Finding the Golden Nugget - Best Marketing Mix

Monday, July 9, 2012


You know how sometimes you start a project and it’s slow going and then inspiration strikes and you can’t stop writing? I had one such experience yesterday. I wrote up a storm and got all of two chapters written. Not a lot of words by some standards, but for someone who writes in dribs and drabs these days, anything over a thousand words is a major achievement.

I’ve been doing other stuff too as you’ll know if you’ve been following the posts over the last couple of weeks. I took out a Facebook ad this past week, but pulled the plug on that after a few days. I think advertising there works better for me when I’m just after ‘likes’. 


As I’ve said before, that worked well for Contraband. However, this time around, I was looking more toward sales then simple awareness. I didn’t see any movement in sales, so that was a non-starter. I think for product awareness, an interactive author page will do the job on Facebook. Contests do much to have people clicking on the page—that is, making a Facebook ‘like’ an added point to win a book, etc.

I’m getting a few more clicks on Goodreads, but as someone (I think it was Susan Kaye Quinn) commented, once you spend there, the leftover funds can carry over to another project. One of my aims is not to lose hard-earned money, so knowing when to switch tactics is key.

Something I’ve found interesting is that Twitter isn’t the place for a hard sell and yet when I do mention books on there, I get a response. However, that’s not to say I’m going to be tweeting ‘buy my book’ everyday. I have mixed feelings about that (like many of you, I’m sure). Yes, there are ways to sell without saying ‘buy this’, but it does feel vulgar and there’s no getting around that for me. It seemed to work for the freebie Don’t Get Mad…but still.

The most important lesson I’ve learned from this experiment is that it takes patience to find the right mix aka the Golden Nugget. Needless to say, I haven’t found it yet, but I’m persistent, so stay tuned.

I will be going ahead with the blog tour (as you can tell by my shiny, new badge) and have added information on that to Distraction’s page. This is going to be the most labour-intensive activity of everything I’ve done to date, but it might also be the thing that works best. Who knows? 

I’ve tried to come up with something different for the tour and will be using the theme of friendship. Why? I’ve noticed that with the reviews to date on Amazon and Goodreads, people have remarked on the strong bond these female characters share. That convinced me to make friendship the heart of the tour, rather than just doing interviews and telling people what the book is about. I believe that will make a difference because friendship is something all of us can relate to.

As to what I’ve read - How to Make a Killing on Kindle: (Without Blogging, Facebook Or Twitter). The Guerilla Marketer's Guide To Selling Ebooks On Amazon. Now there was some info in there that’s standard (good book/good cover, etc.) and then there is some other stuff that I can only remark on when I try them and see how they work. Some of the recommendations make good sense. And then there’s one thing the writer recommends that I think is unethical (from a personal point of view anyway), so I won’t go there. I’ll say more about the value the book offers when I’ve tried some of what Mr. Alvear suggests. 

So what new thing will you be trying this week – genre, hobby, story or marketing mix?








Carol Kilgore's romantic suspense novel, In Name Only, will be released today. Hop on over to her blog to catch come excitement or check out the book on Amazon.

52 comments:

  1. I think your idea of a friendship blog tour is great! The new thing I'm doing is working on an outline for my next project. I've done very rough outlines in the past, nothing more than chapter summaries really, but this time it's different. I going into much more depth.

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    1. Thanks, Bish. Outlines work great for me as well. It's a much better and organized way of working. Too often I've found that I become panicky because at the last minute I remember to continue with a thread or detail that appeared before, but wasn't completed. Outlines keep me focused too.

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  2. Thanks for the marketing info and updates. You probably know I like that sort of thing and like to keep up with what works and what doesn't--as if any of us can really ever figure it out.

    Hope I get some of those intense writing days like you had. Life keeps interfering with my writing, which I guess isn't horrible, but it does keep me from writing, which is not the best thing.

    I've got Distraction poised on my computer to begin reading, but there's this life thing...


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Arlee,
      You're right, I dunno if we'll ever have all the angles figured out, but it's fun to track what works and what doesn't. I need to go have a look, but I think I've had more than 20,000 downloads of my free book. I think to myself, now how can I convert that into sales for my other books. With the avalanche of free books, it's a wonder anybody buys stuff anymore.

      I have some leave, so I hope I get some more stuff written this week. I know how it goes with the time limits and all that has to be crammed in there.

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  3. You're probably right about friendship being one of the biggest factors in marketing. The internet has made that possible. I still hold that you have to write a darned good book to sell, then use the friendship as a platform to get the word out.

    I'm trying to catch up with my reading and Distraction is on my list, but like Arlee . . . there's this life thing and I no longer see the light at the end of tunnel. Guess that's good because I'll never run out of books to read.

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    1. Lee, you've got that right. Though I know no book is ever complete, I like to think that each book is my best one written. It's like a blot on my character to have a reviewer say my story is poorly written, not that I think it can't happen, because it has. I remind myself that reading choice is subjective.

      I believe that if I'm asking friends to stand behind something I've written, then it better be darned good. :)

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  4. Everybody has a friend and people like to know how their friends are doing. The theme is excellent. It is universal. It will get attention.

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    1. Thanks, Peaches, and what has amazed me about the writing/blogging journey is that I've found friends in so many places.

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  5. I think the friendship tour is a great idea. People like to meet and relate to each other.

    I tried Facebook advertising and pulled the plug pretty quick on that one, too. My fan page is pretty successful, but Facebook has fixed it that so only a small percentage of those people see your posts unless you pay per click. I am disappointed in that.

    Anyway, great post and very helpful!

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    1. Yes, I think that friendship is something we've all experienced and so can relate to the ups and downs.

      At this stage, I can't afford to lose any money, so keeping a close eye out and making quick decisions are important. Thanks for dropping in.

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  6. I like the idea of friendship as a theme. Who can't relate to that? You're putting a lot of time and thought into this, J.L. I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

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    1. Hi, Emily,
      I wanted to do something a little different, which meant putting on my thinking cap. I'd be bored silly doing interviews anyway. :)

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  7. It sounds like you're working really hard to increase your book sales. Good luck with that. As for friendship, I agree with everyone. It's a great idea.

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    1. I like researching stuff, so it's been interesting reading different books and articles to see what has worked for others.

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  8. Thanks for sharing those marketing tips, J. L. Yes, it does take time to find that "golden nugget." But when you find it, it will be so sweet. :)

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    1. I think I've laid the groundwork by writing to my usual standard, if not better. I guess we'll see.

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  9. When people constantly shout at me on Twitter that their book is for sale, I tend to tune them out. Establishing relationships of mutual respect first goes a long way I think when it comes time to promote a novel. So, yes, I like the idea of your friendship book tour, and good luck!

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    1. True that. I tend to look past the tweets telling me what books are on sale. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  10. WOW! A fountain of good information here. Wonderful!
    And I love the friendship theme. Briliant thinking.

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    2. Thanks, Leigh. I figure the tour will go well. I've asked a range of persons whose blogs/thoughts/subjects I find interesting

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  11. I would love to promote you! Email me on how I can do it. :) I'm kind of new to some of this stuff.

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  12. Joy, You always have such great information on your blog. I appreciate your experiences and your sharing of them with us. I am ready to drop the price of my book to see if it boosts sales. In the meantime, I am trying to finish a first draft of one of my manuscripts that I shelved for awhile. This, while I wait for feedback on my completed YA.

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    1. Sounds like you're keeping busy. I'm no expert, so I really don't know if dropping the price helps with sales. Some people have seen results from doing that and some haven't. The only thing I'd say is that if you drop the price, then it would be sensible to push as hard as you can to let people know that you're doing it.

      A friend of mine said her first KDP free promo didn't work, but she only realized her mistake afterward. She didn't let enough people know that she was putting the book out there for free and what days she'd be doing it.
      Another thing she did was to change her cover and blurb, which worked well for her.

      I'm not suggesting anything this radical for you, just sharing some of the stuff I'm picking up from other writers.

      Like everybody else, it's just testing to see what might work for you. What I need to do in the next couple of weeks is find people who read women's fiction and who might enjoy my book. I'll definitely let you know what I find out. Have you had a look at the World Literary Cafe site yet?

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  13. I'll be learning how it feels to have a Release Day all my own. Tomorrow! I can't wait :)

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    1. Carol, as I said earlier today, your excitement is catching. Have fun!

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  14. To be honest, I thought the Facebook ad thing was a bad idea. I've just heard from other websites and authors that did that, that Facebook's ability to market books is really terrible. I just go with goodreads. I don't have any other books available as I'm a dreadfully slow writer so my ad campaign will just run until it's out of money. I get a few clicks here and there. I probably should change up the copy on it, but I'm lazy. I figure if the cover doesn't grab them, nothing that I say in the few characters beneath it will make much of a difference.

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    1. You did say it, Mike. It works if all you're after is clicks with the hope that people will be interested enough to check out the book, but otherwise I didn't see any movement in sales at all and I don't have an unlimited budget to let it run for a week or more to see if anything would have changed.

      I suppose Goodreads is smart in the way it locks you into spending a particular amount. I haven't thought about changing the copy yet. As well, I guess I could move the funds over to another project, if that's allowed.

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  15. Thanks for the mention here. I appreciate it very much :)

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    1. No problem. I figure every little bit helps.

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  16. Loving your series of posts on advertising. That sounds like an interesting book you're reading.

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    1. Thanks, Clarissa. It does have some stuff I'd like to try.

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  17. Marketing is tough but essential when selling and promoting a book. Best of luck.

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  18. I agree with the friendship theme. It sounds like a lot of work, but the blog tour should be great. I'll be sure to check it out in August and September.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia,
      It hasn't been overwhelming so far. I think the part that will prove challenging is keeping up with comments and making visits once I get to the tour dates. All I have to do now is write the stuff and I should have enough time to do that. Reading your book now BTW.

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  19. Like many others who have commented, I think you're on the right track focusing on the friendship angle.
    It's clear that you're working very hard at this promotion business. I really appreciate that you're sharing the journey. It's interesting and I'm learning much through your posts. Thanks!

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    1. No worries, Cynthia. I learn stuff all over the place, so I figure I can put it down somewhere so that it doesn't get lost. I remember being overwhelmed when I first realized I'd have to do my own promotion after I signed the book contract.

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  20. Ugh. Marketing. That's a savvy thing that scares me. Lots. Good luck. And thanks for talking about what works and what doesn't. By the timey you're done, you can write a book! ;)

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    1. It challenging to figure out what works and what doesn't. This time, I'm determined to find out the things that are of value to me promotion-wise.

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  21. I'm looking forward to having you on my blog during the tour! It's always good to try something different to catch attention, and the friendship angle is a good idea.

    It's also great that you're still making progress on the writing. Two chapters in a day is awesome! :)

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    1. Thanks, Nick. I'm looking forward to that too. Stay-at-home vacation time is great. I got another two chapters finished today. Mind you, these are only 1200 words a piece. Trying to see if I can get another one in by day's end.

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  22. Hi Joy. I'm looking forward to your blog tour. I think it's good to have bloggers plugging your book for you on blogs rather than pushing your own book all the time. Readers who like your book and write reviews in all the right places must help.I like to read reviews before I buy.
    I'm enjoying reading Distraction.

    Denise

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    1. Hey, Denise,
      I'm looking forward it too. It will certainly be different writing around the theme of friendship. I've been putting something together around the characters in the book and it's like revisiting old friends.

      I also think it makes a difference to not be blowing my own trumpet. Of course, I believe I've written a good book, but I'd also like other people to find out without me telling them. :)

      Like you, I read reviews before I buy, the bad ones help me determine whether or not to buy. Reading through them, I can usually tell whether or not those who left low reviews have read the book.

      Glad you're enjoying Distraction!

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  23. I'm looking forward to your blog tour, Joy! Oh i envy your stay at home vacation. :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Hi, Nutshcell,
      Thanks. Being at home helps me remember what writing is all about. I've written more than 10k words since the week started. Can't say when was the last time that happened. :) I think I'll do it again later in the year. I certainly have enough vacation time.

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  24. patience is definitely key for effective networking and marketing.

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    1. I guess people do get discouraged when nothing they tried yields immediate results, but something to remember is that as writers, we're in this for the long haul. That helps put things in perspective.

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  25. So much is changing with this industry, it's kinda hard to predict. I think you're going about it the right way though. If you're open to me being a part of the book tour, I'd love to help. Let me know. :)

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    1. Thanks, Mina. I'd be happy to stop at your blog on the tour. I'll email you.

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  26. Thanks for all the great info!

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Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you think.