Inkshares Community discussion

Promotional Strategy Discussion > Attracting readers to Inkshares

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message 1: by Faith (new)

Faith (faithallington) Does anybody have thoughts about how to attract more readers to Inkshares? I'd love to feel like my book would fail funding because there are better books in the same genre, not because I simply don't know enough people... Imagine if Barnes and Noble had an option to pre-buy novels in their store, I feel like they'd get enough foot traffic to get orders on at least some of them.

Do you all think there are features that would attract a larger number of readers or is it just a factor of time / # of books available?

message 2: by Billy (new)

Billy O’Keefe (billyok) | 77 comments I've been wondering that too, Faith — particularly with regard to genres that don't bring in people through contests like the sci-fi/fantasy contests do.

So far, it's been a case of me conveying the appeal of the site one person at a time, which is effective (and certainly helpful for my own selfish campaign needs), but not efficient.

So I'm trying a different tactic this week and sending physical media kits out that talk not only about my book, but also about the appeal of Inkshares to both readers and writers alike. I'm sending it to the big outlets, but I'm also focusing hard on independent weeklies and especially campus newspapers, which have a captive audience and are crawling with people who (a) read and (b) aren't intimidated by the crowdfunding model or the notion of paying online for books that don't yet fully exist. My hope is to cast a net that's wider than simply people who might take an interest in what I'm selling. I sent the first batch of kits out this morning, so time will tell if it works.

message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason (atomicboywonder) | 44 comments I'm actually considering the press kit route as well, Billy. Asheville and the surrounding area is full of a lot of small, independent bookstores, so I'll be hitting those up, as well as the college campuses.

I do think there is a good possibility that people are put off by the crowdfunding model as I got a huge amount of hits to my landing page when I was pushing it on social media, but the conversion to sales was very low, if non-existent. I think we have to sell the crowdfunding route as much as we have to sell our book.

message 4: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Huang (christopher_huang) | 73 comments It occurs to me that it matters a lot how we're selling things here.

Jason: I think that when selling pre-orders to family and friends, it's right to emphasise the crowdfunding aspect and tell them that they're doing this to support you (oh, and they'll get a book in the bargain); conversely, when selling to strangers, it seems to me that we should emphasise that these are pre-orders for a book, and maybe not mention the crowdfunding aspect unless asked.

I don't know ... it's just a thought. Does it seem reasonable or likely?

As for getting *readers* into Inkshares, I don't know how the marketing team is doing it, but I've had a couple of thoughts. One idea is to sell Inkshares as an online bookshop; get people browsing and buying. Another idea is to sell Inkshares as a sort of "dictate what goes into bookshops" machine, and appeal to people's desire for control; tell them they're voting with their wallets. The first idea would focus on selling books, whereas the second would focus on backing books.

♠ Tabi⁷ ♠ (tabi_card) I'm willing to share press kits if anyone has them available, to both my own reader circle and outlets =)

message 6: by Billy (new)

Billy O’Keefe (billyok) | 77 comments Here's a PDF version of what I've been mailing out (printed on the nicest paper I can find, of course). Feel free to do what you like with this for reference or sharing's sake:

And here's the letter I'm attaching to it. Just to give people some ideas about introducing two plugs at once to people who are inundated with sales pitches all day long.

I'm keeping everything as brief as I can without doing disservice to the information I want to share.

message 7: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold Billy wrote: "Here's a PDF version of what I've been mailing out (printed on the nicest paper I can find, of course). Feel free to do what you like with this for reference or sharing's sake: http://friendsonpoli..."

Thank you so much for sharing these. I've spent plenty of time trying to teach myself how to write query letters to publishers and agents, but in doing so neglected trying to do the same with press kits. Seeing these examples help a lot with putting my mind on the right track.

message 8: by A.C. (new)

A.C. Weston (acwestonwrites) | 191 comments Mod
I've been thinking that we could all be taking the angle of our book + new way of getting published for getting promotion in local media. I haven't tried it yet because I want to be able to give a release date for my book, but it's a strategy we all can use at any time.

Newspapers and news channels generally like these things for human interest/entertainment stories: a local element, something new or different, and positive tales of a person striving for their dreams and whatnot. We can pitch ourselves as local authors striving for our dreams through a hybrid publishing company that's on the cutting edge of the future of publishing (something I believe is true). It will benefit us all if some of us start getting newspaper or tv interviews.

I know that sounds intimidating, but I think it would make a solid story and journalists are always looking for content. Always. We just have to do what Billy is doing with his pretty damn kickass media kit. AWESOME JOB, BILLY!

message 9: by Billy (new)

Billy O’Keefe (billyok) | 77 comments Thank you Cara and Thomas. It *is* intimidating, but then so is this whole thing, right?

message 10: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Arnold Billy wrote: "Thank you Cara and Thomas. It *is* intimidating, but then so is this whole thing, right?"

Hear hear! Of course that's why I've found this community to be such a wonderful thing. I tend to assume I find it all so daunting because of my social ineptitude/anxiety/brokenness, but then I see that people who otherwise seem from my perspective to be really well functioning human beings. That causes me to realize that I may just not be giving myself enough credit and keeps me from just breaking and throwing up my hands.

Then of course there's the sharing of promotional ideas/efforts and whatnot, a thing I wish I could contribute more to than just the occasional "that sounds like a good idea" or "I'll squawk as loud as I can from my tiny soapbox for you", but each to their own ability. And of course as I learn more from watching/listening to others, that grows my knowledge base so that when I do encounter someone who hasn't been through those steps yet I have something to pass on to them.

Most importantly I contribute an ability to ramble on with obvious facts when I really should just go to sleep. I really do need to stop hopping on here in the couple hours between getting home from work and passing out.

message 11: by Jason (last edited Feb 26, 2016 09:51AM) (new)

Jason (atomicboywonder) | 44 comments Billy, you mind if I paraphrase your write-up on Inkshares you have in your press release to be used in my own? It's excellent. I'm finishing mine up today and I'll post it for anyone to share. Then I'll be sending them out like mad.

Also, approaching the local media I think is a good idea. I live in an eclectic, somewhat artsy town and getting my story out there, that is my personal story about being a first time author using a cutting-edge publishing avenue, can probably work well in my favor around these parts.

message 12: by Billy (new)

Billy O’Keefe (billyok) | 77 comments Jason, absolutely feel free to take as much as you want. That goes for everybody here.

message 13: by Jason (last edited Feb 26, 2016 03:41PM) (new)

Jason (atomicboywonder) | 44 comments Awesome, thanks. I pretty much copied the "What is Inkshares?" part verbatim (it was perfect). I also formatted my form letter similarly, but in my own words.

Here's the dropbox link to my press kit zip file, for anyone that wants to share it:

I have a couple of friends also sharing this and once the business cards and postcards are printed, I'll be including those in the physical kit.

message 14: by Billy (new)

Billy O’Keefe (billyok) | 77 comments Very cool, Jason! I'm delighted that more folks are doing this. And if I get some hits from media and they're looking for more people to talk to, this group is the first place I'll turn.

message 15: by Elayna (new)

Elayna (elaynamae) This sounds really awesome. I've been working on putting together a press kit for mine which I'm hoping to start getting out there by the end of this week. :) Great ideas being thrown about! And Billy, I agree that your media kit looks FABULOUS.

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