Marketing Ideas Galore

IMG_4747You may recall that several months ago I made a vow to really pull out all the marketing stops for my new release. I was thinking BIG. I told my husband I might have to break into my 401K and I didn’t care. Frankly, I wanted to give the book it’s best shot and spend money. Well, I didn’t want to spend money, but I was prepared to do so in the hope of my book being read by actual people. It only took ten books for me to realize I had to step up and “treat my writing as a business” as one marketing article says. I don’t know who, it was on Twitter and you know how easy it is to get lost on Twitter with all the RTs and links and so forth.

IMG_4746So I read that article. Plus three books. Plus the entire marketing plan my trusted publicist, hired just for this campaign, had written. I participated in a book marketing class online. With the marketing plan, I didn’t just read it, I took all the actions. Mostly online so far. The online part is easy but I shall be going out in the world and doing things. I already have. I went to the print shop and made nice copies of the sell sheet Dora designed. I plan to visit the bookstores she recommended and go to a conference, the biggest conference ever.

Bouchercon is the biggest mystery writing conference in the world. I’ll be flying from Michigan to Florida for that in less than a week. Murder on the Beach Books is selling my book there. I’m also doing up a nice basket of books and bling from my Michigan Sisters in Crime group. Lots of people have donated books and the board gave me a coffee mug. So I will really be doing the people marketing thing there. I feel bad because all this is on my Dad’s birthday and he lives in St Pete where the conference is being held. Also Dad is recovering from surgery. He almost didn’t make it. Somehow I’m going to see him on his birthday despite all the Sisters in Crime stuff (a breakfast and later a workshop) happening on Dad’s birthday.

I hear that at some of the Sisters in Crime events, members will get a chance to talk about their books. Which reminds me, I went on television and talked about mine. Television! Me! This is a major feat as I have stage fright something awful but my friend has a cable show and she said it would be just like us talking as they pre-record, so I did it. In the real world, not online. Online I thought I was doing pretty well according to the marketing plan. I have an ad on Amazon my publisher set up and one on Facebook, too.

IMG_4748I’ve been tweeting (not about my book!) and meeting new people. I came across one guy who was just so fun, inviting people to friend him, his response thread went on forever and all the people tweeting him back were hilarious. I have not had that much fun on Twitter since, well, ever. One lady had a gif of a corgi typing. I followed her. I followed a bunch of new people. I didn’t mention my book as I know that Twitter is a social channel and you’re just there for the fun of it. But every once in awhile you can post on your own page about your book. But mostly not, mostly interact and make new friends.

I fixed up my Facebook fan page too, that’s in Rachel’s book, and it’s still not great but I’m trying. Some people’s fan pages look so good. Mine is better than it was. I pinned a post to the top of the page! Did not know I could do that until I read it in one of the books. I have my regular Facebook page with my friends but I am trying very hard not to post anything author-related there or Facebook just might kick me off. They let the Russians post, but me and my new book, no. Anyway, that was a joke. I can tell Mark Zuckerberg feels bad about the Russians.

Really, I did all that and my book was looking like all my other books. That is, no where near #1. So it was a fortunate coincidence that Book Bub wrote me an email congratulating me on my new release and telling me about their new ad program. Book Bub! Writing to me! Inviting me to do an ad. I had to hear them out. It was confusing, the ad thing. Apparently you bid on keywords and there are some other things that seem like what my publisher is already doing. But they still have their famous deals. I couldn’t do the new release deal, as you can’t apply after release date. But there was still the other deal for books on sale. I consulted friends and my publisher because I know Book Bub is pricey and everyone said go for it. So I submitted a deal. Not sure if they will accept me.

I did one Book Bub many moons ago when free books were a thing. I got a ton of reviews and my book went to #1 on the free list. But it was free, so I couldn’t say “Amazon bestseller” because you know if it’s free it’s not sold. Still it was pretty cool and I got more reviews than all my other books put together. 80+ on Amazon and 100+ on Goodreads. I realize for some people that is peanuts. But I currently have four (or is it five?) reviews, not all in one place, for my new book.

adult blur books close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another unexpected thing happened online. I am such a reader. I read 200 books a year. I read book reviews online. There was one gorgeous page and it was women’s fiction central, which the New York Times Book Review is not. The page drew me in and so I wrote to them with my pitch for an essay. I figured if they said no, it would make good blog post. But they said YES! So you see it is good just to go on Twitter and have fun because you never know what will happen there.

I hope you got some marketing ideas from this post. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave your desk and the safety of the internet because you should also speak at bookstores (real ones) and libraries (also real). I plan to do this after Bouchercon. I was going to visit a certain indie bookstore in Detroit this week but now I have an essay to write!

The single most obvious thing (not to me, obvioulsy) I have learned after writing ten books is that it’s okay to take some time and money (but make those $$ choices wisely) and go out there into the world and sell your book. It doesn’t have to happen all on the day, week, or even month your book comes out. Just keep going places where people expect to hear about your book. No matter what.

 

22 Comments

  1. Get it, girl! Thank you for sharing all the work you’re doing and what an awesome job you’re doing with it all. It IS a lot, and it doesn’t happen all at once. Ten books, wow! So excited and happy for your achievements. And thank you for the book shout out. Very kind. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jaye thank you, you are very generous. I say the same to you and your sister. There are so many of us writers who work hard enough to deserve readers and money. But the times they are a changin’ … we are typing away on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. People have many choices about how and where to spend their free time and they aren’t reading so much anymore. At least not fiction. And everyone who does read fiction online knows how to find the pirates, so at least they don’t have to *gasp* pay! It’s interesting the way the world has changed just in my lifetime so far. When I first had the dream to be a writer, things were much different. Not easier but at least doable. Not sure it’s doable any more but I’m going to give it my last best shot. What the hell. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Georgia. Here’s how I made myself enthusiastic about marketing, which is not something most of the writers I know like doing. At all. So I just promised myself I’d do it this one time, do it all the way and do it to the best of my ability, and then after that I could rest and never write a book again if I didn’t want to. Ten’s a good number. I’ll never stop writing but I like doing my morning pages in longhand more than writing novels. I like blogging more than writing novels. I actually like reading novels more than writing them. So writing novels is fourth down the list! Yet I persist! I gave myself permission to stop but not until after I tried really, really hard. So happy that you see that and that it comes through. xo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My friend told me once that the reason she goes to all the book fairs and bookstores and anywhere she can sell books is because they are like her children and she wants them to get a good start in life.

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    1. Really?? I’m surprised! I like writing novels more than I like almost anything else in the world, I don’t think I COULD not do it. But you should only ever do what you want to do. Maybe you’re right, and the shorter outlet like blogging, etc, is more your forte. Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love!

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  3. You’re so right about it not having to all happen on release month! The release is promotion in itself; all those new reviews from ARCs, etc. I do think that the best thing you can do for your older books is release new ones, though, and I bet you see a lift in the others now. I’ve noticed this over and over; an early book will be stagnant, then I release a new one, and it sells again. Not a lot, but a few.

    Hope this all works out for you!! xx

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