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The Craft > Name your most successful marketing technique

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Events. Writing YA fantasy I go where my readers are - home school conventions and book festivals. Armed with 10 minutes of animated videos, colorful and collectable bookmarks and my daughter dressed in costume of the lead female, we catch attention.


message 2: by M.A. (new)

M.A. Demers | 169 comments I have a successful marketing technique?? :-)

Actually, I have had one successful accidental marketing technique: helping other writers. I never saw it as a marketing, so the sales came as a surprise. The relationships I've been building with other writers have been what has sustained me emotionally through this arduous journey.

Michelle
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message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim Gilliam (seadoc) | 31 comments Hi Linda,

I'm new to Goodreads so I'm not sure how much can be attributed to my use of this site. However, I have become a student of book marketing. See my e-zine article Publishing Your Book is Not Enough by Jim Gilliam on the internet--if you can't find it let me know and I'll forward the link to you. Also, I've used a multi-facetted approach. First establish a website: mine is www.pointdeception.com, make a book trailer video and get it on YouTube mine is Point Deception by Jim Gilliam.wmv, become a guest blogger on well known blogs, get as many good reviews as you can. Seek out organizations within your target audience and provide copies of your book that they can use as door prizes at their major meetings and annual banquets. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Remember, you are only limited by your imagination. Your answer to the question how large is my imagination, should be "Infinite!"

Jim Gilliam
Author, Point Deception


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 14, 2011 02:13PM) (new)

Linda wrote: "HI Shawn: Thanks for that feedback. Can you share what (average) upsales you get from one event?
Thanks,
Linda"


It depends upon the size of the event, the booth cost, travel expenses, etc. All are factored in. Mostly we break even or manage a small profit. We offer a sliding scale as event specials, the more books you buy, the more you save. So where the profit per book may decrease, the number of books sold increases.
As for the number of books sold - in the hundreds.

We look at the cost of events like advertising. I'd rather spend $500 on an event and KNOW I will sell books, then pay a publicist or marketing firm $500 for a social media blast, etc. and NOT KNOW if any books will sell. With PR firms, there is no guarantee of books sales, only that they will utilize their 'contacts'. I did receive a report for one social media campaign that supposedly reached 21,000 and only netted 2 books sales and 6 signed up for the newsletter. Not a good return on my investment, thus I turned my focus from such campaigns to events.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

You're welcome. With your experience you have a heads-up on those of us who have 'hit our heads' many times while learning the process. :D

The thing with the PR firms is they access the same web we do! Now, if they can get me on the Today Show or some other syndicated show or interviewed by Time Magazine, then maybe. But short of that, I can accomplish much the same from the comfort of my home.


message 6: by Noor (new)

Noor Jahangir | 17 comments Weeks have gone past since someone last bought my book, but a lot of people have checked it out through Goodreads advertising program. About 78 in the past month. Only about three have added it though, so its questionable how much good advertising has done.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim Gilliam (seadoc) | 31 comments Hi Noor,

What is the title of your book? What's it about? If I like the sound of it I'll order it on Amazon. That being said, after I read it, I will review it on Amazon and here on Goodreads. Meanwhile, please check out my book Point Deception. Someone once said, someone is always saying, that only fifty percent of advertising is effective, figuring out which fifty percent is effective is the trick.

Jim Gilliam
Author, Point Deception


message 8: by John (new)

John Hickman Noor wrote: "Weeks have gone past since someone last bought my book, but a lot of people have checked it out through Goodreads advertising program. About 78 in the past month. Only about three have added it tho..."

I find myself in the same boat as you, Noor. I'm still feeling my way, but it would be a boost to sell a few books...


message 9: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Schultz (sherryschultz) | 6 comments I'm fairly new to Goodreads and have mostly been just reading. This discussion about marketing is one of the most helpful I've read so far. I bought a marketing package as part of the publication of my book "Talks with our Creator" but I haven't seen many sales come from it so far. I don't have the resources to spend much more on advertising so I'm looking for ways to do it myself and some of the ideas have been helpful. It's still hard to put so much into a book and not see it go anywhere.


message 10: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Ouch. I was a professional book publicist for years. "Marketing packages" with a book publication are rather like extended warranties on electronic products -- a huge profit center for the seller. That's my take. If you can write a book, you have the writing skills to promote a book. That's my take on the situation after 45 years in various aspects of the publishing biz.

Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz


message 11: by Peter (new)

Peter (74765525) | 49 comments I agree with Larry. Those packages are unlikely to do the trick. You have the skills to do the things necessary to reach your target audience; so it's just a matter of learning how to use the tools. I'd start with the "tried, but true" approaches first -- for example if you're willing to give talks about your book, find organizations looking for speakers on your own and by emailing your friends and followers to let them know you're willing to talk to their club, group, etc. and you'll bring copies of your book to sign. Same with independent bookstores. Give them 40% of the sales and offer to sit in their store for 2-3 hours signing copies if they'll publicize the event.


message 12: by Larry (last edited Aug 14, 2011 09:47AM) (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Peter's on target about "tried, but true." In my book I have numerous tried and true techniques used by a variety of top-award winning authors. Today everyone is raving about the "effectiveness" of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Despite months of research, I've been unable to find anyone including so called "experts" in social media that have verifiable data. No sales boosts, no online analytics, nothing. Essentially they're selling smoke. Just as real smoke is bad for the lungs, social network smoke is bad for an author's profit margin.
I'm not saying avoid social media, but rather make it a segment of a promotional mix that incorporates a variety of methods. That's what marketing professionals do.

Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz


message 13: by Larry (last edited Aug 14, 2011 09:58AM) (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Shawn wrote: "Linda wrote: "HI Shawn: Thanks for that feedback. Can you share what (average) upsales you get from one event?
Thanks,
Linda"

It depends upon the size of the event, the booth cost, travel expens..."


Even as a former book publicist I must concede Shawn's correct. The decline and fall or the newspaper and printed magazine industries have made public relations an "iffy" thing. In fact, the industry itself is considering a name change that would reflect changes of the last 20 years. It's also the reason why I no longer offer public relations services. I can't, in good conscience, take money from a client on something as risky as today's public relations marketplace.

I believe Shawn forgot to mention one important point. It's less about sales at any one event than about cumulative impact that build your brand recognition (author awareness).



Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, Larry, that is correct about recognition. It is also about relationships. Monday I'm doing a follow-up post on my blog about interacting at events, the dos and don'ts with fellow vendors and attendees.

In one part I advise authors considering participating in events - "You need to have the mindset of not just ‘selling books’, but rather of gaining readers and generating long-term interest."


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim Gilliam (seadoc) | 31 comments Hi Sherry,

I understand your frustration. A while back I wrote a piece on this for the e-zine Writers Weekly. Publishing Your Book is NOT Enough! by Jim Gilliam here's the website: writersweekly.com/this_weeks_article/... There's all kinds of free advice on the Internet or for very little cash outlay including Plug Your Book on the Internet by my friend Steve Weber. Even if you are published by a traditional publisher unless your name is Grisham or Patterson you have to do a lot of promoting of your book yourself. That's just a rude fact of this business. Remember writing is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent prespiration.

Jim Gilliam


message 16: by Beth (new)

Beth | 11 comments Attending mystery fan conventions. I'm lucky that my genre, like science fiction, has an active reader base that likes to attend conventions. I've met many readers, librarians, booksellers, reviewers, and fellow authors at these conventions and those relationships have multiplied my other promotion opportunities. I've attended the Malice Domestic, Left Coast Crime, and Bouchercon conventions.

Yes, they can be expensive, but you can reduce costs by carpooling there/back with fellow authors, sharing a room, etc.


message 17: by Larry (last edited Aug 14, 2011 09:43PM) (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Shawn wrote: "Yes, Larry, that is correct about recognition. It is also about relationships. Monday I'm doing a follow-up post on my blog about interacting at events, the dos and don'ts with fellow vendors and a..."

Absolutely. Sell the sizzle (author), not just the book.

Self-Promotion for Authors


message 18: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Gerardo (carolinegerardo) | 3 comments Twitter. Hands down the best. I don't tweet buy my book ever. I just read, share, and am myself. Because twitter is flash fiction writers who get it can really have fun and sell your work.
My twitter handle does not have a link for my books (only poetry and blogging about writing).
handle - @ cgbarbeau


message 19: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments Giving presentations! I find having a passion for what you have and what you do translates well to a captive audience. I don't like doing book signings where I don't get to stand up and talk for awhile. Even if all you have is five minutes, make them count! It helps, I suppose, that I have over 20 years experience writing and can draw from a lot of mistakes - and make them funny.


message 20: by Editio (new)

Editio  (editiomedia) | 8 comments I am not an author so this might sound weird for me to answer this. I have a web site where self-published authors can go and get new and information about self-publishing. We put up an article about etiquette when self-publishing and people have loved it. Even Goodreads tweeted about it. That tells me that as long as you are using proper etiquette when promoting your books on Goodreads, it can be your best and cheapest form of promotion. Most of the writers I work with, swear by Goodreads, but you have to do it the right way or else you alienate people.

Rick
Self-Publishing


message 21: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Schultz (sherryschultz) | 6 comments Jim wrote: "Hi Sherry,

I understand your frustration. A while back I wrote a piece on this for the e-zine Writers Weekly. Publishing Your Book is NOT Enough! by Jim Gilliam here's the website: writersweekly..."


Thanks, Jim, I read and enjoyed your article. I do have a website set up by the publisher of my book but I've had only a few responses to the blog I started. Initially I thought I had a great target audience in the religious community because "Talks with our Creator," though more spiritual than religious, is a daily meditation book based on a scripture passage. I sent email messages to churches in the area but got no responses. I've been thinking that I might need to take a copy of the book to likely churches and ask that someone check it out, but I somehow feel awkward doing so. I've always feared "tooting my own horn."


message 22: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments Sherry, I totally agree. What you CAN do is go to the local churches and ask to be involved any events that they might have coming up because you believe you have something to offer their community. Let them take it from there. All you really need is one great opening line to get you going. Jim, I'd like to see that article but don't see the full link here.


message 23: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Schultz (sherryschultz) | 6 comments Monette wrote: "Sherry, I totally agree. What you CAN do is go to the local churches and ask to be involved any events that they might have coming up because you believe you have something to offer their communit..."

Good idea, Monette. I think I could give that a try. The link to Jim's article is http://writersweekly.com/this_weeks_a... -- message 18 in this discussion.


message 24: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments Thanks! Appreciate the link!
Monette


message 25: by Noor (new)

Noor Jahangir | 17 comments My newest tip is to use Facebook adverts to promote your Author/Book page. I've gone from 19 Likes to 180 in 6 weeks.


message 26: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments I'd like to do a book giveaway here - any idea how I do that?


message 27: by Noor (new)

Noor Jahangir | 17 comments Jim wrote: "Hi Noor,

What is the title of your book? What's it about? If I like the sound of it I'll order it on Amazon. That being said, after I read it, I will review it on Amazon and here on Goodreads. M..."

Hi Jim,

I just noticed this post now. My book is called the Changeling King. The Changeling King (The Trollking Saga, #1) by Noor A. Jahangir
Nathan and his friends are out swimming in a country lake when a gateway opens beneath them and sucks them through into another world. The police think they have drowned and want to write it off as a tragic accident. Adam, the only one to have escaped the event learns he is being hunted by a band of trolls. Vasch, the leader of this warband has been sent from the other world to kill Adam, because of who he may become.


message 28: by Larry (new)

Larry (lite312000) | 6 comments Monette wrote: "I'd like to do a book giveaway here - any idea how I do that?"

Sign up for the authors program and that will allow you to be able to give away copies of your book.


message 29: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments Yeah, I did, but I didn't see any instructions on this. Thought someone had a quick answer for me. You know, maybe there are different ways, and what way worked for you, that kind of thing?


message 30: by Larry (last edited Sep 16, 2011 12:10PM) (new)

Larry (lite312000) | 6 comments Monette wrote: "Yeah, I did, but I didn't see any instructions on this. Thought someone had a quick answer for me. You know, maybe there are different ways, and what way worked for you, that kind of thing?"

If you signed up an authors page will be added. To verify this, click on your home page. To the right of your screen will be an authors Dashboard. If you don't see that then there is a problem. If you do then click on the Authors Dashboard on the right. There is an Authors tutorial on the right side of the page that will be displayed.


message 31: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Monette wrote: "Yeah, I did, but I didn't see any instructions on this. Thought someone had a quick answer for me. You know, maybe there are different ways, and what way worked for you, that kind of thing?"

You actually don't need to be in the author program to post a giveaway (though we won't approve it if you're not an author, a publisher, or someone working for an author or publisher). You can post a new giveaway here:

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/new

Note: You must have a verified email address to post a giveaway.


message 32: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments thanks - what is the point of having a start date and stop date? And my books have been out awhile - does that make a difference? I thought I could run some kind of contest - like guess the answer to the following question kind of thing. You know, handle the whole thing myself? Does no one do this?


message 33: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Monette wrote: "thanks - what is the point of having a start date and stop date? And my books have been out awhile - does that make a difference? I thought I could run some kind of contest - like guess the answe..."

That's not how Goodreads giveaways work. You can run a contest like that and promote it on Goodreads through a blog post, event, or status update, but to have it show up as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, it must be "no strings attached," meaning that all anyone has to do to enter is click "enter this giveaway."

You need a start and stop date so we know when to make the giveaway appear on your book page and when to choose the winners.


message 34: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments Okay thanks - this is very helpful! But it's okay that my books have been out awhile?


message 35: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Monette wrote: "Okay thanks - this is very helpful! But it's okay that my books have been out awhile?"

Yep, that's fine. You'll probably want to leave the release date blank. You can also mention in the description that you're giving away copies of a book that's already published. But most readers don't really care either way, I've found.


message 36: by Monette (new)

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (monettebe) | 52 comments I wouldn't think so!


message 37: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (wwwgoodreadscomjoanneweck) | 6 comments Monette wrote: "Okay thanks - this is very helpful! But it's okay that my books have been out awhile?"

Linda wrote: "HI Shawn: Thanks for that feedback. Can you share what (average) upsales you get from one event?
Thanks,
Linda"



message 38: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (wwwgoodreadscomjoanneweck) | 6 comments Thanks for the information, Patrick. I found it helpful, too. I like to know if you are expected to give away a certain number of books or just one?
Thanks,
Joanne


message 39: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Jr. (mrgriff757) | 4 comments Noor wrote: "Weeks have gone past since someone last bought my book, but a lot of people have checked it out through Goodreads advertising program. About 78 in the past month. Only about three have added it tho..."
I feel your pain, it is though writing was the easy part and selling it takes a miracle. I just published mine in July titles Prepare for the worst and pray for the best: A Layman's guide to survivng a nation gone bad. Hopefully something will break soon.


message 40: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (wwwgoodreadscomjoanneweck) | 6 comments It seems to me that the serious writer and the good promoter are seldom found in the same skin. As a writer I want to focus on writing and find the very idea that I also have to promote my work distracting and exasperating. However, I've slowly come to accept that such is the case. I've begun to study books such as Plug Your Book, by Steve Weber and The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard Johnson. I have yet to implement their suggestions although I've begun to put together a Press Kit as Johnson suggests and I've started an Author's page on FB. Hey--it just occurred to me-- maybe these authors have the right idea -- write a book about how to sell your book!( I know I have at least 50 books on writing on my shelves).


message 41: by J.E. (new)

J.E. Lowder (jelowder) | 6 comments Joanne wrote: "It seems to me that the serious writer and the good promoter are seldom found in the same skin. As a writer I want to focus on writing and find the very idea that I also have to promote my work dis..."

I feel your "pain," Joanne. I'm learning and trying to see what works as well, and it doesn't come, shall we say, naturally. It's also a very SLOW process.

I'm researching blog tours to see if these are worth the money (or can I do something smaller on my own for free?)


message 42: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Since the word of the last few posts seems to be "pain," I'm wondering if there's something Goodreads can do to help ease that pain.

I've asked this before in other threads, but what else can we offer that would be enticing to you as authors? What are you finding to be the biggest hassle in promoting your work?


message 43: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (wwwgoodreadscomjoanneweck) | 6 comments Hi Patrick,
Maybe Goodreads could offer an Advice on Promoting blog or one on How to get Professional Reviews. I've been working with an agent to market my new YA but according to what I've read even having a recognized publisher doesn't remove the burden of promoting from the author.
The biggest hassle for me is (of course) taking time away from writing to promote. The second is getting reviews--the "I'll review yours if you review mine" only goes so far and it seems that despite all the talk about using social media there's no easy way to navigate all the possibilities. I've had a blog for over a year ( Joanneweck.com) but although it's easily googled I don't lure new readers. I've recently started an author page on Facebook but only my friends who already read my stuff visit it--how does one get it out to the public? I'd been thinking of hiring a publicist but the comments above really say I could do a better job of it myself. Any help or advice is appreciated. (I've mentioned Plug Your Book and The Frugal Book Promoter both of which seem to offer some good tips.)


message 44: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Joanne wrote: "Hi Patrick,
Maybe Goodreads could offer an Advice on Promoting blog or one on How to get Professional Reviews. I've been working with an agent to market my new YA but according to what I've read ev..."


You are right to think in terms of reviews, but I would say you should focus on "reviews" rather than "professional reviews." Whenever people run one of those polls that says "What convinces you to read a book?" the #1 answer is almost always "A recommendation from a friend." As such, I would focus on getting reviews from anyone who will review your book -- whether that's on Goodreads, Amazon, or beyond. The goal should be to get people to talk about your book on sites like ours. That will increase exposure for your book and should win you some new readers.

Far and away, the best way to do this on Goodreads is to run a giveaway (if you have physical books). If you can give away 10-20 books, that's a big plus, as you are bound to get a few reviews from that (we've found that, on average, 57% of the people who win giveaways review the books they win). And once someone adds your book to their shelves and/or writes a review, their friends will see that, and they will often push that activity to Facebook and Twitter, meaning that their reach goes beyond just their Goodreads friends. In some cases, people will even cross post their reviews to their blogs, as well, giving you added exposure. The giveaway is free, other than the cost of shipping the books.

To drive the right kind of reader to your giveaway, I recommend running a small self-serve ad campaign. Even as little as $30 can help get a few more people to enter, and you can then effectively target your giveaway to fans of a specific genre or author (So in your case, I would pick a popular YA author and also target fans of YA in general). I think it makes sense to get the most mileage out of your giveaway, but you could certainly do it without the ad campaign and still see good results.

That's where I would focus -- on getting regular readers to write reviews of your book on Goodreads. The big added benefit to you is that we syndicate our reviews to Google Books, Powells.com, Alibris, the Sony Ereader store, Better World Books, and other places on the web, meaning that you will get some reviews on actual ecommerce sites, too.


message 45: by Karen (new)

Karen (kareninglis) | 3 comments Patrick - I had no idea. That is good news... where have I missed this info?

"we syndicate our reviews to Google Books, Powells.com, Alibris, the Sony Ereader store, Better World Books, and other places on the web, meaning that you will get some reviews on actual ecommerce sites, too."


message 46: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments Karen wrote: "Patrick - I had no idea. That is good news... where have I missed this info?

"we syndicate our reviews to Google Books, Powells.com, Alibris, the Sony Ereader store, Better World Books, and other ..."


There's information about this on the API page, but the main audience for that is software developers and people who have ecommerce sites.

http://www.goodreads.com/about/review...

Not all reviews are pushed to those sites -- reviews from members with private profiles are opted out of this program by default.


message 47: by Karen (new)

Karen (kareninglis) | 3 comments Patrick wrote: "Karen wrote: "Patrick - I had no idea. That is good news... where have I missed this info?

"we syndicate our reviews to Google Books, Powells.com, Alibris, the Sony Ereader store, Better World Boo..."


Thanks, Patrick - I must look at this more closely. I have a Wordpress blog and still trying to work out how to add Goodreads widgets to it.... As ever it's a time thing... But the Goodreads review widget looks interesting... Karen


message 48: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Schultz (sherryschultz) | 6 comments Patrick wrote: "Since the word of the last few posts seems to be "pain," I'm wondering if there's something Goodreads can do to help ease that pain.

I've asked this before in other threads, but what else can we ..."


Hi Patrick,

You asked "What are you finding to be the biggest hassle in promoting your work?" For me, it's the fact that I hate asking people to buy my book. I was brought up to "never toot my own horn" so I feel very uncomfortable with promoting myself. I guess my best bet is to ask a few friends who have the book to review it here.


message 49: by Alan (new)

Alan (coachmt) | 11 comments Patrick, It would be great if GoodReads could do an "Author Spotlight" more often than just once a month or two when you guys do your newsletter. Just an author chosen at random once a day with a "Hey, check this out," kind of deal on the home page would be fantastic.

I'm sure there are a lot of authors out there who would pay some for that kind of exposure as well. There are so many of us these days and more and more entering the fray constantly, it's very hard to get noticed, even when you have some good reviews.


message 50: by Lucille (new)

Lucille LaBossiere | 1 comments Hi There: I'm fairly new to Goodreads and a first time author. My first book, "The Switch ~ hctiwS ehT", came out in July 2011. I am currently giving away 2 free copies in Canada, USA, and UK. Have about 338 entries to date and 40 people have added it to their "To Read" list. My question is: "Has anyone been able to link actual reads and sales to a "To Read" list? Thanks, Lucille


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