Thursday, 30 May 2013

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

Marketing your book

Ever since I wrote my first book I've been doing a lot of reading about various marketing approaches you can take to develop sales.

Here are few ideas I've tried out and a few future ones I aim to try.

I actually broke all of the rules about marketing when I published System error: in your favour. I just put it straight out on Amazon using Kindle Direct Publisher without doing any preamble, warm-up or promotional work before hand.

Several of the blogs I've since read have quite rightly pointed out that I should have built up some sort of anticipation about the book before launch.

Building anticipation

So, that was my first major lesson learned.

Here's a quick recap of some things you could do even before your book hits the shelf:

  1. Set up a Facebook fan page - start counting down to publication date / publish snippets/anecdotes about the book, build up a community
  2. Get samples of your book out on various websites - why not engage with your fans to help decide the title?
  3. Set up a Goodreads author page
  4. Set up an Amazon Author profile page

Further reading:

KDP Select

When I published my first book I automatically ticked the KDP Select button on Amazon. It seemed like a great way to get the book out there quickly.

The KDP Select programme allowed me to list the book for free for up to 5 days, so I automatically ticked 5 days and clicked Go! There was me thinking how easy it all looked.

What I learnt afterwards:

Oh boy, when I started reading more about marketing I realised that I'd done this totally wrong.

You don't stick your book on for free with no build up first again. What most blogs seem to recommend is again a "countdown to free" type approach where you list the book for its regular price then use your 5 days over the course of 5 weeks or a couple of months.

This way you not only make your free days go further (you only get 5 every 90 days) but you should also increase sales in between as people who miss out on the free day might just buy it on a non free day.

The benefits of spacing this out means that you can tell your growing fans that you'll soon have a special offer and make each of your free days a mini event. It also means that your free promotion days will be more efficient.

This advice makes sense to me now, particularly when I looked at the results from my free days promotion. When I listed my book for free, the take-up was really low for the first 2 days then it started shooting up towards days 4 and 5. Next time I'm definitely going to space the days out.

Further reading:

So, my first 2 marketing approaches unsurprisingly weren't executed perfectly but I'm really keen to try some of these lessons out the next time around.

There are a few other things I want to try soon as well including listing a book Give-away on Goodreads, and opening the book out to other distribution networks via Smashwords. More on those adventures in a future blog.

Other ideas: