Good morning, class. Every settle down, and let’s pick up with part two of our marketing experiment. Last week, we laid our ground work, mapped our road and ensured our supplies were stocked and ready to go. Today we’re going to chat about the wild, wild world of book advertising.
Stop groaning, shhh. It’s all right. Before we dive in, remember, there are many, many options out there willing to spread the word of your fantastic piece of fiction. Some will request a reasonable price, others will fleece you. When you’ve finalized your list, run it through your author friends, get their opinions, as chances are one or more of them have had experience with some of the names on your list.
First and foremost, I essentially planned my own blog tour, but it does require time and effort to plan, but it’s free. I did offer to host others, which allowed me to bring fun guests to my place while I was out and about. If you’re short on or don’t want to be bothered, there are companies that will do that for you. Here’s what I managed to do on my own:
- June 26 posts
- July 14 posts
- August 12 posts
Then there were the book listings and ads. The prices on these can range from free to $200+, depending on where you’re going. Each site has different requirements. Requirements can range from x amount of reviews, price discounted, if it’s free or not, etc. The bigger ones limit you to advertising your book with them once in a timeframe (i.e.: 1 time in a 90 day period). Be sure to understand the requirements before you pay for anything.
I knew my first book, Shadow’s Edge, was going to go up free from June 1, 2015-August 31, 2015, which left me with a set timeframe for ads. I had a long list of advertisers I wanted to approach. I spent days checking their requirements and getting feedback through various writing loops. Some worked, some didn’t. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty, but keep this fairly high level and stick with my highest returning ads and my next highest.
I did try for Bookbub as that was not only my most expensive option ($170) but most recommended. However, they turned me down, multiple times. They are not easy to get to, and if you can, I’ve been advised to take advantage of their reach.
HIGHEST ROI (Return on Investment): these didn’t cost me a fortune, but I saw a marked increase in my sales ranks after they ran, so I would recommend them.
- E-Reader News Today ($25) http://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-and-free-book-submissions/
- Fussy Librarian ($10-$20) http://www.thefussylibrarian.com
- Bknights on Fiverr ($5+ add-ons=$20) https://www.fiverr.com/bknights
- Robin Reads ($10 Feature) http://robinreads.com
- Digital Book Today ($30 Feature Book) http://digitalbooktoday.com/7-promote-your-book-on-its-first-free-day-with-a-paid-promotional-boost/
Now Free Kindle Books and Tips came out the same day as the promo started, so I can’t say for sure they’re behind the sky rocket to the top, because day 1 I was out multiple listings and new to the free groups, so anything could’ve happened (Mars sunk into retrograde, and Pluto decided to hitchhike to the Dog Star). These are affordable places I would say to give a shot if you’re up for it:
- Free Kindle Books and Tips $25 regular booking http://fkbt.com/for-authors/
- Choosy Bookworm $30 Premium listing http://authors.choosybookworm.com
- Pretty Hot $25 for a 5 day listing http://pretty-hot.com/submit-your-book/
I used the following ones for their free listings, but couldn’t tell you if they really helped or not.
- E-Book Lister
- Content Mo
- The E-Reader Cafe
- Indie Book of the Day
- New Free Kindle Ebooks
- People Reads
- eBooks Habit
- OHFB (www.ohfb.com)
- Awesome Gang
Other areas I utilized:
- Banked ads at The Romance Reviews (TRR)
- Banked ads at The Romance Studio (TRS)
- Romance Forever monthly ads at $3/month
The last thing I used to help spread the word were Goodreads Giveaways. Since I have four books out in the Kyn series, I had four months of giveaways. Each month I gave away 3 autographed print copies of each title.
- June Shadow’s Edge 609 people entered
- July Shadow’s Soul 463 people entered
- Aug Shadow’s Moon 144 people entered so far (as of 8/21)
- Sept doing Shadow’s Curse (so go enter while you can!)
After the giveaways, here is how my books looked on Goodreads:
- 4.25 avg rating
- 67 ratings
- 20 reviews
- added by 569 people
- 470 to-reads
- 4.33 avg rating
- 27 ratings
- 8 reviews
- added by 308 people
- 273 to-reads
- 4.40 avg rating
- 15 ratings
- 6 reviews
- added by 106 people
- 86 to-reads
- 4.20 avg rating
- 5 ratings
- 1 review
- added by 28 people
- 12 to-reads
Hunted by the Past
- 4.33 avg rating
- 12 ratings
- 5 reviews
- added by 109 people
- -1 to-reads (uh, guess someone changed their mind)
Overall, do I believe it’s worth it to use book listings and giveaways? Yep.
Next week I’ll share the sales ranks and units sold, so you can see what all of this created. Until then, good luck!
If you have anyone or any place you’d like to suggest for marketing, please do so in the comments. The more areas we can reach, the better our books can do.