Category Archives: marketing

Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Write And Sell: 5 Social Media Tips For Book Marketing

Oh the horror… Many authors hate book marketing, and they aren’t that keen on social media either. Authors want to write, and leave everything else to others.

Would that we could. That would be the best of all worlds. Sadly, even if you have the money to pay a good publicist, you’re better off doing most of your marketing yourself. No one knows your novels (and nonfiction books) as well as you do.

You’ll learn a great deal from marketing too. This helps your writing.

So — is social media useful, or useless, for book marketing?

Social media marketing: slow growth, then a healthy, ongoing harvest

Important: be aware that NO form of marketing is an ATM machine.

I posted about visibility on the freelance writing blog:

… (some) writers think of marketing in terms of “launches”. That is, they believe that marketing is something that you do for a few weeks a year whenever you have something new to promote.

… It works for a lucky few. For the vast majority of writers however, launches produce a tiny number of sales or none at all.

Look at marketing in general, and social media in particular, as a cumulative process. Just because no one’s bought your book in a week, after you posted on Twitter FIVE times, it doesn’t mean that no one’s seeing your tweets. (Try posting something stupid, and the instant response will provide a quick reality check. :-))

A reader may need to see mention of your book several times before he clicks through to your book’s product page on Amazon or elsewhere.

Now let’s look at the tips.

1. Invest in assets: create or buy great images

Images sell — seriously.

I know we’re all about the words, but people can’t read your words if they’re not paying attention. You grab their attention via images.

2. Create a plan to build your audience, reader by reader

Social media is social. You attract readers individually.

When you’re just starting out (and afterward too) think in terms of small wins. One response to a tweet; a like on your Facebook page… two followers on Pinterest.

3. Leverage others’ audiences with great content

Guest posting on other authors’ blogs used to be super-effective. Now, not so much. However, it’s still valuable. Leverage others’ audiences to grow your own.

4. Write and promote: promote your books before publishing day

You publish your book, and then promote it, yes?

No — if you do that, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build anticipation and readers before you publish.

I gave you a mini marketing campaign for social media on this post. Use that as a template to create your own publishing plan; start when you start writing your book.

5. The 80/ 20 rule: remember to promote your books on social media

Marketing on social media is a balance. If every post you make is promotional, you’ll never sell. On the other hand, if you’re too shy to sell, you’ll sell a lot fewer books than you could.

The 80/ 20 rule is popular in social media marketing. That is, for every four items you post, one is promotional. The other items provide information or entertainment.

You don’t have to adhere slavishly to the rule, but do remember that you’re marketing on social media to sell books.

Onward — book marketing on social media works if you do. 🙂

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

Blurbs Sell Your Books: Craft Irresistible Blurbs, And Sell More Fiction And Nonfiction Today

eBook: $5.99
You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell. More info →
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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly. More info →
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Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Self-Publishing Success With Social Media: 4 Content Curation Tips

Self-Publishing Success With Social Media: 4 Content Curation Tips

Hate blogging? Some authors do. I love it because it’s so easy — I’m writing anyway, so why not blog?

Of course, blogging is just one form of social media. You can use social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about your books too.

Eliminate social media panic with content curation

Sometimes when I mention blogging to a self-publishing author (because blogging is easy, cheap, and effective) they panic. But I don’t know what to blog about…

Consider this. Social media is social. You can post others’ content as well as your own. When you find and share others’ great content, this strategy is known as content curation.

1. Find great content and share it: content curation builds authority

One of the biggest benefits of content curation is that it can help you to build your authority as an author.

Here’s how it works. Imagine for a few moments that you’re an author who publishes cozy mysteries. You’ve written three mysteries about your heroine, a retired military dog handler who lives in a small English village. You want to use content curation to promote your cozies.

Start by thinking about who might buy your books. Make a list. Your list could include:

  • Readers who love cozies;
  • Readers who love dog books;
  • Fans of various authors who write books similar to yours…

Next, think about the type of content those readers might enjoy. In other words, get into the mindset of your ideal reader, and make a list of that reader’s interests.

Your ideal reader’s interests will guide you when you’re curating content. Your curated content could include material on topics as disparate as English cricket, recipes for dog food, and Agatha Christie.

Of course, while you’re happily curating others’ content, don’t forget to share promotions for your own books too.

2. Use tools to help you to curate content (some tools are free)

There are many, many social media tools you can use for content creation.

While content curation is possible without tools, tools like Buffer make it easier. Buffer is a social media sharing app which can automate sharing; it has a free plan, so it costs you nothing to get started.

3. While curating, remember your goals — it’s easy to lose sight of them

Unfortunately, social media can become a HUGE time sink, as I know to my cost, so remember your goals.

Your primary goal is to promote your books. Since a goal without a deadline is merely a dream, set goals with deadlines.

For example:

4. Use strategy when choosing your content curation sources: you never know who’s reading

Sharing your content discoveries takes minimal time — finding and reading content takes a lot of time. That said, you’re probably reading for entertainment anyway.

You may already have a list of websites and blogs you follow, so make your content choices strategic.

Let’s say that you’d love to have your cozy mysteries featured on Blog A. Why not share content from Blog A for a few weeks? Of course, there’s no guarantee that Blog A will review your upcoming mystery… on the other hand Blog A may do that.

If Bog A doesn’t, another blog or website might take note of what you’re posting, and get in touch.

In short, content curation is a way of winning friends and influencing people. Who knows, you may share content from a literary agent, and that agent, or another may contact you.

Onward… Try content curation. It’s fun, and it can be a powerful tool in your book marketing arsenal.

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly. More info →
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Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

$5.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.

Self-Publishing And Promotions: 3 Vital Book Advertising Tips

Self-Publishing And Promotions: 3 Vital Book Advertising Tips

Book advertising is the latest hot trend in self-publishing, so let’s look at some tips which may help you to make money, or at least, prevent you from losing money.

Over the past few months I’ve been chatting with authors who use many different forms of advertising.

Here’s a good list of paid and free advertising venues from Reedsy. Results vary, as you might expect. There’s a reason that many authors just toss their books into KDP Select; it saves time, advertising-wise.

Of course “free” is authors’ most popular form of advertising.

Book advertising: does “free” still work?

“Free” will always work. But you need to be careful with it.

As I said in Book Marketing And Freebies: How To Escape The Tyranny:

If freebies aren’t working for you, for whatever reason, stop offering freebies. Simple.

We’ve got more on freebies below, in our second tip.

Let’s look at three tips which will help you to navigate the choppy waters of book advertising for self-publishers.

1. Know your ROI (Return On Investment): it may not be money

You need a reason for whatever you’re doing in advertising. If you’re marketing a book, you want to:

  • Sell copies; or
  • (If you’re using your free days in Select) Bump your book up in the rankings on Amazon so that you get greater visibility; or
  • Do a little branding; you want readers to become familiar with your name.

Here’s a step by step process to go through before you advertise

  1. Decide that you want, and set a goal, with a time limit;
  2. Decide how much money you want to invest;
  3. Have a way of tracking your ad spend and sales, so that you can see whether you’re making money, or are losing money.

As we suggested above, you may not be after direct sales. You may want to familiarize readers with your work. So, if you drop some money on Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) for a book and lose money, it will still hurt, but at least you’ve achieved your goal of becoming a little more visible.

2. Know what you’re doing with freebies: have a REASON for your freebie

I’ve spoken with several authors who were giving thousands of books away — with zero sales.

Unbelievable, right? I kid you not. My mantra for these authors, and for YOU if you’re taking this freebie thing way too literally is: “I SELL BOOKS”.

I know that online forums are packed with authors for whom freebies work, but think for a few moments about how free samples work in everyday life.

Let’s say you’re shopping at your local supermarket. It’s a Friday, a big shopping day. People from several food manufacturing companies are offering free samples. You can nosh on King Island Brie, plus a new sourdough bread; in addition, you can sample a new chocolate.

Think about what’s happening here. Does the King Island person offer you an enormous brie, the size of a dinner plate? Nope. You get a small teaspoon-sized wedge. What about the sourdough person? Does she hand you a sandwich? Nope. You get a tiny slice, the size of a spoon. The chocolate person offers you a square of chocolate, not a chocolate bar.

Sales people who offer free samples offer small samples, and the sample people are at a store for a day; or at most, a couple of days.

Sticking with our freebies in the shopping mall example. Go for a wander around the mall in your imagination. Here’s a bookshop. Excellent…

Look for the freebies in the bookshop. What’s that? There aren’t any? Well, fancy that. Ask the sales person what’s free today — she might give you a bookmark that a publishing company offers to promote its latest (they hope) hot seller.

You can stroll around the mall all afternoon. You won’t find full-sized anything for free, and while some stores have free samples, the samples are small, and they’re available only for a few hours.

3. Test and go slowly in book advertising: what works for others may or may not work for you

I adore advertising, because I’m a veteran copywriter. I read the ads in magazines as diligently as I read the content. I even read junk mail.

However, when it comes to spending money on advertising, I’m frugal, because you never know what will work for YOU. Yes, people can tell you that they made $5,000 last month on Facebook ads on a $500 ad spend.

That’s them. Your mileage will be different. You may be promoting a book in a different genre. Facebook may tinker with its algorithm, and offer your ad to people who’d never buy your book.

So, in book advertising, as in all advertising, go slowly, and test the waters. Try a small ad, for one book. Watch your numbers: how many sales did you make which are directly attributable to the ad?

Let’s say you use a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising network. You make a ROI of 500% — you spent $100 and got $500 back. Magic — you decide to ramp up your advertising significantly. STOP. Please don’t do that. Increase your ad spend slowly, always slowly.

Here’s a rule of thumb for PPC. You don’t know what will work until you get at least 300 clicks. (Unless you’re paying $5 per click. In that case, kill the ad as soon as you become unprofitable.)

Book advertising works best when combined with other promotions

I know many authors who focus solely on advertising to promote their books. They have a mailing list, but only post when they release a new book. It works for them. For whatever reason — their book hits exactly the right tropes for a genre, or they already have a following — they sell.

In general however, paid and free book advertising works best when it’s combined with other marketing, such as blogging and social media, for example.

Good luck with your promotions, and please be wary of “free.” 🙂

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99
In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams. More info →
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Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
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Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check out Angela’s books for writers.