Home Forums Fiction Writing General Writing Discussions Marketing and platform: what's the best approach?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Daeus 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #5149

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    Hello everyone,

    If you really care about your book, you’re going to want people to read it. Whether you like it or not, the only way to get your book out to the crowd is careful marketing. As I mentioned in another thread, the time to start working on your list of marketing platforms is now. It is vital to start thinking now, but it is even more vital to think creatively. I have two questions I want everybody’s input on for marketing and platform.

    1. What are some ways you could market your book to the public? There are no wrong ideas here. This is just for brain storming.
    2. What are the most effective or original ways of marketing your book.

    I’ll go ahead and start with an idea for question two. I think the best way to market your book, is to focus your marketing on those who already like your writing. If nobody knows about you, you need to make sure that they do. I plan to start a blog soon to release poems, short stories, etc to the public. Whenever I finish my book, I will notify my readers who will be the most likely people in the world to be interested. Getting readers for a free blog will be much easier than getting readers for a book, but the switch from one to the other is very smooth.

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    #5150

    Rosey Mucklestone
    @writefury
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 467

    I self published and haven’t sold a ton of my books. But I sold quite a few setting up a “Local Author” bookstand at our town’s street fair. I do wish I had business cards then, but… oh well. Next time. 😛
    Also it’s good if you have a blog to do promotional sort of things on there. Character interviews, book excerpts and such. And, on the blog topic, virtual book tours are extremely helpful.

    #5179

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    Please explain what you mean by “virtual book tour”.

    Local events, a good idea. I hadn’t thought about that.

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    #5180

    Natalee Jensen
    @natalee-jensen
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 40

    Social media has created such a large platform it would be stupid not to use it. I have a small (as in super duper minuscule) knitting business and it is run solely off of Facebook (my social media sight of choice). Since we are in the 21st century and our society and culture is very made up of the internet…writers (and all business people really) should be jumping relentlessly on this opportunity left and right.

    #5182

    Rosey Mucklestone
    @writefury
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 467

    Ditto Natalee.

    And a virtual book tour is sort of like creating a blog chain for your book. Recruit a bunch of blogs to put up a review of your book, or an excerpt, something like that. Then pick a day for it all to go up, and link it all on your blog.
    Examples
    Tales of Faith: Book Tour!
    3… 2… 1… Launch!

    #5184

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    social networking sites are a tremendous opportunity, but what is the best way to use them for marketing a book? I don’t really have any experience in this area.

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    #5186

    Natalee Jensen
    @natalee-jensen
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 40

    If I were you, I would set myself up a Facebook page and an email address (that you don’t mind sharing with the world). Facebook pages are free, they are like a website, and offer the opportunity to interact with all of Facebook world. You simply create a page (I would create it under the name of my book or under the name of YOU as the author), upload a profile picture, and tell people what you are all about. It’s a pretty self-explanatory process, it just takes a little time and effort to get it done. Once completed, tell ALL of your friends about it, tell them to tell their friends, and their friends to tell their friends, and etc. Pretty soon, you’ll see the likes and views stacking up on your page. If you are planning on doing this, I can offer some more information from my experience…I was just hoping to get the vague idea across in my blurb here.

    #5188

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    Do you think that would help you reach a larger audience than if you had a normal website? Could it still be useful even before your book comes out?

    I’m going to add a more detailed question. When using poster style advertisements, like the type you see on billboards, web adds, or magazine adds, what are some ways to set your book apart from the rest? I would suggest such things as exceptional art work (hire a pro to do your front cover. Its that important), an especially exciting or intriguing excerpt from your book, a link/qr code directing curious people to your website where you can offer more details and alluring excerpts and/or reviews, and good reviews from influential people (I would pick the review based which reviewer the audience would be most familiar with.)

    I would also like to mention the tremendous opportunity of YouTube. When you publish your book, make the most quality advertisement for it you can, and post it on YouTube. The most worthless videos on there tend to have thousands of views. Put something interesting on there and, who knows, you may have tens of thousands view it. If just 1% buy it, that is over 100 sales for just a simple video.

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    #5189

    Natalee Jensen
    @natalee-jensen
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 40

    If I were you, I’d have both a regular website and a Facebook page. So many people like the convenience of social media. Instead of clicking onto a website every time they want to see if there’s an update, you can just scroll through your Facebook feed and see what this author has to say in form of update.

    — are you familiar with Facebook? Such as, do you have an account?

    #5192

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    I’ve never used Facebook, or any other social media site for that matter.

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    #5193

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3928

    We’re in the same boat there! This is the only such site I have ever been a part of, and I don’t know whether you’d consider this social media. Frankly, I just don’t have time. I seem to be consistently short of that… 😛


    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    This thread needs to be awakened. Has anyone here ever published a book before? I know at least some of you have. If so, could you tell us about the marketing approach you took.

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    #5548

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    Say, I just read that it can be good to advertise your book on Pinterest. Problem, I have no idea how to use Pinterest. Anybody able to advise me on this?

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    #5551

    Daniel Thompson
    @daniel-leinad-thompson-2-2-2
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 37

    Any marketing these days has almost got to be as creative as the book itself. The more formulaic the marketing, the less impact it seems to have, at least in my experience.

    This also has to be paired with low expectations. Self-published books very rarely make lots of money, so you can’t quit your day job. And that’s okay, especially at this early stage, and with how cheap it is to self-publish these days. I read a statistic from 2006 that said that the average self-published book sells 500 copies; I don’t know what today’s statistic is.

    But for marketing, you might want to either play directly to whatever audience you have already, or go crazy and try to gather an audience based on the artistic, creative merit of your marketing. The latter is something I’m really wanting to experiment with, because I think it holds the most promise. You want to determine what type of people read the type of stuff you’re writing, and then aim your marketing SPECIFICALLY to them. It’s not about dragging the non-fiction-reading 50 year olds to your Pirate Adventure, but about getting your story to the people who love Pirates Adventures.

    At least, that’s how I understand it based on my current studies. Marketing is a fickle thing; it’s hard to nail down any real rules for it.

    #5562

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 4156

    But I will lay down some rules anyway, just cause I’m that way. Note I don’t think I need to mention the importance of writing you book really well. Nobody will refer a poorly written book. I also think every author should at least try to get a publisher (as long as they’re a good one) just to give them that extra presence. Whether you have a publisher or not though, you need to advertise yourself. So, my rules.

    Rule 1: The internet rules
    Rule 2: If you think there’s more, you don’t understand what rules means.
    Rule 3: If all else fails, its because its not the internet.

    With these two rules in mind, let me put forth the marketing strategy I plan to use.

    The center of everything is a blog. The blog is a trap where unsuspecting readers get addicted to your writing and give you your email in exchange for literature so you can advertise your book to them when it comes out. My model is to have a few poems, short stories, etc available to the general public just to get them interested, and then have them create an account so they can have access to the rest of my writing. I will try to publish a new poem, short story, or novel chapter every week or two to keep them interested. When anything new comes out, I will send them an email notification. When my book is out or about to come out, I will email them. I think a lot of people will be interested in receiving free literature. Did I mention it’s free? The only thing is to get them to come to my blog in the first place. That’s where the second facet of my strategy comes in … THE INTERNET!

    The way to get people to know about your page on the internet is to let them know about it on all the other pages. So …
    .Get every blogger friend, or acquaintance, or friend of an acquaintance/friend to advertise your blog on their blog.
    .Submit some of your works to other literature sites (or magazines, etc) with a link back to your blog if they want to read more.
    .Advertise your blog as much as possible on every social media sight conceivable.
    .Use Youtube! Seriously, don’t some of the most worthless not even funny videos on there get thousands of views? So record yourself reading one of your best pieces in a dramatic and exciting way and then post it on there with an invitation to read more at your blog. Do this a couple times and you might add a few hundred readers to your list. Some might tell their friends. (Speaking of which, do everything you can to get your readers to tell their friends.)
    .Make relevant comments on other literature related sights and include a link to your blog in your post.
    .Maybe even pay for a web add to your blog.

    Of course, if you do happen to be talking with someone in real life, you can tell them about your blog that way too, but that is not to be your focus. The internet is your focus.

    If you start with this blog thing a year or more before your book comes out and if you advertise it enough, you may have thousands of readers already dying to read your book even before it comes out. Then – you publish it! (angels singing) Now comes the real marketing. You need to do a few things. First, use all the internet venues you’ve already been using to advertise your book. Make sure you submit it to as many book review blogs as possible. They will advertise it for you (just be careful not to send it to any cynical bloggers). You will also wan’t to do a virtual book tour. Next, email your readers several times to show them how great your book is and why they should buy it. I think its safe to assume most of them will make the purchase since they are already fans.

    So, they get the book. They read it. They love it. What then? Well, if they really love it they will tell all their friends about it. Let’s not take any chances though. We wan’t everyone to advertise that book, so … THE INTERNET! Amazon has this thing where if you advertise a product on there, you can earn a cut when someone buys it. Put a big note in your book to your readers that they can advertise your book and earn money when people buy it. It’s called their affiliate program. So now your readers are going to be hunting down new readers to earn a little cash or just because they love it that much. What are those new readers going to hear about when they get your book? Your blog!

    “Whahaha! you can’t escape my advertising you helpless readers.”

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