1. Philsy

    Philsy Member

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    Book published. Now to publicise it...

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Philsy, Jan 4, 2017.

    I've just published a self-help book via Creatspace and KDP, and it was a straightforward process in both cases.
    However, I am under no illusions that the hard work starts now - marketing the book and getting people to know about it and, with luck, buy it.

    I've set up a blog and have been promoting the book on social media (I have a fair number of followers on Facebook and Twitter, thanks to a business I run), and have been interviewed for a podcast. But much more work is needed, and I wonder if anyone can offer some pointers.

    I have looked at Amazon adverts and promotions, and Facebook adverts, but am unsure of how effective they would be.

    Cheers

    Phil
     
  2. Brindy

    Brindy Senior Member

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    Hi, look for groups that your self-help book is related to, see if you can go and give a talk and sell books afterwards. Facebook groups often restrict self publicising to avoid people joining and not taking an active role, but they can be useful for finding areas for potential leads. Ask all your friends to share, amazing how many don't and that gets it infront if lots of people. Maybe do a give away.

    It's hard work and needs constant attention so you don't lose any momentum you get.

    Good luck with it.

    ETA: I think Amazon have quite a high minimum advert budget, so you need to be sure it's worth the risk. Facebook lets you choose a budget level so may be worth a punt.
     
    BayView and Philsy like this.
  3. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    I just recently read a blog where an author talked about the un-effectiveness of placing ads with facebook. Apparently there are some (automatic) settings that publish the ad mainly on mobile devices, and get clicked by game-players when they want incentives. Apart from that the sales from the facebook-ad were actually almost non-existent. Sorry for not explaining it better, but I am not published and I only read the blog out of cursory interest. And before you ask, no I don't remember which blog that was - sorry.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

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    Hi,

    Sounds like you need marketing strategy. Ideally you would've developed
    one before publishing, maybe done a bit of pre-launch marketing and then
    used the book launch as an opportunity. But it's okay. You can start
    developing one now. (Having said that, I re-read your post and seems you
    may have had a loosely defined strategy. If that's the case, you probably
    need to bring it all together into a coherent plan.)

    Do you have a positioning statement?
     
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  5. Brindy

    Brindy Senior Member

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    The other key thing is reviews, and that is not an easy thing to get. Even good friends who assure you they will leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, your own website frequently don't, but everytime they see you they always remember it's something they must do. I have done a few book signing events locally now and print out some of the reviews I have and leave them on the table, it's surprising how many people read them before looking at the book. I had a good run of Christmas fayres and so lots of my book were wrapped up under Christmas trees and are now in the process of being read by my target audience, so I am hoping that will kick start some sales as they tell their friends about this great book they got for Christmas :supergrin:

    This next 3 months I am focusing on sending AIS (Advanced Information Sheets) to independent bookstores, to see if I can get some on board with stocking it. I have decided to send 10 out each weekend, and see if anything comes back, I also have it being considered by one store that has 6 outlets, I'm at week 4 of the 8 weeks they tell you to allow. If I hear nothing after that - they don't want it.

    And all the while I'm writing book 2 :write: as it's really difficult just having the one book to sell and working full-time, so yeah, hard work ahead.

    So lots of options to consider.
     
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  6. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Do let us know how that turns out.

    I'm in the same boat as the original poster. My book on VW buses has been out for about two months now, and I'm still angling for reviews. (I've let some of the interest groups on social media know, and it's selling, but not as quickly as I'd hoped.) I'm also going to make it available at a big VW bus show next week, and giving away a dozen copies there to create a buzz for it. But my first book took a while for word of mouth to get around, and I doubt if this will be much faster. I'll just have to trust my audience to find it.

    As for advertising it, I'm not sure that it has proved profitable for me. If anybody actually tells me that Amazon or Facebook advertisements have made a difference, I'll listen to them, but my own experience is that it's not advertising but word of mouth that sells niche books.
     
    Brindy likes this.
  7. Daniel

    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors Founder Staff

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    @Philsy how is publicizing your book progressing?

    I think a website and/or blog is good, but unless you have an existing following or are actively reaching out to press, it won't do much good at first. I say this only so you're not discouraged if a website or blog does not directly lead to sales. You should still have one and it may generate sales in time.

    Social media is a good, but generally speaking, for it to be successful it needs to be organic. To start, I would suggest getting as many of your friends and family as possible to like your author/book page, share a status, share a link to buy the book, and or a good review and link to more information about the book. Beyond that, focus on getting people to follow your progress; people who aren't buying your book but are aware of it are future readers. Someone above mentioned Facebook groups related to your book - this can be promising, but I guarantee you that you will not be well received unless you are already an active member of that group community.

    Unfortunately, paid advertisements on Facebook are unlikely to get you anywhere. In most instances you will be spending more than you're making (by a substantial margin). If you can find out exactly who your market is - that is, your specific potential readers - it is possible to run a successful campaign after a lot of testing (several hundred dollars I suspect). Essentially what you'd need to do is run and split test different ad copies targeting different demographics. Are the Facebook users most likely to read your books fantasy readers? That may not be specific enough. Sometimes it can be an odd niche of users you wouldn't even predict, such as fans of a particular movie, people of a particular personality type, a particular hobby... not to mention age, income, sex, and geo-location.

    If I was going to advertise on Facebook I would find groups and pages where I think potential buyers/readers reside and negotiate directly with the page owner or group admin for a sticky status about your book.

    I suspect the same struggle is true for Google Adwords. I'm not familiar with Amazon advertisements, but I suspect you would have more luck with Amazon as you are already on the same sales channel and there are less steps in the sales process.

    I will say that you are on the right track with the podcast interviews. You need to focus on generating exposure and making people aware of your book. Get it in front of as many eyes as possible and a percentage will actually make a purchase. If this was me, I would focus on securing as many interviews as possible on websites, blogs, podcasts, and magazines as possible. This is best done before or right around launch. In doing this I would develop a media press kit and solicit these potential interviews. I would focus on websites and blogs since the reader doesn't have to remember the name of your book and the link to your sales page will always be there. Successful press can sometimes lead to more press.

    I believe that reviews are immensely important. Don't be afraid to ask for them. Many people have no problem leaving a review but might not even think to add it. Get your book reviewed on book review blogs, discussed on book review discussion boards and Facebook groups. Ideally such coverage will eventually lead to organic coverage on websites like Reddit and GoodReads. The key is exposure, coverage, and momentum.

    This is all just my two cents. I have not published a book myself, though I have been following digital marketing for a while.
     
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  8. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I had some success with a blind "promote this page" on Facebook, reached about 21K people, though few sales... I know for sure it reached four people in quick succession in Australia (royalties in AUD!). That may also have been also word of mouth, one bought, then three about a week or two later. Count on spending more on advertising than you will receive in sales for a while, so set yourself a budget and realistic expectations. My first month for E&D netted 40 sales on Amazon, split between paper and Kindle, and 50 sales by hand... I ordered 120 copies for book signings. My daughter got me an interview on a writers' blog, which went well, and she will post a review of my books (2) when finished. Attending various writers' conferences, always carrying copies of my books with me, just in case some one asks! And business cards. Never miss a chance to talk up the book to strangers, and give them a card. Otherwise they will only remember you as the neat person who wrote a book about something, don't remember about what. Local radio and newspaper interviews. You have to be part shameless prostitute to market your book.

    Strategy? I am winging it, open to suggestions, trying to break out of the circle of people who know me.
     
  9. Brindy

    Brindy Senior Member

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    How about trying to find some group meetings that may be interested in you being a guest speaker. A guy at work that is an ex-police dog handler and wrote his memoirs has found he sells round 15-20 books a visit.
     
  10. michaelj

    michaelj Active Member

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    It's difficult to get reviews off people I think, because not many people are willing to review self-published books. Perhaps, you could offer hardback copy and tell them how it's better than the average self-pub book? For example, professionally edited, cover etc.
     
  11. Homewriting

    Homewriting New Member

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    Wish I can offer more help than I can on how I advertise, but the truth is, I do things on a budget and still receive moderate success. Generally I just reach out through twitter, facebook, and engage people through various different places to talk about my books, or my writing works and whatnot. I'd probably find more success if I advertised, and paid a professional to market me, but so far so good!
     
  12. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    See my thread on "Boosted Face Book Posts" this page. I doubled my daily sales rate, and am selling in several countries. I have reached over a 100K people with about 5K likes, and many shares of the page. Right now, FB and Book Daily are my only advertising tools. Besides paid boosts, I post in free sites that support Kindle and Indie authors, Historical Writers of America (member and presenting seminar at Sept meeting in ABQ, with book signing there), other historical fiction sites, and Good Reads. I am not sure how effective Book Daily is for the cost, but for now I am continuing. Feel free to look at my facebook page Lewis McIntyre author. I kind of slapped it together, a bit amateurish, but maybe that makes it come across as not advertising but more of a chatty blog. It is neat to be chatting with someone in India on FB about my book!
     
  13. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Well if you have a couple grand, you could have it on a billboard sign somewhere. :p

    Idk, I am not too good at the whole advertising thing.
     
  14. SophiaWrites

    SophiaWrites New Member

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    Hi Brindy, great idea! I don't suppose you have an example of the Advanced Information Sheet, the info on it etc? In the UK, I've struggled to get my books stocked due to being with a small publisher, even though the books were on Ingram. Really would like to try again.
     
  15. Deceangli

    Deceangli New Member

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    Author interviews give you something to shout about on social media. You can pay to do one on sites like Fiverr, and there's at least one free site - profilecritics - which allows authors to do free self interviews.
     
  16. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    One thing I do is give free copies of the book as raffle prizes at events attended by people who like the subject matter. It gets the name of the book out in front of a few hundred people at very little expense to me.
     
  17. Christina Stalnaker

    Christina Stalnaker New Member

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    I have been looking at giving social media a try but also looking into other forms of promotion. I started with a short novella to get my feet wet so when I publish my other novels I will have a good idea how to get the word out. Any other specific things that have worked for anyone here would be helpful.
     
  18. r.ross

    r.ross Member

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    There are a lot of promotion sites (not sure if I'm allowed to list a few so I won't) out there that you can pay to have your book(s) featured in their newsletters, which they send out to their readers every week/month. It's relatively cost effective too. Google: ebook promotion sites.
     

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