♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
We’ve touched on this in the past, but it bears repeating:
What’s the best way to market your books?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
The truth? Whatever works for you and your book. It’s different with each book, even every book in your catalog. Honest. Probably not what you wanted to hear, right? Well, would you market Blue Honor, a US Civil War Drama that should be shelved in literature the same as OP-DEC: Operation Deceit, a Second World War spy thriller? They’re both historical fiction. They both have romantic elements. They’re both centered around war. You might believe that they would be marketed in the same manner to the same crowd, but you’re wrong.
It’s probably easier to see that The Trailokya Trilogy shouldn’t be marketed the same way as my historical works. And, that the trilogy is made of multiple works that can be marketed together makes them a different draw, too. Right? That’s obvious. So, that’s why I want to talk about my historical works and marketing, instead.
Although Blue and OP are historical fictions about war, they are two very different books. Blue is a piece written with the idea of being literature, focusing on the human condition and often the mundane. OP pays homage to film noir and the dime novels of the 40s and 50s. Their trajectory and style are not the same. Blue is Jane Austen. OP is Graham Greene.
So what do you do to market? First, you really need to know your work, like I showed above. Who among the canonized authors would have written your book? What are the most important details of the work, such as Time Period, Genre, Sub Genre, and what other books is it like? Is it like film, television, or wholly a book? What other things could you say about it (short statement details)?
Taking all the above into consideration helps you to figure out the audience to which you’ll sell your book. That is of major importance, as it will frame how you market, where you market, and with what you market (what the ad looks like, for example). If you can figure this out, you’re on your way to successful marketing campaigns.
The other trick to this part is having enough capital to spend on it. Many of us do not. I know I don’t while I’m raising a toddler, and it was tight before. Maybe someday? Maybe readers will see this and take my work more seriously as a starving artist and, if they don’t buy a book, at least share my information with friends who would. Well, we can hope. We can wish upon a star.
Beyond understanding your audience and work, as well as having money to spend, there is still more that you can do. First and foremost, if you plan to sell your books, making real and valuable connections with others is paramount. Being out in the world is also paramount. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can just hi, how are you, read my book, every person with which you come into contact. And, please, do not spam social media with your book posts. Lastly, the groups on social media that you can share your book posts in, aren’t effective, because most people dump and run, instead of interacting. Many, if they are interacting, just self-promote in some form or another, so there’s no actual value. It’s just people screaming ads at each other in a room before they run back out, just as quickly.
Where/how have I sold books with the best success?
When people have a conversation with me about my books, but only after they learn something interesting about me, and they feel a connection. We have an awesome conversation, and I know that I am uplifted by it. The bonus is their interest in my work. The reason that potential readers do this is to find out how interesting you are. This helps them gauge your work, and if they will like it. Buying a book is an investment, mostly of time. Of course they want to be certain. Let’s not forget that having extra money to blow on books isn’t everyone’s purview. In fact, most people don’t have extra cash these days. Selling books is very difficult in this non-risk taking climate (even though authors are forced to risk a lot daily by being published and selling their books).
People are super spoiled today with the accessibility they have to just about everything. They’re going to be more cynical about books. They will rely more heavily on notariety to tell them a work it worth reading, or word of mouth through trusted friends and family. An ad could run before their eyes 20 times in one week, and still not compel them to learn more or follow through with a buy. There are multiple reasons for that: the ad is uninistering, they’re not into that type of book, they don’t read (they’ll wait for the film), they’re strapped for cash, they’re not investing in a name they don’t recognize, the work reminds them of something negative, and so on. And, sometimes, your ad will just get placed in front of the wrong person for your book, despite having all the homework done. Expectations about results have to be level with the effort put in (you can research about advertising results on google, such as what percent of people who the ad reached will likely follow through. a detail you’ll need to figure out to gauge effectiveness of advertising).
Let’s hope on over to read what the other authors have to say on this topic. You’ll be sure to gather more useful tips on marketing. Click on one of the links below to continue the hop…
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P.J. MacLayne says
There’s an abundance of free marketing out there, and it is so over-saturated it doesn’t work any more. Yes, it takes money to market, and it’s still not a guaranteed return. In a way, we are all gamblers.
Captain Maiel says
And, if you’re like me, you find the outlets too late–they’ve been used up as a viable marketing strategy. I always seem to find great ideas a day late! LOL
Richard Dee says
This is a great post, full of sense and good advice. It’s all about engagement, creating interest.
Captain Maiel says
Thank you! I hope it helps others. Community is so important.
Stevie Turner says
Yes, I also find that on social media authors just dump their book and run. I joined a previous publisher’s street team, but that also consisted of authors spamming their own books daily. Instead I set up my own street team where authors take it in turn to promote each others’ books. It was fine to start with, but now many members can’t be bothered to take part. There’s no easy answer to book marketing.
Captain Maiel says
It seems to always go that way. I really like our hop, and think that is the best way to reach out and support each other. And, we’re building quality content to share with readers, which is the most important aspect.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle says
You have shared some good thoughts here.
Captain Maiel says