Hello lovely, peeps, Doris here. Today I’m going to talk about Promo. I can hear you all groan now, and believe me I’m right there with you.
However, as much as I would like to adopt a head in the sand Ostrich approach to that subject, as an author, I really can’t do that. We’re expected to have an on-line presence, to interact with our fans/readers, and to shout our new releases from the roof tops.
While being on-line has never been an issue for me – self-confessed Facebook Junkie here – the whole sticking your hand out and shout, “Here, here, look at me. I’ve got this fabulous book and you MUST buy it…” Yeah, that has never been my style.
What’s more I firmly believe that constant BUY BUY BUY posts from authors tend to have the opposite effect on readers. At least they do on me. Then again, I’m a contrary so and so, and if you tell me I must do something, then I won’t do it, just because.
*stamps foot and pouts in a most juvenile manner*
On a serious note now, however, do not do that. No one likes that author who does nothing but bombard everyone with buy-my-books-posts, especially when surrounded by fancy graphics, and WRITTEN LIKE THIS.
Please stop shouting at your readers. It makes my head hurt when I see posts like that, and it does not entice me to then go and buy the book.
What does draw me in are teasers. I’ve lost count how many books I just had to buy because I read a tease on an author’s blog.
Sign up for things like #SexySnippets and #MWTease, to name the couple I do every week. They’re weekly blog hops, where a bunch of us authors get together and share something from a published work or indeed a work in progress.
Not only are they fun to do. #SexySnippets are just seven sentences for instances, but they give a sample of your writing to your readers and if they like what they read they will buy your book. All without you having to ram said book down their throat every five minutes.
The above two are just two examples. There are a ton of others out there, so find one that appeals to you, and above all, be consistent with it.
Join something like Triberr where you get together with other bloggers and share each other’s posts to increase the visibility of your blog posts.
I also chose to take part in #TantalizingTuesdays and Flash Fiction Friday(#FFF) every week. The aim here is to write a two hundred or one hundred words piece to a picture prompt, which is not as easy it sounds, but it’s fun, and I know my readers enjoy those little flashes.
What’s more many of them have evolved into full-fledged stories, so it’s a win win situation really.
You raise your profile, show readers, what you can do, and all without shouting at them to buy your book. Of course none of the above guarantees sales. Then again, nothing does, really. You could spend a fortune on marketing and still get very little in return, or you might hit the jack pot.
Then again, I have my own personal theory about that. In my experience books either sell, or they don’t, and that is regardless of how much you promo them.
Take my debut Novel Lure of the Blood, for instance. I was a brand new, wet behind the ears author, yet that book was a featured title on Bookstrand and at the top of its various categories for weeks. At the time I had no idea what it meant, even if my publisher said it was a big deal.
See, clueless. Why did this one do so well without no real promo, yet the next one in this series flopped and that was with a blog tour, paid for by yours truly? Well, who knows. I have yet to figure out why some books soar and others sink like a stone.
If you know the answer to that one then please let me know 🙂
Which brings me to the next part of this post. Paying for marketing. I’m going to outright say here, that , unless you can afford to pour a lot of money into your marketing, then don’t bother, because you will not see the return you’re no doubt hoping for.
That is not to say you should never pay for it. A well placed advert can bring you the attention of readers, earn you a few more sales, just don’t go spending a fortune, expecting to earn it back. You very rarely do.
What does seem to work, at least in the form of getting you seen, is blogging on other authors’ blog. This can be a full guest post or a simple promo pack.
Michelle Roth did a brilliant post on The Anatomy of a Promo Pack here, so I shan’t dwell on what goes in one.
Take full advantage of any free promo opportunity which presents itself, and you know, a word to the wise. Don’t be a dick about it, and do make sure you reciprocate in kind. Open your own blog to fellow authors and help them promote their work. We’re all in this together, and it only makes sense to help each other out. Besides, a daily post on your blog will keep your visibility high on those search engines, so when a reader types in your name, they can find you and your books easily.
Above all the greatest marketing tool you have, and about the only one you have control over is your writing.
Books sell books. This is very, very true. Especially in series. Every time I release a new book in a series the others in that series, get a new boost too. Even if you write standalone, however, keep on writing.
Readers have voracious appetites and they’re always looking for the next good read. Make sure there’s one of yours for them to choose from.
That’s all from me today.
Do stay naughty, folks.