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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Marketing 101 (My Experiences so Far)

Okay, for those of you who thought I would be telling you how to best market your book, guess again! To be frank, that's something I've read and thought a good bit about recently. Here are some of the things I've tried to date and what I interpret the results to be:

Book signings-I've attended somewhere around twenty-thirty book signings so far. To be frank, aside from selling a few books at some of the signings, the biggest return I found was the feelgood sensation of being a successful author. While the jury is still out on book signings (for me), I suspect it will have a much greater impact once I've gained some "traction" and really starting to sell books. I suspect it will help fan the flames of success, rather than igniting them.

Interviews- To date, I've had one television interview, and again thirty or so radio interviews (mostly Blog Talk Radio and a few radio stations in NJ and NC). I've seen some success here, and sense a much greater value here, particularly in light of the fact that many of these are posted to the Internet where they can be viewed or listened to for some time to come. I'm looking forward to national television interviews!

Movie Trailers-I've seen quite a few posts suggesting that trailers are not  that helpful to authors. I disagree. Just as movie trailers help generate excitement for films, I believe can be true, though to a lesser degree, for books as well. Readers tend to be more informed about authors and their works, and often talk about the frequently with friends and vi social media. I'm a fan of trailers. In particular I like to include voice overs, which seem to add that cinema feel to them.

Social Media- I admit that I'm no expert at taking advantage of social media. I joined some FB groups where a lot of authors (and I'm surprised at how many there are!) will support one another, and I feel this has  helped, to some degree. What authors are most interested in, however, are (go figure) selling books. So despite some support from fellow authors, which I certainly value, authors need to reach readers, the kind who will buy a book and try someone new. Conclusion? I think it definitely helps but I believe authors really should be careful not to burn too much time here when there is very little to no return/

Giveaways/Reviews-This has been yet another venue for marketing that I feel authors should take advantage of, because it helps get some exposure and who knows, perhaps if a reader is interested and doesn't win the giveaway maybe they're buy the book. I  think this has the greatest impact just before and after the book's release, particularly in the case of giveaways. With reviews, the trick is to have enough positive reviews on Amazon to help offset the inevitable negative reviews posted by competitors and detractors.

Advertising-This is an area where I feel there is the greatest opportunity. I ran a advertising campaign on Goodreads (a small one) and I have one going at this time for The Way of Nacor (again a small one). I also just started my first campaign (once again a small one!) for FB. I believe in my novels and the quality of the works and I believe if most people give them a look and like the genre, they will enjoy them. Therefore, I've set out to try and get the word out as much as possible about my novels, past, present, and future.

Conclusion: I plan to start placing more emphasis on advertising and interviews, while continuing selling my "brand", by blogging, etc.

Have your own story to tell? How about sharing your experience with the rest of us?

Here's hoping for your success in marketing your books!

Jeff W. Horton

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