Goodreads Blog

Romance Authors Make the Best Marketers

Posted by Cynthia on February 3, 2017
It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a successful indie romance author in possession of a good brand, must be incredibly marketing savvy. Thus is certainly the case with Alexa Riley, author of the recent New York Times bestseller Everything for Her (Carina Press), who first starting self-publishing with KDP and has amassed 159,000 ratings on Goodreads and nearly 20,000 reviews in just a few years.

Alexa Riley is the pseudonym of Melissa K. and Lea R., two women who share a passion for writing insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories. Goodreads interviewed them via email to share their success story during Romance Week. “People ask us all the time how is it possible for two people to write as a team, but for us we’ve never known another way,” they explain. “We both wrote our first book as Alexa Riley, so we’ve developed our flow from day one. We also joke that we don’t think we could ever write a book without the other one, and we’ve yet to try it.”

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Alexa Riley published about 30 books last year, and plans to deliver around 2 per month going forward. Readers have learned to trust the brand with delivering their favorite kind of romance. “We are big believers in branding yourself as an author. If you want a readership to trust you, then you’ve got to be able to deliver the same thing to them each time in a new and exciting way,” they said.

Both Melissa and Lea had started out blogging and knew the romance book world pretty well before embarking on their first book, Owning the Beast in 2014. But for their career to succeed they had to brush up on their marketing knowledge pretty quickly, and they credit their early giveaways and building up a mailing list as their most successful early marketing strategies.

Goodreads also played a part in interacting with readers in a non-self-promotional kind of away. “Getting to talk to readers and share what you love to read is big. Not only that, they can see when I tell them a new book is out,” the authors say. Melissa Anthony, the product manager who signed them on at Carina Press, was impressed by their ability to promote across platforms. “When I saw the Goodreads screenshot giveaway they did a few months ago, it gave me pause because it was such a smart and simple way to get readers sharing on both Facebook and Goodreads platforms and uniquely promote their book at the same time.”

Having officially-crossed over into hybrid-author territory, they value to the merits of both traditional and self-publishing. “Going with a traditional publisher gave us a market we hadn’t been able to tap into before, and grew our fan base,” they say. “With indie authors, the best thing you can do is widening your net to reach as many people as possible, and Carina Press gave us that opportunity. We still enjoy our self publishing, and wouldn’t ever give it up.”

Sweet surprises await fans of Alexa Riley, as Lea and Michelle show no plans of slowing down. “The best advice we ever received is to keep writing. We always tell people to keep putting words on the page. The way the market moves now is so fast, that you’ve got to be able to keep up with the demand. And romance readers are ravenous.”Romance Week Kiss

Top Three Marketing Tips

  • Define your brand. This requires you to think about what you will write and what you won’t write. Keep your branding consistent so readers can immediately recognize your books and know what to expect.
  • Make it easy for readers to contact you. Readers looking to connect with Alexa Riley can find links to Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, and Tumblr on the website.
  • Build a mailing list. This is your direct line to your readers for whatever you wish to share with them, and alerting them to new releases when they’re available.

Next: For the Love of Books: Quotes About Reading

You might also like: Indie Authors Share Their Secrets to Creating Successful Self-Publishing Careers

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Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Henry (last edited Feb 13, 2017 07:33AM) (new)

Henry Tobias This reminds me of the old IBM typewriter advert 'Two Heads are Better Than One' for their two headed typewriter in July 1961.
I can imagine the advantages to writing with a collaborator. I belong to a writing group and the input I get is invaluable.

message 2: by Brian (new)

Brian Suiter The Recusants - Amazon Kindle Store. Give it a read and let me know you thought, would love to hear them.

message 3: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Beverly Who can write 30 books in a month? I'd like to know it they do this full-time. In other words, do they have day jobs?

message 4: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon Hi Pamela - I believe it's 30 books per year, not month. That would be super-human (super-author?)


message 5: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Beverly Oh sorry, that's what happens when you get up early, lol!

message 6: by Dane (new)

Dane Purdy That is genuine that we lose sureness when we need to experience disappointment. We imagine that college reviews is finished for me a large part of the time we feel weakness or weight, yet I figure rather thinking or feeling all these dreadful things we should begin our new trip which will be about the achievement and accomplishment in the life.

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