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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My Marketing Results and Why I'm Going to Spend More Time Writing.

As promised here's my blog on my marketing results I said I would do last month. In order to see any significant changes, I've allowed a month to pass from when I first started to advertise.

Are your hearts beating with anticipation? Do you think I'm going to reveal a site that's guaranteed to sell 100,000 copies of your book flat out in a week?

If you are you're going to be bitterly disappointed because I'm now going to say that despite my best marketing efforts with these relevant sites, I have not seen any significant changes in my sales results.

This does not mean I haven't had any sales at all. Far from it. It's just unfortunate that I can't see any direct correlation between sales and advertising.

Advertising with these sites might have had a slight impact on sales, so I'm glad I spent time promoting my book. But the results aren't high enough for me to be certain. One factor in my poor sales results is the sites I've used aren't big or well known. Perhaps I would have had better luck if I had used sites like BookBub. Unfortunately my book hasn't generated enough reviews to submit it to them.

And that's the problem. When you first release a book it can be near impossible to get reviews that are required for so many of these well known advertising sites. It's a Catch 22 situation. You want to use these sites to get the word out about your new release, but unless your book already has a certain amount of reviews you can't do this.

So what's the answer? Maybe I will try to get reviews before my next book is actually published. As of yet, I haven't gone down this route but I figure it must be worth a shot so watch this space.

I think until you have a few books out in the same genre it's pointless to waste your time and money concentrating on pushing just one book. Instead your time is better spent writing. After all, the majority of successful writers have quite a few books and a large proportion write in the same genre. Nothing sells books like writing more books - or so I've been told.

I'm going to listen to this advice from now on because it's all come from writers who have a large number of books.

I'm not knocking these advertising sites but I do believe I am not far enough along in my career to get the most out of them. To be a known writer you have to write more than one book. Then your readers will be more likely to take a chance on you because they will get to know your writing style and the book's content. Readers are more likely to take a chance on a writer who has a number of books.

Of course I could be talking a load of fluff for who am I to know what really sells books?

I'll wait another couple of months before I advertise again. Maybe my change in book cover will have some impact but who knows? Only time will tell.

This is where I'd love to hear your experience. What works for you when it comes to selling books?

My goal is to have readers who are loyal and committed just like my two dogs.


  1. My best "publicist" is one of my friends. She has sold more books than the one who came with the book publishing package. And the company is going out of business. Although a very well known author I know says that is not unusual.

  2. I have found a lot of success getting reviews for my urban fantasy books from The Paranormal book lovers group on Goodreads. They have a great read to review program. Other groups on Goodreads have similar programs, but I have not had as much success with them when marketing other genres. Wouldn't hurt to try. Start a book reviewers list in your genre and begin petitioning them for review. Many of them will post reviews on review sites, as well as on their blog. Good luck! I have five books out and am not making a living on my writing yet. You are not alone.

  3. I read "Write.Publish.Repeat" after I had published my first collection of short stories and I wish I had read it beforehand. It contains some fantastic strategies in there from people who have had great success. It changed my entire approach and I would highly recommend it.

  4. I actually downloaded the sample chapter from that book and I meant to buy the whole of it. Perhaps now I will. Thanks Andrew!

  5. Ann,
    It's funny how people sell books. Quite often it's not the way you think it would be.

    Thanks for the tips. I have a Goodreads account but I do not use it that much. The review list is a great tip. I'll have to start one soon :)

  6. I read 'Write, Publish, Repeat' and while there is some meat in there, you have to wade through a lot of self-promoting bread to get to it. It might be a generational thing with people under 40 handling their style better than me, or just not my genre (gunslingers on unicorns) but I agree with a lot of what they do offer as advice. You need to build your readership one reader at a time and cherish them. Forget the get rich quick games people once played with SEO and Amazon, those days are over. Just write, publish, and repeat and make sure those who have already read your work know there is more to be bought and read.

  7. There is an art to the promotion of books. Just as no two authors or tales are the same, so does the same apply for the readers and buyers. For some, the genre is the starting and ending point. "I can't wait to read my next _____ book!" (She might say.) Others base a lot on where they find the books. There are many readers who buy based of what is interesting at their favorite shop,...what is promoted by their favorite online source,...or what is currently getting good reviews from friends or trusted reviewers.
    Another thing that many people don't understand is that promotion on many social networks can vary in the speed and effectiveness of campaigns. The subject matter sometimes lends itself to more visual forms of promotion or tie-ins with other media. Like a dowser using a divining rod, often times taking the shortest route to making sales is more about sensing the environment and less about following formulas.
    Twitter won't be a good choice for every book, Tumblr could be huge if you are a good storyteller and able to post some interesting images.. Many authors are looking to video book trailers on You Tube now to generate interest fast. When it comes to promoting a book now, there are an amazing amount of books clamoring for the same market, and a huge variety of options to start reaching new readers. To make progress, it can require a patient strategy, or a bit of luck. Stick with it and learn as you build your online reputation.

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