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Archived > How Did You First Get Noticed? Paid or Free Services

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message 1: by D.L. (new)

D.L. LeBlanc | 4 comments I have published my first ebook, and I am wondering what everyone did as a first-time author to get noticed?
I published September 16th through Lulu and started a free promo for the month of October. Will extend if need be.
I post updates on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but downloads have not picked up. I've also posted the promotion on Facebook pages, boosted my FB page, and emailed a few websites looking for reviews.
Did you use free services or pay for promotion/reviews? If you did use paid services, which ones can be trusted?
I've read various articles on the subject but would rather hear first hand what did and didn't work.
Thanks!


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments All free services. I did a free download promotion only. The reviews were good. No paid promotions except a few Facebook boosts.

Sales remain good. I have no idea why.

I think it is because I keep writing. Every time I publish anything sales on everything bump.

Plus my weekly web cartoon gets massive hits.


message 3: by Owen (last edited Oct 03, 2016 05:12PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I'm afraid I be can't be a lot of help. For us, it was pure dumb luck.

But as Martin points out, continuing to write is the key. The more books an authors has out, the better the chances of being noticed, and more impact that notice will have.

Good luck!


message 4: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman I did a press release on Bostick Communications the week the book becomes available. I send them the cover, a description, the ISBN and bio information. When it goes live- reviewers write in asking for either a paperback or mobi copy. With each book, I build up my mailing list and I mail copies of the book out or send a Kindle. The weeks before the book comes out, I have a social marketing person who engages with people by playing games, having a Facebook party, or gives out prizes like signed books. I usually do a few blog tours- related to the book we are releasing. I am always looking for reviewers, so I will cruise through Amazon and click on book reviewers looking for email address of people willing to review. Through the years I have a lot of steady bloggers who will run contests and have a review up the week the book comes out. At the bottom of your Amazon page there is a way to do a contest. I use Instagram and Twitter alerting people they can try to win the book. This usually results in sales of the book as well. I always do a Kirkus and Foreword Review as well for each book we publish. I know many authors don't like to pay for reviews, but I feel they help get us noticed. So, in answer to your question- it's a mixture of both.


message 5: by Thomas (last edited Oct 04, 2016 08:24AM) (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments I went the opposite direction of online to get noticed. Sure I did some small promotion stuff, but what I really focused on was building my physical presence.

So the first big promotion I did when I got published? I handed out book marks to anyone who was interested at taking one at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle. So technically I paid for it because I had to buy the book marks and I had to attend ECCC (I was going anyway). Big event. Lots of faces. Every last book mark given away. Did it result in sales? Not so much, but it still got my name out there to people. It was the beginning of building my physical brand.

Edit to add: Getting noticed is going to be a combination of a lot of things, not just a single thing. My biggest thing to get my name out there has been the continuation of going to many different physical locations and venues to sell and promote.


message 6: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman You are so right Thomas. It's all about the brand.


message 7: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Are press releases worth paying for? Or is it just as good to email various publications individually?


message 8: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman Createspace used to do the press release as part of a package and then stopped. I tried both Bostick and the big guy that puts your release in Times Square. Bostick is under two hundred dollars- I'm not sure maybe 150. The other one was definitely over a thousand. I got tons more interest from Bostick and built a big part of my mailing list. Some of those reviewers have been with me for over four years.


message 9: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
I first got noticed here. In this group. In the introductions thread.


message 10: by D.L. (new)

D.L. LeBlanc | 4 comments D.L. wrote: "I have published my first ebook, and I am wondering what everyone did as a first-time author to get noticed?
I published September 16th through Lulu and started a free promo for the month of Octobe..."


Martin wrote: "All free services. I did a free download promotion only. The reviews were good. No paid promotions except a few Facebook boosts.

Sales remain good. I have no idea why.

I think it is because I kee..."

Thanks for your input. I've read articles that state focus on promotion instead of writing but I'm trying to do a combination of both.


message 11: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Obviously promotion is important - people can't read your book if they never see it or hear about it - but writing is always important. First of all, the more books you publish the more people you can attract. Second of all, if you write like a hack and no one enjoys reading your stuff, promotion can only take you so far.

So I think they are equally important.


message 12: by Joel (last edited Oct 08, 2016 06:33AM) (new)

Joel Horn (joelhorn) C.L. wrote: "Obviously promotion is important - people can't read your book if they never see it or hear about it - but writing is always important. First of all, the more books you publish the more people you ..." I agree you have to get your books out there to the right people but I think you are right if your content sucks you are harming your brand. If you are marketing to the right group and are getting overly negative reviews, pay attention and work on your content before you blacklist your brand.
I have been working on getting enough review on my novel to make them eligible for the big promotion sites like Book Bub etc. but I am paying close attention to my reviews. If I start getting a lot of 1,2 and 3 star reviews I am going back and looking at my content.


message 13: by S. (new)

S. Thomas (sshanethomas) I took a similar approach to Thomas. I put things in the real world. I've consigned my books into 18 bookstores in the Northeast US, and I leave a single page brochure that has cover art, a chapter of my book, and a character sketch. The brochure leads to my website, which has an embedded google map where to buy. I leave them at grocery stores, rest stops, libraries, my barber, and I sign them all. I also sticker and sign my consigned copies. I don't have a big head, but I hope that potential readers will pick it up and think, "Maybe he'll get big, then I can sell this, or brag!"


message 14: by Rohvannyn (new)

Rohvannyn Shaw | 189 comments I also have a mix. Here's what I've done so far: I've worked with Lulu, CreateSpace, and KDP. KDP probably has the best sales because I did the Select program, which allows people to download my books for free if they have a Kindle subscription. That allows me to put a "free for kindle subscribers" note on my promotions, and people love free stuff.

Of the paid services I've tried, FastPencil is actually pretty good because they have distribution through a lot of online bookstores. Complete NaNoWriMo in November to get a 75% discount on their services. It's totally worth it.

I have a blog and I'll also offer guest blogging for other people. That's helped with getting my name out there.

This last bit is a little funny but it's helped me, so I figured I'd share it. Ever seen those promotions of 100 4 x 6 prints for a dollar, or 50 free prints and you pay only shipping?

I use those. Every time. I have made promos for my books, my art site, and my blog, and I use those offers to get decent amounts of them printed out so I have items to give out. It's cheap and a good way to start - best of all, the companies see I'm a regular customer and they keep sending me more offers!


message 15: by Annabelle (new)

Annabelle Costa | 62 comments When people say that their sales are good, what does that mean? How many sales per day do you think is "good"? What sort of ranking on Amazon is considered respectable?


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Right now I'm doing a happy dance when I get a single sale since my first title is newly out, but good will be when I'm making enough to live, and that won't happen until I get to 1000+ sales a month.


message 17: by Ken (last edited Oct 14, 2016 05:43AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Alex wrote: "Right now I'm doing a happy dance when I get a single sale since my first title is newly out, but good will be when I'm making enough to live, and that won't happen until I get to 1000+ sales a month."

I can understand that. The only ad buying I've done is about $5 for a Facebook ad that went nowhere. The difference for me is that if I ever do have a breakthrough book, I don't just want to make a living at this, I wanna be rich!

Sorry, was that too materialistic? I can never tell.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments I'd like to be rich Ken, don't get me wrong, rich would be great, but I'm practical enough to plan for bill-paying first and then dream big.


message 19: by Jack (new)

Jack O'Donnell | 17 comments I've been trying t figure this out too. if we start of with a graph where x = indifference and y = curiosity then putting in more time makes sense. The problem we face isn't that people are indifferent, or even curious, the problem is they don't know we exist. We are invisible. (I did write a post about that a long time ago). how do you make yourself visible is the big one?


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments I can't guarantee to get anyone too much notice, but if you'd like your book or other post to be featured on my newly established blog, I'll happily host you one per day, just message me with what you'd like.

I'll accept

posts promoting a book
author profiles
articles about writing
reviews of books you've read
articles about anything interesting.

No religious, political or controversial topics, thank you.

Disclaimer: I currently only get between 0-20 views per day, but all visibility is good, isn't it?


message 21: by Anna (last edited Oct 15, 2016 12:22AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments Thanks, Alex, info on its way! I'm off to take a look at your blog so that's at least one view today!


message 22: by Carole (last edited Oct 15, 2016 06:01AM) (new)

Carole P. Roman Alex has the right idea. Many bloggers are looking for material to make their own blogs more interesting. Three people on these threads have stirred up my own interest and I have purchased their books, because something they said sparked me enough to look for their book. Writing articles only takes time and then the effort to find people to feature them. It shouldn't be about your book, but about YOU and what makes you someone people should take the time to search out. Your bio should contain your book information and links. If someone has something interesting to say- I will be happy to put it on both my blog as well as my son's. Articles about trends, what inspires you to do this, anything really that you think would make someone say, I'd like to know how this person expresses other ideas- would be great. We stay away from religious, political or controversial topics as well. If everybody on these threads offers up their blogs to another five authors, and those authors bring more interest their way, it's a win-win situation. It broadens your visibility. We then post it to Facebook, Twitter and other sites. It is all free, so what's wrong with that?


message 23: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thanks Carole, I've already hosted one person from here, Anna Faversham, looking for others who might be interested.

I'm about to write an article on keeping busy and focused during the dreary winter months, at least I would be if I could find the focus, lol.


message 24: by Claire (new)

Claire (claireridgewood) | 3 comments Carole wrote: "Alex has the right idea. Many bloggers are looking for material to make their own blogs more interesting. Three people on these threads have stirred up my own interest and I have purchased their bo..."

I have a site that I am developing and would love to collaborate with you and other authors here.

I like to promote others but when it comes to my work I drop the ball so I came up with the idea of a book promotion site with reviews, articles, and fiction books. This way I promote mine along with everyone else's works. During the start-up period, I thought about charging authors to post their books but I just couldn't bring myself to charge so - it's free to both authors and readers. Take a look at it and let me know if you are interested in joining us. It's shiny new and waiting for articles and reviews. cwbookclub.com and you can email me at info@cwbookclub.com if you're open to collaboration and a win-win relationship.


message 25: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman The person who manages my social media will contact you with some reviews I've done on indie writers. I think it's a good start?


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Sylus (ianksylus) | 13 comments Hello CK,

Funny to think I found you previously without the assistance of GR, and my book looks very good on your site by the way. *Claps*


message 27: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Mitchell (elliemitchell) | 1 comments Alex wrote: "I can't guarantee to get anyone too much notice, but if you'd like your book or other post to be featured on my newly established blog, I'll happily host you one per day, just message me with what ..."

Hi Alex,

I would love to be featured on your blog. I also run a blog that is attached to my Author website, so if you'd ever like to be featured, then I would happily return the favour. :)

Daccari.


message 28: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Hi Daccari, if you send me a message via the contact button on my blog with whatever you would like me to feature, I'll be happy to give you some added exposure.
If you'd like me to promote a book, make sure to include price and links to wherever it can be bought, plus any interesting snippets either about the book, you or the writing experience.

Thanks


message 29: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Mitchell (elliemitchell) | 1 comments Thank you Alex,

I have just completed the contact form. :)


message 30: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Thanks Daccari, all sorted and promoted, hope it gets you at least a little more attention.


message 31: by M.C. (new)

M.C. Glan | 6 comments CK wrote: "Carole wrote: "Alex has the right idea. Many bloggers are looking for material to make their own blogs more interesting. Three people on these threads have stirred up my own interest and I have pur..."
Thank you , will be checking it out.


message 32: by M.C. (new)

M.C. Glan | 6 comments Martin wrote: "All free services. I did a free download promotion only. The reviews were good. No paid promotions except a few Facebook boosts.

Sales remain good. I have no idea why.

I think it is because I kee..."


That's what I heard too: keep writing; I'm about to publish my first fiction ebook, and I haven't done blogs and I don't have email lists (yet), but since I'm starting with Amazon Kindle, I am going to keep publishing new books so that people who like my first one, will (hopefully) want to buy my new ones. I also believe it would be great if you had a series, and promote the first one free...


message 33: by Anna (last edited Oct 19, 2016 02:05AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments Alex wrote: "Thanks Daccari, all sorted and promoted, hope it gets you at least a little more attention."

How's your blog coming along, Alex? It looks so good, I hope its hits are now above your previous top of 20.


message 34: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Mitchell (elliemitchell) | 1 comments Alex wrote: "Thanks Daccari, all sorted and promoted, hope it gets you at least a little more attention."

Thank you.

Best wishes Alex. :)


message 35: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments It's getting visitors from all around the world, some unlikely places, lol, but my average day is still 5-10 visitors and my record is only 28.
I am gaining new followers though so I think the numbers will gradually trend upward.
Currently my blog is a bit of a mish-mash of reviews, posts about mental health issues and other random stuff, so it's not really hitting one thing, which is likely to help it get more views but not sure how much it will help with driving people to buy my books and the books I promote.
Still, I think it's better to blog regularly, even if it is on a variety of different subjects, than to blog rarely.

I hope you've been getting some extra attention to your books recently.


message 36: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman Alex wrote: "Thanks Carole, I've already hosted one person from here, Anna Faversham, looking for others who might be interested.

I'm about to write an article on keeping busy and focused during the dreary win..."


Motivating and relatable. I look forward to reading it!


message 37: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Well I hope you enjoy it. I'm working on a couple of posts at the moment (they'll probably take me most of the day to write) one about video game irritations and another about my writing process.
I also have about 100 reviews, of various books, films and TV, scribbled down on a pad to put up as and when.
I also want to try and find ways to get guest posts and bloggers, I've not looked into it thoroughly as yet, but I think it could be helpful. A research project for when I have some spare moments.


message 38: by Carole (last edited Oct 19, 2016 07:02AM) (new)

Carole P. Roman Boo-yah! A comment on my blog this morning after featuring a new ,upcoming indie author CL Lynch!

Arlene M. October 19, 2016 at 5:55 AM
Just pre-order it!
Sounds Awesome.
Indy authors pour their souls into their work and need support getting the word out.

Reply


message 39: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Great stuff Carole, getting comments really makes a difference, they can be so hard to come by but show that people are reading and paying attention to your blog. Well done.


message 40: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman ;)


message 41: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 606 comments Mari wrote: "I also believe it would be great if you had a series, and promote the first one free... "

At first I was cringing over giving away my first book for free...because you know, it's a lot of work to write a book :D...but it turned out to be amazing for my sales. It doesn't sound logical at all, but I always get sales (at full price 2.99) of my first book the day after I list it for free.


message 42: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman It works. It stirs up interest and by putting it for free- the ratings go to lower numbers, making it visible to the public.
Marie, you have multiple books in a series. It stands to reason that if you manage to get a "reader" hooked on one of the free books, they will purchase other titles in the series, just to see what happens in the story.
It's an inexpensive way to market the book, build a fanbase, and sometimes get a review or two out of it.


message 43: by Julie (new)

Julie Gerber | 33 comments You are so right Carole. Making the first book free is the ideal hook. If they love the first one, they will usually buy the rest!


message 44: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman ;)


message 45: by Rosie (new)

Rosie (RoseandBurn) | 5 comments I just read through the comments and I can say I'm really glad I joined this group because there are so many smart cookies here! I have been doing all together several months of reading about entrepeneurship, marketing, etc. and the word of mouth or a share is worth everything. At my last count I read around 70 different forums, articles, and comment threads...the single most important thing I pulled is authors who don't just get noticed on luck have a means or a plan for outreach. They interact with other people and authors who would be open to them and weren't shy about sharing what they do. I started a blog for my career, I won't lie about that, but blogging gives all of us a great opportunity to pay it forward and build communities in unique ways. One of my theories as to why so many authors hurt themselves is not paying it forward or segmenting themselves off instead of diving into the pool with everyone else. Blogging is a way for you to not only dive, but practice the craft of writing for an audience.

I'm more than willing to feature people on my blog, which has a focus on writing, the art of writing, and an occasional bout of basic inspirational "Go get 'em" stuff alongside my short works.


message 46: by David (new)

David Kimmel (dakimmel) | 28 comments I'll let you know when someone notices! Lol


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