Watch This Space   3 comments

March 25, 2019

What are the best sites you use for publicity?


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Like most writers, I didn’t decide to publish books because I wanted to market them. Marketing books cuts into writing time and I’m not sure how effective it really is. That said, if nobody knows your books are out there, they can’t read them.

So …. most effective sites …?

That I’ve used?

I am an unashamed capitalist, which means I believe my books need to support themselves in the marketplace. Yes, of course, I will give some money to my books to get them started, but I won’t pour good money after bad in hopes that if I keep doing the same thing over and over something will eventually stick to the wall.

What worked last year doesn’t necessarily work this year. My daughter tells me I need to be over on Instagram. Too bad you have to work off your phone or tablet for that, because I really hate working on tiny screens using my thumbs instead of full-sized screens using all 10 fingers.

Thunderclap gave me most exposure and the best sales bumps I’ve had from any “free” campaign I tried, but that went away last year. Pity, but that means I needed to move on.

I do belong to a few sites that for a small fee allow me to post my blurbs for long periods of time and I do see an occasional bump from these sites, but they aren’t all that useful. I also get some bump from my website occasionally. The discussions I post on Facebook sometimes gain interest for my books.

Posting in Facebook groups – not so much, although occasionally I can see a visit from that post over to my website where I hope they go onto Amazon. Twitter – doubtful. I’ve never tried Twitter ads because I really think Twitter is too ADHD for people to buy books from. I still have a presence there but I don’t waste a lot of time with it.

I do occasionally toss $20 at Facebook for an ad because I have seen verifiable sales from advertising there. And, of the sites that still exist, Facebook ads has been the most marketable. That said, Facebook has gotten far too bossy lately, so I’m not probably going to advertise through them any longer. I don’t want to give them my driver’s license. That’s a violation of my privacy and an invitation to identity theft. So unless nothing else works to sell books, I’m done with Facebook ads for the time being. I will still host discussions there until they ban me (or until MeWe or some other platform presents viable competition to the behemoth would-be monopoly that is Facebook. All is not lost, however.

Craig Martell, a fellow Alaska author who is selling about 100,000 books a year (he’s a retired attorney who is writing about 20 books a year compared to my one, so …), has convinced me to give Amazon ads a try. I’m not going to buy in as big as he does – at least not unless my small ad campaigns make a substantive dent in my sales. Again, I’m a capitalist and so I only spend money when it will net me a return. But I’m willing to experiment a little over the next year and see what happens. After all, it makes sense that people who want to buy books are on Amazon, so you’re best marketing dollars are spent on that platform. Amazon is just that much more expensive to buy-in to that I’ve hesitated, but now Facebook has given me a reason to try another platform.

Ultimately, folks, I suspect the best marketing technique is to write the next book. When I published my fourth book in the Transformation Project last fall, I set off a really good quarter of sales for all of the rest of my books and the only marketing I did was to announce (through a $20 Facebook ad) a giveaway of the first book in the series and a sale on the others. I sold more books in that one quarter than I’ve sold in the previous four years. Now, let’s see if I can manage to repeat that using Amazon ads.

I’m curious to see what my fellow bloghoppers have found works for them because they might know things I don’t know.

Posted March 25, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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3 responses to “Watch This Space

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  1. Let me know if the Amazon ads are successful. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried 2 facebook ads with no luck.

    Like

    • You have to play with the demographics and try to target your audience. My best targeting is Alaskans and any Midwest or Mountain state, readers of apocalyptic fiction. I usually tie mine to a “free” day for my first book in series and then discount the other books. And, that works with the apocalyptic series. It doesn’t seem to work with the fantasy series. I have tried and tried to find out who reads fantasy. Clearly there are fantasy readers out there, but the gurus aren’t saying who they are. So I started asking friends if they read fantasy and I discovered that such a broad range of people read fantasy that they’re their own category. “Hello, I’m a construction worker and I read fantasy.” “Hello, I’m an astrophysicist and I read fantasy.” “Hello, I’m a pastor and I read fantasy.” And they don’t live in definable zones. I KNOW it’s wasted money to target New York for apocalyptic fiction, but a good bet to target Alaska or Montana. So it is really hard to target for fantasy and FB definitely has a regional component.

      The other thing is, make your buys small at first. Small and targeted. A really big buy that’s broad seems to net fewer clicks than the smaller targeted ones.

      But now that Amazon has made its advertising platform more sane it makes sense to advertise there because people are already looking for books. It’s the difference between inside sales and outside sales. If they’re already in the door, it is a lot easier to sell them on stuff.

      Like

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