didn't know Distraction is out. It's on my wishlist.

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    1. I'm still learning lots too. With technology and marketing tools changing so often, it's hard to keep up with everything we're advised to do, plus write too.

      Thanks for being so supportive!

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