1. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Senior Member

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    How to get eyes on the book

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Bakkerbaard, Jul 13, 2022.

    I'm not looking for insta-fame, or a big ad campaign. But I still haven't reached my goal of "one person I don't know".
    I've managed to emotionally blackmail about fifty people in my social circle into buying the book, but I have no clue how to get it in other people's line of sight.
    I'm on a few socials, but even after paying for some promotion to see what that would do, I just got a bunch of followers from India who don't do anything either. "Networking" and all that doesn't really help, because everyone you network with knows you're just trying to shill your wares.
    Recently tried to do the Goodreads thing, but I'm so obscure I couldn't even find my own ISBN on there. Put a request out for it on their forum, but there's more water in the sink than the drain can handle, so to speak.
    Most conventional means of promotion are saturated, and the few that might yield anything are far too expensive. A Youtube ad can run into the thousands. I'm not shy about throwing money at something that could ostensibly still be considered an elaborate joke, but "thousand" is just too many zeros at this point.

    I'm pretty sure there are a whole bunch of people here who have sold books to strangers. How?
    How do you make your book float to the top just long enough to get one sale?

    Also: What are the rules to get my over-confident ass into the Member Publications? It looks like I could just post my thing in there as I please, but that seems a little too easy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2022
  2. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    No experience (yet) in selling a book to strangers, but it seems to me that, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” [variously attributed to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Mark Twain. Twain's the oldest, so I'll go with him.].

    I doubt if it's possible for a new author to sell books using social media and Amazon or Goodreads advertising anymore (if it ever was). I'd suggest you Google 'guerrilla marketing' for some ideas.

    For example, if I had written something aimed at children or young people, I would find a list of the Top 100 Mommy Blogs and email an announcement to each about my book. Such blogs have enormous followings, and are always looking for content. A mention on even a few could result in sales you wouldn't get from Facebook ads, and you would only be out the cost of your time.
     
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  3. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Senior Member

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    I'm giving Goodreads a try because... well, why not? But I don't have high hopes. Like everybody else, I'm scrolling through whatever medium looking for content I want to see and hyper-scrolling past anything remotely ad-like. I'm sure everybody is quite competent at spotting "asshats who are selling stuff". It's like dogshit on the sidewalk. You only register it just enough to not step in it.

    Yeah, guerrilla marketing seems the best course of action. Though at the end of the line I think the real problem is saturation.
     
  4. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Contributor Contributor

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    That may be the answer right there: produce free content as a means to introduce yourself to the market. Even that will be tough, but it's easier to market something that won't cost anything. That one person you don't know will have a blast reading your pro bono novella. In the back/front matter he sees you've got a novel on Amazon. Cover's nice, blurb's compelling. You've got your sale.

    I think some self-pub authors who write series go as far as to provide the first novel for free. Sometimes they carry a fanbase over from their fan-fic days.
     
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  5. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Senior Member

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    Yup. The drug-dealer tactic. First hit's free.
    As despicable as that is, I imagine it works pretty well for books. But I'm not handing out my firstborn for free. I might get some spin-offs out for free. There are a few supporting characters who could carry a short story on their own.
    Moreover, even though the book has accidentally turned into a series, I'm having a terrible time trying to get the next one bent into shape. Best case scenario, I get up to 45k before I go "yup, this is shit too". Anyway, that's a whole other matter entirely.

    Putting free stuff out is a good idea. Soon as I manage to pump out something for that, I will do that.
     
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  6. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

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    Who's the target audience for your book?
     
  7. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    book conferences and festivals/expos (if your book is in a popular genre that has annual conferences... like the Horror Writers Association, or the Romance Writers of America, even the Science Fiction conferences like Atlanta's 'MULTIVERSE' expo.... you can get a table there).

    local events, too, like celebrations that need vendors (example: we had a local celebration here, and my coworker and i signed up to have a table there for free book give-aways courtesy of the library. our table was nothing but books and little tchotchkes. walking around, there were other tables selling things or giving away things)

    Libraries... i get a lot of postcards from local authors asking to put their books on our shelves. some libraries are thrilled to spotlight local authors. there was this author who appeared on the morning news because she's a local woman who'd written a science fiction with one of the great lake as her inspiration.
     
  8. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Senior Member

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    Err...
    Me. It's me. I wrote the book so there'd be something available that's exactly the way I like it.
    I get that it's a bit of shitty answer, but I never thought about a specific answer. I wanted to write it, and if anybody else would like it... yay. I do get positive responses from the people around me, and some of them could have chosen to say nothing if they didn't like it. I'm sure my mother is just being nice, but otherwise I have reason to believe the book isn't bad.
    The genre is basically general fiction dipped in a Douglas Adams coat of paint, though it's not space based science fiction.

    Ooh, good idea. I was planning on stopping by the local bookshop, but I have to take care of a little error in the current edition first.
    I suppose I could give the library a go too. My only real gripe, and one that's my own fault too, is that the original English version is way better than the Dutch translation, but I'll have to push the Dutch version if I want a shot at local.
    Eh. I'll burn that bridge when I cross it. Thanks for the tip.
     
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  9. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

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    Yes, this makes sense because if you like it, someone else may do too! There are many people who might enjoy your book - given the chance.

    If you can work out who it is you’re trying to reach, then promotion will become much easier (and more cost-effective).

    Congrats btw on completing a book you’re happy with — great accomplishment!
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
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  10. Bakkerbaard

    Bakkerbaard Senior Member

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    Thanks. It was basically an accident.
    I'm now trying to prove it was not a fluke, which turns out to be a lot harder. ;o)
     
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  11. Rad Scribbler

    Rad Scribbler Contributor Contributor

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    @ Bakkerbaard

    You could approach the shops in your local area; book stores, coffee houses etc and see if they won't display and offer for sale your book. You can negotiate the price you want for the book and they can add their mark-up.
     
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