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Archived Marketing No New Posts > Where do you advertise?

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message 1: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Hi, Fellow Indies

I'm curious... where do you advertise your books?

For me, it's Twitter. I've had a lot of success there, but I know I need to branch out. I also announce promos here on goodreads.

I'd love to hear about other places (free and paid) to advertise my book. Do you care to share your top five?

April


message 2: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
I advertise no where, except twitter. That's my shout box. I also don't pay for advertising, mostly because I can't afford to.


message 3: by Idav (new)

Idav Kelly (alixe_tiir) | 37 comments I use twitter. My co-author uses facebook. Mostly facebook has been more successful than twitter. I was thinking about paying for an ad on goodreads but right now I'm not sure.


message 4: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Capes | 90 comments Hi April, you could try advertising with newsletter type promo sites?


Here's a list for some (free & paid):

http://www.digitalpubbing.com/7-strat...

The link starts at the free part of the list and the whole site has a broader range of advice too.

I find promo sites to be hit and miss, some are more effective than others for certain genres too, but some ads cost as little as $5-$8 dollars so it can be a (reasonably) cheap way to test the waters.


message 5: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) How does Twitter advertising work? I have an account but virtually no experience doing anything on Twitter.


message 6: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Joe wrote: "How does Twitter advertising work? I have an account but virtually no experience doing anything on Twitter."

Hi, Joe. I don't mean "officially" advertising on Twitter. I mean just tweeting ads for my books... I create "ads" and post them along with links and announcements, blurbs, etc... That's all free.

April


message 7: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) Is there a way to make more people than just your followers see? Seeing as I only have 2 followers and one is my sister-in-law. Use of hashtags or something?

Thanks.


message 8: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
There are lots of hashtags you can use. I have a whole blog post on it somewhere, I'll have to see if I can find it...


message 9: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Yes, hashtags will let a lot of people see the tweets... anyone who searches for those hashtags.

You need to build a following on Twitter. To do that, you have to be an active member, make friends, find others who are like you. Post interesting comments about your writing, your thoughts on writing, congratulate other writers on their successes, new releases, cover reveals, etc...

I have over 430 followers now, developed over about six weeks, and I follow many more than that. I mostly follow other authors, graphic artists, photographers, musicians, book reviewers... anyone who does anything with books, or who is creative in general. When they retweet or favorite me, then their readers see my tweets, and vice verse. When I retweet them, my followers/readers see their tweets. It's very much a communal, mutual support structure. And I find Twitter very effective for getting the word out. I've heard a lot of people poo-poo Twitter as a tool for marketing, but I think they're wrong. I think they're underutilizing Twitter. It's actually quite vast and very supportive.

I think the trick to Twitter is this: "To have a friend, you have to be a friend." Just like in real life. Be kind to others (on Twitter) and they'll be kind to you. Also, follow people who follow you. You'll build a lot of new connections and friends that way.

April


message 10: by Owen (last edited Aug 15, 2015 10:18PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments So far, we haven't (beyond a few experiments). Our readers (from everything we can tell) don't like ads much. They don't read book blogs a great deal, and they don't go looking for books on social media. They seem to be anti-twitter. They go by word of mouth and by books that are similar to books they like. So the biggest thing is the "also bought" list on Amazon.

The key to advertising is knowing where where your readers go to look for books.


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Capes | 90 comments Owen wrote: "So the biggest thing is the "also bought" list on Amazon."

I agree, the 'also bought' is the only reason I get random sales, I'd wager.

Any other sale is directly due to the newsletter sites (for me)


message 12: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments I agree about the "Also Bought" lists. However, to get there, you have to sell some books, and the more you sell, the better your visibility becomes.

I've had good results with a few promo sites; I always search kboards first before making a decision on whom to use. My best results have been with ENT, followed by KB&T and Fussy Librarian.


message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Owen wrote: "So far, we haven't (beyond a few experiments). Our readers (from everything we can tell) don't like ads much. They don't read book blogs a great deal, and they don't go looking for books on social ..."

I believe that being listed among the "new" books along with the "also bought" feature were the primary contributors to the modest sales success I had with my most recent book. Twitter seems to generate website traffic, but results in almost no sales.


message 14: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Ken wrote: "Twitter seems to generate website traffic, but results in almost no sales. "

I see a direct correlation between marketing on Twitter and sales. I think it boils down to HOW you market on Twitter. I see a lot of ineffective attempts at marketing on Twitter, and those are just annoying. But astute marketing on Twitter bring results, IMHO.


message 15: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Ken wrote: "I agree about the "Also Bought" lists. However, to get there, you have to sell some books, and the more you sell, the better your visibility becomes."

This is yet another perk of offering a free promo.


message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) April wrote: "I see a direct correlation between marketing on Twitter and sales. I think it boils down to HOW you market ..."

I think my "mini-ads" are effective at generating interest, as I said, but I'm not reaching my audience on Twitter. Same thing with Google+. It's possible that my audience has never heard of Twitter and Google+ and are all on Facebook.


message 17: by Kenneth (last edited Aug 16, 2015 09:05AM) (new)

Kenneth Brown | 17 comments I advertise on Facebook and get a lot of positive response don't know about sales. Iwill be advertising on Goodreads. I have tried to advertise on Goodreads but couldn’t get connected. Mind Process and Formulas: Principles, Techniques, Formulas, and Processes for Success


message 18: by Igzy (new)

Igzy Dewitt (IgzyDewitt) | 148 comments Ken wrote: "April wrote: "I see a direct correlation between marketing on Twitter and sales. I think it boils down to HOW you market ..."

I think my "mini-ads" are effective at generating interest, as I said,..."


Well now I'm intrigued, Ken.

What exactly are your "mini-ads," and how do you find that they are effective for you?


message 19: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Just an FYI, it looks like Twitter changed the way they display pictures, at least in the app, so the 2:1 ratio is cutting off the left side of the image.


message 20: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Igzy wrote: "What exactly are your "mini-ads," and how do you find that they are effective for you?"

You can see them right here https://twitter.com/doggettken

And, though I could be mistaken, they seem to attract enough attention to entice people to click on my website. I have a lot of different ones so that I'm not tweeting the same one all day.


message 21: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) The important aspects to participating on Twitter, building your author brand, and marketing are these: (IMHO)

1. Be active on Twitter, as a user (not just as someone trying to build their brand or market).

2. Be a friend to others. You have to be a friend to make friends.

3. Make sure that your posts aren't all about marketing. Talk about other things, too. Comment on other people's works and interests and comments and successes.

4. Mix up your ads on Twitter. People get really sick and tired of seeing the same "ad" over the over - and that will drive them away. But, if you mix it up and use a lot of different ads (variety is the spice of life!), they'll tolerate the ads much more easily. I have about half a dozen ads so far, but I want to have 20.)

This is all from IMHO, of course. I'm going by my own experiences, my own feelings as a user of Twitter, the rate at which my Twitter following is growing and broadening, and the correlation I see between marketing on Twitter and book sales/downloads through Kindle Unlimited. Marketing and building a brand on Twitter takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication. You can't do it half-heartedly. Your results are commensurate with the effort you put into it.

... just my two cents worth.

p.s. FYI - I've had other people on Twitter ask me where I get my ads... how they're created. (I make them myself with Photoshop.) So, they are getting noticed.

April


message 22: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Wilson | 81 comments They're great, April. I dont have photoshop, but I may have to get it!
And I totally agree about helping each other out. If quote tweets and say something good about a work, authors appreciate it and return the favor.


message 23: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
If you don't have $800 for photoshop, you can always download Gimp for free. It does almost everything that photoshop does.


message 24: by Igzy (new)

Igzy Dewitt (IgzyDewitt) | 148 comments paint.net is pretty robust as well for editing banners, pictures, and the like. Also available for free.

And thank you, Christina.


message 25: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Wilson | 81 comments Riley wrote: "If you don't have $800 for photoshop, you can always download Gimp for free. It does almost everything that photoshop does."

Thanks! I had no idea it was $800!


message 26: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Wilson | 81 comments Ok, I found a free app on my mac and tried to make a couple. Check out my twitter feed, April! @wendilwilson


message 27: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Wendi wrote: "Ok, I found a free app on my mac and tried to make a couple. Check out my twitter feed, April! @wendilwilson"

Cool, Wendi! I'll go look at them right now.

There are plenty of alternatives to Photoshop. I already had Photoshop because of my day job. There's also Photoshop Elements, which is a small, affordable program. Plus, all the free ones mentioned above in other posts.

April


message 28: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Wendi wrote: "Ok, I found a free app on my mac and tried to make a couple. Check out my twitter feed, April! @wendilwilson"

Great job, Wendi! I'm so proud of you. You really jumped right into it.

Make some more so you can alternate them. I think it's good to mix things up. I want to make a bunch more, too.

Great job, you!

April


message 29: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Wilson | 81 comments April wrote: "Wendi wrote: "Ok, I found a free app on my mac and tried to make a couple. Check out my twitter feed, April! @wendilwilson"

Great job, Wendi! I'm so proud of you. You really jumped right into it.
..."


Thanks! I will! It was super easy. The app is called PhotoScape X


message 30: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 787 comments Since people have mentioned Twitter on here and even hashtags, I thought I'd give you a list I came across of popular hashtags used from time to time, I myself have also used them. The list is for Readers, Authors, Genre and Book Promos.

# for Readers:
FridayReads
BoookGiveaway
MustRead
FreeBook
Kindle
StoryFriday

# for Authors:
AmWriting
AmEditing
PoetsofTwitter
AskAuthor
AuthorAlliance (They will usually retweet you)

# for Genre
Horror
Poetry
IndiePoetry
IndieBooks

# for Book Promos
IndieBookPromos
IARTG (Indie Author ReTweet Group)
BookBoost
BookBlaster
BookPromo


message 31: by Ross (new)

Ross Ponderson | 61 comments April wrote: "Marketing and building a brand on Twitter takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication. You can't do it half-heartedly. Your results are commensurate with the effort you put into it...."

I've found that providing an eclectic mix of content allows me to post ads for my novel without turning off a significant number of followers. A lot of my posts are interesting or inspirational bits and pieces of writing wisdom re-tweeted from other sites.

I have no problem with re-tweeting other authors' promos if they'll return the favor. But it must be reciprocal. After all, I'm not on Twitter solely to be a publicist for other authors. Like them, I have a book to sell too.

Among my followers, I have a small group of other writers I can depend on for mutual postings, so I'll put up a post for them from time to time and usually get one back. Good deal: you help me, I'll help you. On Twitter, you must give something if you want to get something.

I just passed the 200-follower mark (a year ago, I didn't even have a Twitter account!), but some of my newest followers are entrepreneurs selling marketing services, individuals "selling" followers ("10,000 followers for $29.00!"), or people who have no connection whatsoever to books or writing. Frankly, I wonder how they find me. In most cases, I simply ignore them. They usually un-follow in a few days anyway.

A blogger once told me to put up a new promo every couple of days or so and that's what I try to do.

My author blog stats tell me that Twitter is driving some traffic to my site, but I haven't noticed any appreciable uptick in sales.

I think the best thing that can happen to an indie author is to find a blogger/reviewer who will take an interest in your book, jump on its bandwagon, and promote the hell out of it with an interview or spotlight feature along with a review. But with reviewers as swamped as they are these days, good luck in finding one. It takes a LOT of searching and querying ... not to mention timing and a good serving of luck.

Good luck to us all.

https://twitter.com/RossPonderson

http://rossponderson.blogspot.com


message 32: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments April wrote: "The important aspects to participating on Twitter, building your author brand, and marketing are these: (IMHO)

1. Be active on Twitter, as a user (not just as someone trying to build their brand o..."


As with everything, it all depends on your readers. This is excellent advice, if your readers look to twitter to find their next book. Some readers are active on twitter and some aren't. The research we've been able to do suggests that twitter isn't an effective way to reach sci-fi readers (especially ours), so if that's what you write and you aren't getting sales out of twitter, that could be why. The same may be true of other genres. Some genres seem to more twitter friendly.

When marketing, don't spend time "milking a dead horse". If you give something a what you consider to be a fair go, and don't see results, it's usually best to just move on. There are certainly effective ways to market and ineffective ways to market, but most marketing simply does not work for most products. Don't get stuck in the "infinite marketing loop." As has been said many times, the only that really works to sell your book is your next book.


message 33: by Ellison (new)

Ellison Blackburn (ellisonblackburn) | 130 comments FYI Adobe products can also be used by monthly subscription with Adobe Creative Cloud: https://creative.adobe.com/plans


message 34: by Grey (new)

Grey Liliy (greyliliy) | 19 comments Advertise your book where you're active, is what I've tended to do and notice.

I'm not on Twitter a lot, so I mostly use it for one book announcement when it comes out, and then the rest is regular tweets.

On the other hand, I'm on Tumblr constantly - so I use it to advertise more. Since I'm a regular user, my book posts get distributed fairly often between other things. So followers don't get overwhelmed with "BUY MY BOOKS". And since my followers like me (and are the biggest source of my readers), they reblog and advertise for me when I release a new book.

Word of mouth from others sells books way more than the author trying to sell. :3

Other places I advertise are my webcomic site & of course, my Patreon page. Oh! And Goodreads, naturally. XD I release a blog post with each book release. :3

I think the key is one or two announcements in places where you're already a regular, active user. That way your followers know you've got a book out, but they also know you're still a person there to participate normally. :3


message 35: by Robert (new)

Robert Eggleton | 11 comments Riley wrote: "I advertise no where, except twitter. That's my shout box. I also don't pay for advertising, mostly because I can't afford to."

Riley, I identify with that financial status. I just retired and can barely afford the gas money to drive to the grocery store.

Robert Eggleton


message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Eggleton | 11 comments Riley wrote: "There are lots of hashtags you can use. I have a whole blog post on it somewhere, I'll have to see if I can find it..."

If you find your hashtags, I would appreciate a copy. I don't know how to use them, so a short explanation would be very much appreciate. Thanks

Robert

robert_t(at)suddenlink(dot)net

or

www.lacydawnadventures.com


message 37: by Robert (new)

Robert Eggleton | 11 comments Christina wrote: "Ken wrote: "I agree about the "Also Bought" lists. However, to get there, you have to sell some books, and the more you sell, the better your visibility becomes."

This is yet another perk of offer..."



message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert Eggleton | 11 comments Do free promos count as also bought?


message 39: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Yes, free promos count as also bought. As for hashtags, their are too many to name. But some simple ones for bargain books are #99c #Kindle #KindleUnlimited (If you're in KU) #BargainBooks and #BookBoost (She'll retweet you 3 times a day.) Oh, and #SupportIndieAuthors will get you a retweet if I see it!


message 40: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments I mostly use Tumblr, Facebook and my own blog. I'm also posting short stories and novellas onto various writing sites, because the way I figure it, if you want to get readers then you need to give them something to read. However, because I made the mistake of publishing my book before advertising myself, I can't say for sure if anything I'm doing is working. But I have two more books I hope to publish this year, so we'll see, we'll see.


message 41: by Robert (new)

Robert Eggleton | 11 comments Riley, Thanks. Do you just type in the hash tag when you tweet? Can you make up your own hash tag?

Melissa, I've been looking for a site to post a free story but have not come up with what I think is a good place so far. Wattpad felt like mostly YA and series instead of free standing stories to me. I don't write YA. Writer's Cafe had been hijacked with spam as of a couple of days ago. Where would a story get a lot of potential attention?

Thanks you two for helping out an older guy with inadequate skills in cyberspace.


message 42: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 6 comments I am in a similar boat as Melissa. I published and then tried to market. I don't know if any of what I'm doing is working either >.<

@April
Thank you for posting the Twitter tips! I am an introvert, and I find it helpful when someone suggests ways of befriending others.

I don't tweet about my book much (I am deathly afraid I will lose half of my followers). Have you ever lost followers over tweeting your ads? They look nice, by the way! I do post a link to my blog when I update it though.


message 43: by Erika (new)

Erika Lawrence | 1 comments Thanks for the tips.


message 44: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments M.L. wrote: "I don't tweet about my book much (I am deathly afraid I will lose half of my followers). Have you ever lost followers over tweeting your ads?...."

I don't unfollow people very often. However, I'm careful about whom I follow back. If their feed is full of retweets or promo tweets, I don't follow them to begin with. For me, it's quality over quantity, but I know many other Twitter users are not as picky.


message 45: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments I have tried Twitter posts, author interviews, fb ads, GR ads...most seem fairly dismal in my sales stakes, I'm afraid. Maybe my ads/blurbs just aren't great?? I dunno.

I did just try RobinReads, which although I didn't get a huge number of sales from did get me some. I will try them again to see if I get more joy. Sometimes people need to see your name more than once to 'see' it.

If you guys find anything else that works please do let me know. I've made note of the tips already here, with thanks.

My main issue is a flooded market, I fear. I write adult romance (who doesn't these days!?). Soooo many books to choose from! :-/


message 46: by Ken (last edited Aug 25, 2015 08:00AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Ken wrote: "M.L. wrote: "I don't tweet about my book much (I am deathly afraid I will lose half of my followers). Have you ever lost followers over tweeting your ads?...."

I don't unfollow people very often. ..."


I'll follow someone who uses promo tweets, although I may mute them, but I won't follow anyone who's existence on Twitter is to sell "followers," and I won't follow anyone who mixes their political opinions with book discussions. I'm there for books, and that's all. I see no other use for Twitter.

If I lose followers because I tweet about my books, then I figure those people aren't interested in my books anyway.


message 47: by Ross (new)

Ross Ponderson | 61 comments T.L. wrote: "Soooo many books to choose from! :-/ ..."

Well put. I think that pretty much sums up the dilemma facing ALL of us.

This is one very crowded ocean we little fish have all jumped into. IMHO, our options boil down to these: don't be afraid to try a number of promotional avenues ... that's the only way to discover what'll work for you and what won't; use common sense and good judgement; find the strength to keep on keepin' on even when your sales numbers have flat-lined.

In my experience, Twitter seems to be the most effective (in a very minimal sense) in driving traffic to my author blog. FB has done next to nothing for me; I keep it because it's "expected" in many quarters of an indie author to have an FB presence. I don't necessarily agree with that argument, but that seems to be the prevailing attitude these days.

I'm also gathering a number of "followers" who are entrepreneurs selling marketing services or those selling followers. I ignore them because they generally unfollow a few days later anyhow once I don't buy anything from them.

I also ignore followers whose tweets are politically-based. I'm in the business of writing and publishing, not political debate. Then there are those whose tweets are in a language I don't understand. Especially in times like these, I want to KNOW who and what I'm following.

I don't have a problem retweeting other authors' promos as long as they reciprocate. You help me; I help you. Win-win. That's also a good way to build professional relationships. But it must go both ways.

I recall reading somewhere that an author should post a promo tweet every 3 days or so. That seems reasonable to me. If I lose followers because of that, that's just the nature of the business. My follower number fluctuates daily anyhow.

As indies, our options are extremely limited. I guess we just have to do the best we can with what's available to us and hope for a lucky break. It's a tough way to go about business ... but let's face it: this is a tough business.

Good luck to all of us.


message 48: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I post a tweet about my books approx. every 2 or 3 hours, but I have a dozen different ones, and I try to post them in some order so that I don't repeat too soon. Twitter does seem to drive lookers to the website, but they don't seem to be buyers.


message 49: by Kevin (new)

Kevin McLeod (vikingsapprentice) | 5 comments Guys,

I've got a twitter following of around 8600 which is growing at a rate of 50-200 per day. There are easy ways to build a connected and active following. I use crowdfire (used to be called justunfollow). The reason I do this is that it lets you see who follows other accounts that are similar to you, and crucially it shows you followers that are engaged with the authors they follow. This allows a quick building of a following and means your posts get retweeted and your followers interact which leads to converstations and more new followers! Happy to discuss further if anyone wants more info.


message 50: by Kevin (new)

Kevin McLeod (vikingsapprentice) | 5 comments Oh and I also use hootsuite. I post probably 500 tweets a week however maybe 50 of these are to do with my books and others are retweets and information for people interested in my genre. For example relevant quotes and websites that can help readers and authors.


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