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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.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Do you have to be Emotionally Connected to your Writing for it to be a Success?

I've given this question some serious thought now while the excitement and anxiety of releasing my book has finally settled down. And I do believe this topic will generate a mixed response.

Some writers write what is in their heart and therefore their main focus is to write stories that they want to write. But other writers only write what they think will sell.

I am a writer who writes from my heart. That doesn't mean I don't consider my readers when I write these stories. Quite the opposite: my readers are my pivotal focus. But I think writing from the heart is far easier than writing what I think will sell.

There are two main reasons for this:
  1. I don't have any experience of writing sci-fi, paranormal romance or dystopia because I don't read these sort of books.
  2. I am not about to start chasing the trends on the off chance I may get rich, famous or hugely successful. Again there are two main reasons for this. Number one: I am never, ever that lucky and number two by the time I have written books in these genres another genre will be hot. I figure I may as well stick to what I know I write well.
The stories I tell always have a personal connection and I believe this passion is what carries the readers through. If I don't write with this connection, I don't honestly know if there would be a story to tell. I know a lot of writers are like me and they basically write about something in their life experience.

This isn't always literal of course. Writers could just write fiction with only a vague element of truth but their stories often come through from some sort of life experience.

What do you think? Are you a writer who writes from their heart?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A List of Book Promotion Sites

Before I get into this post, I'd like to wish all my followers and everyone else an extremely Happy New Year. May all your wishes and dreams come true during these next twelve months.

If you're a writer like me here is a list that might make this year your best yet. I know the number one goal for many authors is to write as many books as they possibly can and for them to sell like wildfire.

Now writing books may seem hard but I can assure you that getting people to buy them is so much harder. As a writer you may feel like most of your work is over once you have a finished product to sell but in fact your work is only just beginning.

I've seen established writers argue that the best promotional tool you can use is to write another book. And although I am not arguing with that advice, I think it would be a shame to ignore all the book promotion sites.

When I first start to market my first book I really struggled. There's an overwhelming amount of advice out there and most of it is conflicting. This daunts a novice writer who is only just starting out on their exciting adventure, and for some they'd rather bury their head in the sand rather than face any promotion.

If you're a new writer starting out now then I think your journey into publishing may be even harder. There are so many books out there now that cyber space is becoming increasingly swamped. This makes visibility so much harder, and many writers will claim that simply tweeting about your book amongst your followers who are probably trying to do the same thing is more than a little pointless.

So if social media sites aren't working then what does work?

The key to making sales is to get your book in front of the eyes of readers. This sounds so simple on the surface but finding these people can be tougher than you first think. There are hundreds of book clubs out there dedicated to specific genres but most of these clubs do not allow promotion of any sort. So it's a Catch 22 scenario. You want to find readers but when you do you can't mention your book to them. How do get round this obstacle?

The trick is not to hound readers yourself but to find sites that have newsletters sent out to their plethora of subscribed readers. You upload your book onto their site and you have your book mentioned in the monthly/weekly/daily newsletter. Some sites are free but some are paid. I know many writers swear by BookBub - but this is the dearest site I've found so far.

So, here is a list of sites that I've promoted my books with. In a month I will report any increase I've seen with sales - fingers crossed there will be some significant findings. As my followers know I have just released my third book so I'm trying desperately to promote that.

I hope you find these sites handy.

Once again Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you find my post useful. I'm off to eat a cake like the one shown above this afternoon.