Without any more delay, here's Beth!
Hi Sarah, thanks for having me today. I’m going to give some information about marketing
today that I’ve learned from experience, conferences, and other writers. I think most of these
things are going to be true for both self published and traditionally published writers, but when
something applies more so to one group than the other, I’ll make the distinction.
1. Book bloggers are gold—Simone Elkeless says that she believes the reason Perfect
Chemistry made the best seller’s list is because she got copies in the hands of 100 book
bloggers before it was released. Now, she paid a PR firm an insane amount of money for
this, and feels this is the only thing she got out of it. Use your connections, and if you
don’t have many, or they’re in the wrong genre, hire a blogger. Your book may be great.
If no one has ever heard of it, they can’t buy it.
2. Trailers—They’re good, but there is no proof they work. They work better for some
people than others. If you’re going to do this make it memorable. It doesn’t have to be
high budget or even make sense. The Perfect Chemistry trailer was a rap song with the
chorus “It’s a book. Read it.”
3. Social Media—If you’re a natural, use this to your advantage. If you’re not (I’m not),
pick one form (twitter, fb, blog) and use it to start building a platform and to
have a place to make announcements. If you’re going to go with blogging (which is what
I do), it’s not a bad idea to have an author fb page anyhow. You can make the same
announcements on it as you would on your blog and have another opportunity to promote
your cover. If you have an author blog or website (and you really should—it’s a place
to list all of your work with purchase links) create a fan page. “Did you like my book?
Please leave a review here,” and link to amazon and Goodreads. You can post books that
aren’t out yet, too. “Wanna read this? Please like the Goodreads page here.” You’ve
made it easy for readers to help you.
4. Paperback Push—If you’re pushing a paperback, call all the bookstores around you,
and tell them you’re in town and you’d be willing to autograph stock for them. (Indie
stores are carrying self published book these days, so everyone can do this). A lot of
times, they’ll order copies of your books to have autographed stock. Create a street team.
Announce it over social media, and offer swag for dedicated fans that will help. Let them
talk up your book, and push the cover facing forward in bookstores, write reviews, and
anything else they want to do.
5. Book Packaging—This last one is for indie authors because they’re responsible for the
cover, cover copy, and title themselves. If you’re traditionally published you probably
have a lot of help with this, and that’s good. Take it. If you’re self-publishing, put your
title in Goodreads before you ever create the record. If you find thousands of search
results, you need a new title. Your book won’t be found otherwise. That being said, don’t
choose a title too obscure. And hire a cover artist. I know you think you can make your
own cover. I did too! This is a really bad idea. Unless you’re already in graphics for a
living, don’t make your own cover. I spent $5 on my first stock photo, and I really liked
it. I was so proud because I needed to sell very few books to be profitable. But I can tell
you this cover has sold many more copies than the first one did. And in case you’re as
skeptical as I was in the beginning that packaging really matters, I can tell you changing
the title and cover made an immediate difference on a book that had already been out
months. After all, doesn’t that look good?
And it goes without saying, but be nice. Offer to promote other authors, they’ll usually
promote you back. Lizzy Ford gave me a book once because I tweeted I was looking for
recommendations, and I loved it. I’ve bought a few since. She’s always willing to help
other writers, so I’ll promote her any time I can. Offer to help any time you can, and be
willing to give away review copies.
Thanks, Beth, for sharing your advice and learning pains with us today. Be sure to check out Beth's books:
The Fate Of A Marlowe Girl
When twenty-four-year-old Tiffany escapes her sister Kammy's too wild Cancun bachelorette party, she finds herself in a bar with the unwanted attention of a gorgeous local named Luke.
Luke may be charming but Tiffany is leaving in two days and doesn't need any complications. But complications are exactly what she gets when the cops show up to raid Kammy's party. When Kammy is arrested, Tiffany agrees to have dinner with Luke, so he'll help her get Kammy out of jail. Kammy's arrest forces her to spend an extra day in Cancun, meaning she'll miss a crucial meeting, and as an accountant in tax season, she is already drowning in work. Not to mention, every second she spends with Luke makes it harder to leave. With Luke, Tiffany can forget about work.
But will the airport be their final goodbye?
Coming in April
The Other Marlowe Girl
When twenty-four-year-old dance school drop out Kammy Marlowe is evicted by her mother, she goes to her favorite bar to kill time where she finds an unlikely friend in the blunt eye candy, Enrique, beside her who happens to be overly interested in her. But Kammy knows there is no way she and Enrique have a shot, when she realizes he is her brother-in-law’s brother and has been privy to her wild past. Enrique swears he’s interested in the person she is today, not the things she’s done before, but her trust is tested when a drug dealer her ex-husband owes attacks her, and Enrique says he has to tell his brother, because she’s living in his house. With no options and a money hungry drug dealer on her back, Kammy accepts a position as a dancer at a club that really wanted a stripper, instead. When she bumps into Enrique there, he’s done with her. And Kammy doesn’t need a guy who hangs out at strip clubs anyhow. Kammy doesn’t have a reason to stay in Texas anymore, so she auditions for the Bolshevik Ballet. The dance company finds her to be talented, but when Enrique learns Kammy is going to Russia, he’s determined to stop her. Will she give up the chance of a dream to stay with the man she loves?