Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to sell more books?

This is a topic that I occasionally turn to when I realize once more the value of marketing. What got me thinking about it was a site on twitter than promised to promote your book for one full year. It said it would allow you to forget about making the effort yourself. Would that work? I wish it would because marketing is my weak point. But then I came to my senses and went looking for sites with fresh ideas. I came up with this list from sifting and sorting what I found. Please feel free to comment on what works for you.
(1) Comment at top-rated blog sites and network with others. Whoa Nelly! The site I was on suggested spending time at 3 to 5 blogs every day and posting witty comments to get noticed. If you love social networking it might work for you.
(2) Create a viral video. Wouldn’t this be great if one knew how and where to get their video viral? Though the idea has merit, I don’t see myself in this league. I’m not a cute cat or a clever baby! But maybe you have an idea that might spark the interest of thousands.
(3) Offer free e-books. Okay, this one is doable. I have noticed a trend to giving away the first book in a series in the hopes of getting readers. As a reader I really enjoy and appreciate this trend. This will work if the first book is fabulous and the next are even more fabulous.
(4) Write a Question and Answer column for a high traffic website in your target market group. Sounds like an idea with some merit. Would take considerable time to find the right place, make connections and get noticed. Since websites by authors seem to be largely ignored by readers, it’s a possible connection if you have the time. Ahem. That time thing again. Am I the only one looking for the quickest fix possible?
 (5) Do a Super-Star Blog Tour: My first question was how as I’ve done regular blog tours? And then a website I found offered some advice:  http://www.bookmarket.com/blog-tour-palooza.htm.

My first instinct still stands in my mind as much as I’ve read about this topic. Write the best book possible and set it free in the world. If it’s good enough, I believe it will get noticed. Perhaps I’m being naive, what do you think?

Thanks for listening,

Best, January Bain

Forever Series

Champagne Books



Big Mike said...

Thanks JB.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

KMTolan said...

From my experience, no, you can't just "set it free". That works if the market place was truly an open playing field. It isn't. Amazon, for instance, heavily weighs searches in favor of its own self-pub books. There are also "services" out there that, for a price, will download your book as many times as it takes to get popular. Same with doing reviews. In short, you need to do most of the things you suggested (I stop short of giving out free books) and also attend conventions (panels, reading, a table). You can have a great book and end up totally unnoticed.

Marketing. Not something you can either ignore or escape.

Victoria Roder said...

Good ideas,I've got to say, but having enough time for everything seems impossible. Some days I feel like their is no time for actual writing. Day job zaps hours and energy and then come home to chores and then try to be witty at the end of the day.

KMTolan said...


I do software engineering stuff during the day, so I can sympathize. The trick for me is to reserve my weekend mornings and shut the door to my study.

During the week I've gotten used to dribbling out a few lines on a laptop while ostensibly watching TV with the wife.

Scheduling time does help.

January Bain said...

Thanks for commenting! I didn't know about "services" that will download your book for as many times to get popular as necessary. That's an eye opener, KM. Yeah, you can't escape the marketing nemesis. Best, January

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Setting it free also includes guiding people to it.

Make yourself interesting and available, and don't give away stuff. People aren't respectful if everything is free. You wouldn't dig ditches without compensation.