1. mattcallanan

    mattcallanan New Member

    Apr 22, 2012
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    Portsmouth, United Kingdom

    Promotion for kindle/ebook short story - help needed

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by mattcallanan, May 16, 2012.


    I published a short story onto Amazon and lulu last night and would like to find out the best ways to market this without having to pay out.

    I hate the fact that there is a price limit, I was hoping to put it on for like 10p, but no luck. I doubt anybody would buy it without promotion and it's a shame because the feedback I have had for it is really good, I just don't know how to do it (outside of FB and twitter).

    Can anyone help?
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You have run into one of the reasons NOT to self-publish.

    Next time, submit to magazines that handle that genre.

    Note: You may not market it on this site.
  3. Edward M. Grant

    Edward M. Grant Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2012
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    Send it to blogs who review stories.

    Write more. The more stories you have, the more likely people are to find you.

    As mentioned, next time submit to a few paying markets first. Pro markets typically pay a couple of hundred dollars for a story, so if you can sell it to one that's the equivalent of several hundred e-book sales at $0.99 a time.
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Dec 30, 2010
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    What's the price limit?

    If you had such good feedback, why on why did you go the self-publishing route? Have a some faith, a publishing house may have taken it. But you've given that one up now...

    Without having to pay out - you should've been more realistic and thought about this more before you went ahead and published it. Of course you'll have to pay out. Don't you know advertising is one of the biggest industries around? Why do you think that is? Because everyone's competing for space and attention - and you think someone's gonna do this for you for free?

    Ok, lecture over. Now, strategies.

    1. Facebook fan page
    Get every last one of your friends to join.
    Go through different FB groups that contain your target audience. Say, if it's a fantasy novel, you may wanna go to a "fantasy books group" or "Terry Goodkind fan club" or "LOTR fan club" kinda groups. Either explain to the creator of the group your situation and ask if he would kindly do you the favour of promoting it amongst his members, or "like" the group and drop a message and link on their page.

    2. Youtube
    Create professional-looking promo video and start spamming it across related channels. Say, if there was a video about a similar theme to your book, or the same genre, post it under "related links" or as a comment.

    3. Start your own blog
    - Blog about your writing
    - Next, find relevant blogs that write about similar subjects to your own blog and book.
    - When writing on your own blog, insert other well-liked bloggers who preferably have a huge readership into your own blog posts as hyperlinks.
    - Now, go on that blog whom you've linked to and let the blogger now that you linked them in your blog. Usually bloggers will return the favour - build a rapport with these bloggers. They'll start visiting your blog and when they see something good, they'll return the favour and link you in their blog and then BAM you have thousands of their readers leaking into your blog, where of course, you're promoting your book.

    4. Flyers and readings?
    - Is there a cafe who might allow you to do a reading in their cafe?
    - Is there a band that plays in a cafe or pub who might allow you to slip in 5-10min of your reading in between their songs?
    - Print some flyers and start passing it out on the streets, perhaps right outside good book shops. Check the legal requirements for this though - you might need a license, but likely no one will catch you anyway.

    5. Book fairs and Writing Fests.
    - I've never been to one, but could be a good promotion location.

    6. SEO
    - In your book, your blurb, your synopsis - every last word related to your book and every last page on your book - check that everything contains key words. That is, what kind of words might someone from your target group of readers type into Google if they were looking for something to read? What specifically links the search to the genre and theme of your book, or even title? With the right key words, you have a higher chance of popping up when someone googles something related to your book. But SEO is quite a skill - companies often pay professionals for SEO for their websites.

    7. What else might your target audience enjoy reading, doing, watching? Link to these on your blog or website to attract viewers.

    8. Start posting short stories etc on other writer sites - often there will be editor's choice and votes etc on those sites and you'll get a tonne of people reading and reviewing your work. You build a small fan base that way. Once your reputation is strong, promote the book you've published.

    9. Hand out free copies to everyone you know, and to any professionals who're willing to take it. Accompany this with some kind of freebie like a Mars bar or a bag of skittles. Most people would come to take a copy for the sake of the freebie.

    10. Run to every local book store you have and beg for a tiny spot in the bottom corner of their shelf right at the back beside all the dusty tomes and hope for the best.

    I'm outta ideas I'm afraid...
  5. prettyprettyprettygood

    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

    Sep 8, 2011
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    There was a story in my local paper this week, which was essentially an advert for a woman who has self-published a novel. It might be worth contacting yours to see if they'd be interested, particularly if you can think of an interesting angle for them- your stories are related to the area, you're writing to raise awareness of a cause etc. Be prepared to have a cheesy photo of yourself taken though :p
  6. bo_7md

    bo_7md New Member

    May 15, 2012
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    This is a hard question to answer without linking a website of some sort. There are websites that help marketing your book for a fee, I don't mean Publicists. They put ads and provide links on their website, with millions of followers/readers who visit them. Charges are different depending on what method of advertising you pick and the period.

    otherwise, what Mckk mentioned should be enough for you to get started free of charge.

    Google is your friend
  7. words

    words Banned

    Apr 23, 2012
    Likes Received:
    The trouble is, the "no publish on this site policy" means we cannot see what kind of story it is or was, so we are shooting blind.

    Just to add to the list above...

    Facebook PPC can be cheap...but you cannot (in the sense of it will not work) advertise a book a story that way. What you would need to do is set up a page along the lines of say "I love <that genre>", use the right kind of ad PPC to get people to like it ( a skill in itself), then promote your story along side your own posts on the wall. Indirect, but facebook is not about adveritising it is about stimulating emotion and interest.

    Surprisingly perhaps, I have put the whole of a book online onto a website, that people have downloaded for (low) $ : get them interested freee, and the convenience makes them want to buy.

    BTW - Google PPC will not work from search clicks are too expensive, but I have advertised (non fiction) using placement ads ppm on the kind of site that has my kind of readership: much cheaper to do than search, so pennies per visitor, then it all comes down to metrics.

    From the list above, don't try to SEO anything until you know it converts. SEO is not cheap whoever does it.
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Ohio, USA
    Promotion is a difficult thing, especially as you've entered one of the tens of thousands (or more) of the self-published vying for attention. While self-publishing is a viable option, realizing that just 'getting it out there' won't be enough is something many come to realize after the fact.

    Others have given advice for you to consider.

    I'll ask: How do you find new stories, especially the type and genre of your story? That might clue you into an area to focus on and expand upon. You'll have a good chance of connecting with potential readers of similar interest.

    In truth, there is not easy way or magic bullet of promotion/marketing. And what works spectacularly for one may not do so for the next. Good luck as you move forward.
  9. Michipanda

    Michipanda Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Likes Received:
    East Coast
    I'm just dropping on this form, but many thanks mckk because I, myself, was thinking of self-publishing and looking for different strategic tactics in advertisement. Your advice has helped me greatly.
  10. Inquisitor Ehrenstein

    Inquisitor Ehrenstein New Member

    Apr 23, 2013
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    Right after you publish a book with a major distributor like Amazon, and possibly Apple or maybe Google, it will show up on a list of new books, so you have instant limited marketing that way. After that, you'll need to work on marketing it. Don't worry about the initial problem; once you get over it, it will go a lot faster.
  11. Kelvin F

    Kelvin F New Member

    May 6, 2013
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    You can start by opening a GoodReads account and promoting your book there.

    You can also buy some SEO services. Use Google itself and key in 'SEO service'. The top listing is Google-verified, hence is that much more trustworthy.

    You can also post ads on relevant writing/book blogs. Again Google something relevant: Book Blog Ads, Book Reviews etc.

    You can also find people who can help you with a great number of tasks on outsourcing sites such as Fiverr. These range from Mommy bloggers, to copy writers to advertising professionals.

    Hope that helped!



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