Marketing is always a challenge with book launches. Word-of-mouth is good but to reach the bigger sales numbers that offset the costs of publishing takes more. I’ve tried free advertising, more outlets (beyond Amazon, B&N, TpT), in-person presentations, fee programs, and focused social media. I’ve tried lots of ideas people suggest and hoped they worked (some did; most didn’t–I blame myself for not following through well enough). Before I spend money, I dig into the suggested option, see who liked it, find out if a trusted efriend has found success with it. I’ve spent a lot of money on advertising my books and sadly it rarely works (I’ll take that blame, too; I’m sure it’s either my marketing pieces or my follow-through).
If you remember, back before the virtual launch of my latest book, Against All Odds, I asked how you market your books. I included these ideas:
I also offered a spot where readers could add their own, which they did:
- Draft2Digital (D2D)
- Direct Messaging
- Amazon ads
- Author Uproar
- Conference presentations
- Paid newsletters
Here’s what I got:
…with lots of excellent comments:
- Kindle Nation (Grace Allison Blair says it generates more bang for the buck than any other promotion she’s tried)
- The blogging community is a great way to get that first batch of essential reviews. I tend to advertise give-aways on Freebooksy and get about 2-3k downloads and then quite a few follow-up purchases. I need to give Bookbub a go again. 🙂
- I believe blogs are one of the best ways to showcase your writing.
- Shamefully I haven’t attempted to figure out where most of my sales come from, but I think it is my blog. That’s where I put most of my energy and I don’t pay for ads.
- Bookbub is the best. They have a huge following and most authors see huge results from their book deals, but they’re extremely hard to get a spot with. Facebook book groups and your own FB page are good for keeping your book front and center in reader’s minds. Same for Twitter. For paid advertising I like Book Gorilla, Ereader Today, and rbook Discovery, but there are many others to choose from.
- I have tried a number of things from book clubs to paid advertising, but what works best for me is definitely the blogging community and my FB community. All Author has also worked reasonably well for me.
- I haven’t used Bookbub, but I have heard good things from others. So far my blog has worked well for my first book and I seem to still sell a few a month! I expect to use these when I’m ready to market No Excuses Fitness, and partially why I’m waiting for our move up north to finalize the book and begin marketing.
- For less than $100/year I can have all my books on one platform. Each week Bublish sends out my books bubbles to over 800,000 people. Watch your email for more details and a link to my Bublish platform to see the features and benefits.
- Although BookBub is expensive, the 1st book in my Casey Holland series was downloaded a great deal in that one day that it was featured. Over January, over 150 sales of the other four books in the series appeared, and that carried over into Feb, then March and April. Each month had fewer sales, but I usually have only a handful of ebook sales during that period, and I ended up earning a $900 profit. I also checked D2D because after that event, D2D provided me with at least 3 opportunities to take part in promotions that have also resulted in sales.
- …I’m not sure about Twitter
- I rely on my blog, but have been fortunate enough to have my publisher pay for ads on Bookbub, and they ALWAYS bring excellent results. Unfortunately, BB is much too pricey if I’m paying out of pocket. I’ve also used the Fussy Librarian with good results.
- I like Wattpad specially because they look at how many people read your book and move it up in their search results. The more reads the more ppl will see your work
- Just started with BookBub
- I’ve tried several paid online marketing ads including Facebook and Amazon with little results. I’m certainly not doing something right. SEO is way beyond my grasp!
- I use a mix of free and paid ads, I find having a promo using paid ads 2 or 3 times a year gives the books a visibility boost on Amazon which then trickles on for a while after, and as I write in series, tends of sell the follow up books as well. I use Amazon ads for and ongoing trickle of sales per month, though for launches my Facebook page is my best tool.
- I like a combination of options, but what that means is I have a difficult time keeping track of which is most effective. I used to have a systematic approach, and then I wrote more books and became scattered. As to the paid ads on Amazon, they were effective to expand my readership, but I can’t say I profited from them–I’m thinking they might pay off in the long run. And the truth about these ads is that they take a lot of time to manage.
- I usually advertise on pd newsletters when I run a promo which is usually one a week.
I asked for specific websites that readers have been successful with. One was http://www.bookgorilla.com/advertise. Haven’t tried that one but will look into it! And Grace mentioned Bublish which I’ve heard good things about from others. She shared her account so you can see how that site works: https://bublish.com/author/graceblair
A few of you just started a new advertising campaign. I’d love to hear how its going, this first month. Share with us so we know if we should try it, too!
- More of us depend upon our blogs than any other marketing outlet. That may be because I posted this through my blog so my anecdotal observation could be flawed.
- Most of us try social media. It’s free. Why not?
- We are open to new outlets that are intuitive, easy setup, and not too techie.
- We don’t mind spending money if it’s for something that will work.
- We aren’t looking to sell enough books to be famous, just sell books!
What did you see that I didn’t?
Thanks so much to everyone that participated. On a personal level, you’ve given me a lot more good ideas to try for my next book launch.
More on marketing
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Fall 2021.