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Marketing Tactics > Should I spend more time on marketing for sales from customers or asking reviewers to read my novels?

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message 1: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 397 comments I want to head off any comments on "it's your choice." That's obvious. I already do both. However, these things take time. Life is busier for soldiers these days, so I have less of it for my writing hobby. I'm curious from what each of you have done, which method has led to more success in sales? Getting "professional" reviews theoretically gets my books before more eyes interested in my genre (SFF). Still, I don't read any blogs nor follow any reviewers. I typically find my indie books from free book and reduced price announcements. This would indicate spending my time refining the search terms associated with my ads.

So, again I ask, if cost isn't a concern and I only have time for one or the other, what do you suggest? What have you prioritized? I thank everyone for their advice.

message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Martuneac | 97 comments Overall, I think I’ve had more success marketing to customers than reviewers, but I look at them as tasks with different objectives. I contact reviewers to get the reviews that bestow legitimacy on a book, not necessarily for sales. I think my blog and Twitter have done a pretty great job in generating sales (relatively, or coyrse)

message 3: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Rines | 21 comments do yout marketing and promotion. you can pay a platform like booktasters or something to find reviewers for you. makes things simpler when you can just do the marketing, especially when you have some reviews ready to go for display. that's my suggestion

message 4: by Myrtle (new)

Myrtle Siebert | 2 comments I have only a few reviews and they were hard to get. Suggest you use limited energy on marketing, doing personal presentations if you are able.

message 5: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Jeanmougin | 29 comments If you market to customers, some of them will invariably give you ratings or reviews. Reviews alone don't seem to do much for sales imo, not unless the reviewers has TONS (and I mean TONS) of followers who actually read their reviews. I personally prefer to spend more time marketing to customers, but if you have a few reviewers on-hand, having some reviews definitely doesn't hurt your chances.

message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Chapman (catherineechapman) | 49 comments I think you need a mix of both, Phillip. Reviewers tend to write quite thorough and very considered reviews, whilst readers tend to write less and give more subjective reactions to your book. I think a combination of these two types of reviews allows a potential reader to make a decision on your book most effectively.

Phillip wrote: "I want to head off any comments on "it's your choice." That's obvious. I already do both. However, these things take time. Life is busier for soldiers these days, so I have less of it for my writin..."

message 7: by Allan (new)

Allan Walsh | 64 comments In my opinion, I think it depends on what stage of your writing you are at. If you are a new author with 1 book, I'd say try to garner at least 10 reviews before you start marketing. I believe they help to encourage readers to take a chance on a new author. Reviews also give you some material to add to your marketing ads (i.e. quote from the reviewer "Amazing Story!" sort of thing). If on the other hand you have a number of books out and already have an audience, I think you can go straight to marketing and the reviews will inevitably follow on from the sales.

message 8: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 891 comments Get readers and fans, then get the reviews. Email lists do serve a purpose. They are fans (hopefully) and at least a few will give a review (be it good or mediocre) Marketing does help as does sending out ARC copies. You can do both, work on reviews while marketing to get exposure and more fans. block out an hour or so for just 'selling' which includes marketing, building a list and getting reviews. Start when you start writing the book so you have it all planned out by the time you get a release date.

message 9: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments Thanks for your service, Phillip!

I took a look at your book Bystanders. It has a really good ranking right now. I'd submit it to BookBub. They're the holy grail of advertising. Expensive but totally worth it. The free book I advertised with them years ago got over 20,000 downloads in 13 countries in addition to over 50 reviews. It also sold my other full price books and I ended up making a profit.

But, to answer your question, I'd focus on getting your book in front of as many readers as possible, and, hopefully reviews will follow.

message 10: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 397 comments D. wrote: "I took a look at your book Bystanders. It has a really good ranking right now. I'd submit it to BookBub."

I've tried a few times in the past, but I can't break into the 20% selection rate. I'm not sure if it's because I have too few reviews or stay exclusive to Amazon (I get most action from KDP pages). I took your encouraging words as a sign to submit again. Perhaps this time will be the winner. I had 480 free downloads a weekend ago, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that getting pushed higher on the Amazon charts is all BookBub needs to say yes. Thanks for your kind words.

message 11: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments I think BookBub accepts books with a good ranking, which tells them it's selling. I think they also want a book that's wide, has a good cover representative of the genre, recent good reviews, and looks well written from the first few pages. I think it also depends on genre as some are more competitive than others. A free book may be more easily accepted and being flexible on your date is helpful, too. At least, that's my theory! Good luck!

message 12: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments Oh, also make sure you set up an author profile on BookBub and encourage readers to "follow you."

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