The biggest barrier to publishing is getting yourself noticed. There are so many millions of great books out there, that getting yours on someone’s reading list is a challenge. In the last few months I’ve been spending some money on marketing and here are some thoughts on how it’s panned out.
Facebook Personal Timeline Posts
Word of mouth is very valuable, so if you can get a reader to post a note about your book - WHOOHOO!
Problem: if you like to any page outside of Facebook, then Facebook will ‘hide’ the post. Because they don’t want people to leave, ever.
Fix: a couple of likes and comments pushes up visibility. So get your mates to help you with a little bit of love.
Facebook Group and Page Posts
Public groups and dedicated pages can be great for reaching readers.
What works: if you have one that’s active with visitors, it’s a great way to get noticed.
What doesn’t work: post-and-run forums are a waste of time because nobody is looking.
Takeaway: avoid a group or page with 10,000 Likes if people simply like, post and run. But a page with 200 likes that’s active can be gold.
Tip: look at the ten most recent posts. If people are liking and commenting, you’ve hit gold.
Also remember: a couple of likes and comments pushes up visibility. So get your mates to help you with a little bit of love.
In theory newsletters should be great compared to Facebook because they don’t suppress readership.
What works: a newsletter that people like to read
What doesn’t work: commercial lists that go to hundreds of thousands of people, few of whom even look at it.
Tip: don’t ask, “How many subscribers do you have?” but ask, “How many opens do you get?” And if you're asking a company that charges, don’t be surprised if they refuse to tell you!
From what I can gather, big newsletter get around 10-20% opens. So if you see 10,000 subscribers, some 1000 to 2000 people will open the newsletter. However, it doesn’t mean they read beyond the first book. So if you’re not at the top, even those opens may never see your book.
Takeaway: an author newsletter with engaged readers is gold. If a fellow Indie offers to host you or mention you, offer the woman a mani-pedi.
Worth trying: a promo group with an in-house newsletter that goes to serious fans.
Warning: not all newsletter hosts are honest. To see how they do, sign up for the newsletter you want to be featured in and track their posts for two or three cycles before you send off your $$$.
I’ve come to some other conclusions about what works in promos and will be putting together a test kit to see if I can refine everything into one ka-pow package. I’ll be checking it out in June and will write about it in July. Cross fingers it works and I don't fall flat on my face.
Until then, people I’ve used recently who I’ll be using again:Love Kissed Promotions