It’s been a little over a month since my new book Fury From Hell was released. Since that time, I’ve been seeking new ways of trying to let people know about my book. Boy, has that been a bumpy ride!
Initially, my IRL friends, Twitter friends as well as family members purchased the book which allowed the book to get as high as #26 in its category in the first two weeks. As the days and weeks pass, as we all know, those family and friend book sales drop off and you now have to market…seriously market. Here are some of the steps, faux pas and victories I’ve encountered along the way.
1) Tweeting rather incessantly
Yes, you can tweet a lot and gain attention and exposure for yourself and your book (or whatever product service you offer). However, there comes a saturation point. Remember, on Twitter you are tweeting to your circle of tweeps/friends/pals. The way to grow your circle is to grow your followers which means follow new and different types of people. This mean even more conversations and time spent cultivating these new relationships. Here is where you need to decide very clearly how much sleep you really need to survive. I love Twitter. I was on Twitter and tweeting pretty much daily long before my book came out. Yet, there are still only 24 hours in a day. Tweeting is a very useful in helping me to find new readers and people who are interested in the paranormal genre but you must do your due diligence to find those interested parties. People of all kinds are on Twitter each and every day — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
2) FaceBook’ing Your Way to Readers
Okay, FB is not my preferred social media site. I confuse that FB confuses me greatly. I don’t have a huge circle of friends and family so I can keep up with them IRL, or via phone with no issues. When I went on FB and searched for far flung family members I found them. Boy did I find them! But many of them didn’t speak English…but I digress. This little peek let’s you know I have no friggin’ clue about FB so I did some research. I found writer groups, reader groups and other social groups on FB where I could go and ‘meet’ people and form relationships. This is an excellent thing! Groups are the secret sauce of FaceBook! The key is to remember which groups have the people you most commune with. So, at first you will visit a lot of groups until you ferret out which ones fit the best with you and your persona.
3) Trying Other People’s Paths
So, I next thought that maybe I’m spinning my wheels. I should try and see what others have done and done successfully. Right? Right! Where did I go first? To John Locke’s book. You know the one, the one where he talks about how he sold 1 million ebooks in 5 months. Well, after reading his book I realized he is not an ‘ordinary’ guy. He was a super salesman, sharp, keen. He also owned his own insurance company and then sold it for a hefty profit. Locke had the wherewithal to try many more things than the average Joe (read: me) can try. He says it in his book and he says he can tell us what doesn’t work. What worked for him were blog posts that infused his personality, writing style, and verve in with a trending topic, or person.
For Locke, these finely tuned blog posts written, revised, and re-angled over the course of a month or more created almost instantaneous buzz and people started buying his books. He also put himself in a position where he had a lot of material (books!) to sell after the first book was purchased. And, he has a great price point – $0.99! Locke claims it is not the price of his books that’s doing it but I believe it is a helpful aspect. He claims that his books are less than a buck which means that people are more apt to try his book. Furthermore, authors whose books are $9.99 now have to prove that their book is that much more better than his! [Yeah, I just said ‘much more better’. Yepperdoodle.]
I tried to write a blog as Locke suggests and tried it twice. I will admit those blog posts received a lot of attention and were retweeted quite a bit. My website has enjoyed 978 visitors to see those two posts alone. The one about Halle Berry has had 516 visitors and the one about Adam Lambert had 399 visitors. There were more reads recorded than these numbers but I’m assuming some people came back and re-read them. But these are the hard numbers in a 10-day time period.
I super enjoyed communicating with people about these two great artists both of whom I LOVE. Those were the most exciting ten days ever! I woke up not know who would have a comment for me and what country they would hail from. (For some reason, the Adam Lambert post brought a lot of traffic from Australia. I’m assuming because Queen was performing there during that time…)
Yet, I can only track 1 book sales from all of that fabulously fun and exciting time period. The great takeaway is I made lots of new friends and have a greater appreciation for the power of Twitter.
3) Tried it My Way
So, I found this relatively new book discovery platform called Bublish. It is a book sharing platform where you can share excerpts of your book through an interactive book bubble. These bubbles provide a link to buy your book. After a reader reads the excerpt of the author’s choosing there’s a short comment from the author there as well letting the reader know why the author chose that particular excerpt, or the meaning of that excerpt to the author.
The concept is great. The book bubbles themselves look really good and professional. So, why did it take me 11 days to figure it out?? LOL. (Life. Work. Kids. Sleep.) Here is what one looks like: bit.ly/1tUSTVh.
The jury is still out on this one but I like having such a great piece of my book available to potential readers for free without having to download it via Amazon. There’s also anonymity with these bubbles. You can read without having anyone look over your shoulder. You can form your own opinion of the book basked on what you’ve read and what the author has shared and decide for yourself if you’d like to read more, research it more, or whatever your process for deciding upon a book is you can take it from there. Readers don’t even have to sign up they can just read the book bubbles. Guess what? There’s a hashtag for it! #BookBubbles — just key it in and you can read a ton of book bubbles and decide for yourself about any number of books. It’s better in way to read a bubble because you get the author’s take on the excerpt in a quick short hit.
I’ll let you know how this goes.
4) Old School: Made Flyers & Handed Them Out
Yep, I did. I even had my hubby and my then 13-month old with me as I did it. I went to Brooklyn Book Expo and met some really great people and had a blast! Reconnected with an old writer buddy of mine and was able to step back a bit and look at the effect my book was having on people. It was very cool! Again, to the best of my knowledge, this did not sell one book but it did raise awareness of the book.
In summary, to date, Twitter has been the medium that has helped me sell the most books. That is the medium where I have the largest influence and the one that influences me the most as well. I have high hopes for Bublish as it is a simple thing to use and is great to look at. But, who knows? The very idea of an unknown author attempting to gain exposure for their book in a virtual sea of others doing EXACTLY the same thing is already a daunting task. But hey, who ever said I was anything like normal?
Until next time,
NB signing off