Monday, January 20, 2014

Marketing Monday

Today bloggers around the sphere are sharing marketing tips. What worked and what hasn't. And let me tell you, I need to learn everything I can, how about you?


Hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh, Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, and Jeremy Hawkins.

Before I get to my tips, though, I wanted to give a shout out to Stina Lindenblatt whose NA debut, Tell Me When, launches today!



Check out her recent blogpost on stalking here, and get your copy of Tell Me When here.

Now, for my marketing stuff ...

First off, I'm still a total rookie. I've been reading all kinds of How-To guides and blogs and fumbling my way through this book marketing game. Luckily, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. has managed to stay on the front page of Amazon's Hot New Releases of its category since I launched it in November. I can't say for sure if that's helped, but I know it's a great place to be, and keeps my book visible for those searching my category, which is teen time travel stories.

How have I manged to stay on new releases so long? Well, every time I make an update to my price or tags, Amazon republishes my book, which means I get on that Hot New Release page again. So if your book gets to this important page, I suggest doing little tweaks every few weeks to keep it fresh for as long as possible, which means visibility that costs nothing.

Aside from that, I've run Facebook ads for $5 a day and $10 a day, and they've done pretty well in terms of sales bumps, but nothing like what I imagine a BookBub ad would accomplish. The good thing is, FB ads are cheap, so there's no big loss if it doesn't work. Just make sure you remember to set an end date or the ad keeps running continuously.

I also had postcards made up with my book cover on the front and a QR code linking right to my Amazon page on the back. I always keep these with me so wherever I am and whoever I may strike a conversation with, I can hand them a card. I also leave a few at various places, like coffee shops and bookstores. Recently I traveled to Utah and back with stops in Texas and I left these postcards at every eStation at every airport. I figured it couldn't hurt since people usually travel with eReaders.

Back in November, I did an art show for Pixie Patrol and brought books to sell as well as postcards. This was a wonderful way to meet people and talk about my book. Another author was there as well, selling his books and nothing else, so I didn't feel silly having brought mine. I plan to do this again when I can. I highly recommend checking for local art shows and signing up. It was a lot of fun and people are excited to meet authors.

I also started a prequel called Diary of a Teenage Time Traveler exclusively for Wattpad, and that's been a fun (albeit time consuming) way to garner interest. Recently I was contacted by the Wattpad admin because they want to feature Diary in their front pages, so that's really cool. I have to get to work on that since they need it finished, but that little endeavor has started paying off so I'm going to put writing my sequel on a brief hold to finish the prequel. Another free way to market!

And that's it for my tips. I'm having fun learning the ropes and getting creative. And one thing I've learned for sure, is constantly pushing your book on other writer forums is tasteless and pointless. I've seen it quite a bit, and can't figure out why authors are doing this when everyone has a book to sell.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's tips and learning some more!!

How about you? Anything to share on the subject? What's worked for you? Be sure to visit Stina today and congratulate her!


53 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't even know Amazon had a Hot New Release page! (I don't have an Amazon account outside of my author account, so I don't browse there.)
I'll find out soon what a BookBub ad does, as my publisher is running one next month.
Have postcards and bookmarks - those do help!
Thanks for participating in the symposium. And glad your book is doing so well, PK.

SA Larsenッ said...

There has been so much wonderful marketing knowledge all over cyber space, this morning. I don't have any wisdom to share in this realm yet, so this has been great!

Liz Fichera said...

That is cool about Wattpad. Love it when unexpected (good) things happen. Great tips!

shelly said...

I've done the art shows and pass out my book cards. Right now, I'm pondering on what else to do. My day job gets in the way though. My schedule changes week to week.

Good tips, PK.

Beth said...

I'm so happy for you. I don't think any of my books have ever made it to hot new releases in spite, of two of them being category bestsellers. I also didn't have much luck with fb ads.

Barbara Watson said...

Interesting tip about Amazon hot releases. I bet that's not something a lot of people know, so great info to share!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Great and helpful thoughts your journey with experience grows from each book. I hope to someday find my place in the world with my works.

Jeremy H.

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!
[Being-Retro]

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

Congrats on the success of Butterman. I like that idea about leaving cards at strategic places. And the Amazon tip, I didn't know that. Taking notes. :-)

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

It sounds like you're doing fantastic.
It is super that your work is being featured, I'd be over the moon!

I've heard some establishments throw out business and promotional cards. Many don't, though.

Crystal Collier said...

Pk, so many awesome ways you're promoting! I love it! Congrats with the Wattpad stuff. I'm a total rookie and need to get involved there. *sigh* One day. =)

Laurel Garver said...

The postcard idea is a good one. I bet friends would help you place them in other geographical areas as well.

Lexa Cain said...

You deserve an award for newbie marketeer! (Like Mousketeer only better!) I was sure those categories on Amazon helped with visibility, and I've done research on which ones I think work, but my publisher refuses to listen or change my categories to the ones that would get me noticed. Good work on the prequel! I wrote one, but found it's impossible when I can't reveal the key elements of motivation and backstory because they aren't revealed until halfway through the novel. I think you've done everything you can while not spending a lot. That leaves (like me) simply writing more books and focusing on branding. Plus, just think about how much you know now that you didn't a year ago that you can use when marketing your next book! You're so smart. I totally believe you'll be a big success eventually!! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've heard conflicting things about buying Facebook ads. I might have to check into it.

Old Kitty said...

Love the postcards idea!! What a brilliant fantastic way to market - and you're doing so much more in a very positive way too! Yay! Take care and all the best!
x

Yolanda Renee said...

I do that with postcards too, leave them everywhere, even restaurants. And I go around town and put posters on all the bulletin boards. Art and craft shows are the best!

Great advice, and wow awesome news about Wattpad!

Thanks for participating!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Learned a lot about marketing here. Like I didn't know about the Amazon new release page or the Facebook ads. Awesome how Wattpad is helping you.

SC Author said...

Wow, I actually really love this blog hop! Your marketing techniques are unique and awesome; I never thought of doing what you did, but they're smart ideas! Thanks a ton for sharing.

Robin said...

Thanks for sharing. I am not "there" yet but all of this information is very helpful. I am so glad that the things you are doing are working.

Jay Noel said...

Dang, girl! I'm busy taking more notes here. This is awesome stuff. I never thought of going to art shows before, but now that I think about it, I've stopped at an author's table at such events.

And I will tweak my tags on Amazon. That's GOLDEN!!!

Sandra Almazan said...

Good suggestions here!

cleemckenzie said...

I've read the word prequel so many times in this hop. I'm sure it must help to have those and sequels out there.

Thanks for the ideas about keeping your book in the new release category on Amazon. Excellent.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

The Facebook ads work for you? Great! I'm hopeful! By the way, love the cover of your book, and the title. Best of luck with it.

Carrie-Anne said...

I haven't released anything yet, but my editor at the local paper I worked for has said they'd love to feature me when I finally am published. There's also an indie bookshop in a nearby plaza, which I've been going to since childhood. They love doing things for local writers. SUNY Albany also has a high-profile writers' symposium, where local writers sometimes have lectures, read from their books, and such.

Norma Beishir said...

I don't market at all. Seriously.

Chrys Fey said...

Sounds like you know how to do it, PK! Congrats on staying in the Hot New Releases list! I've been wanting to get postcards to hand out and leave literally everywhere I go, but I haven't yet. I'm going to to have to get on that ASAP.

And congrats to Stina! Her book is one that is on my TBR list. :)

SittieCates said...

Postcards? What a wonderful idea! Haven't thought of that. Thanks!

The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats to Stina on her release.

Wattpad is not something I've ever tried. It's good that you're getting some traction there. I also didn't realize that updating books on Facebook gave them a visibility bump.

mshatch said...

Big congrats to Stina, and thank you for these tips; I'll be needing them shortly :)

Miranda Hardy said...

Congrats to Stina! I can't wait to pick it up.

Marketing is so hard, and I'm so glad this meme is around. I'll be checking other sites to.

Christine Rains said...

Great tips! I didn't know about the Hot New Release page either. I've been told to change up my tags and blurbs, but the few times I did so, it didn't help in any form.

Arlee Bird said...

Great info and an important contribution to What Works.... I think you're approaching this right by trying different things. One on one sales are especially effective when you can pull them off because you actually can see who's getting the book and you lay the groundwork for a fan relationship which is important for future book sales. I lament that there are not more in store signings like there used to be, but opportunities are out there for the creative promoter.

Thanks for adding your voice to the event.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Carolyn Brown said...

Have never tried the postcard tactic, will have to give it a try.

Thanks for the info.

Mary Waibel said...

How exciting, PK! Congrats on the offer from Wattpad. And thanks for sharing your tips!

M. J. Joachim said...

I agree. Having fun with your work is so important. Making connections and getting to know your audience is a wonderful idea.

Sherry Ellis said...

I've never used a Facebook ad. It's nice that you got some extra sales from one!

Deniz Bevan said...

That's neat, that just by changing the tags you can get back on the New Releases page!

Congratulations Stina!

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm going to have to check Wattpad out. Heard lots of good things!

Congrats to Stina! Hope it's a huge week for my NA sister. :)

Sharon Bayliss said...

Congratulations on your success! Thanks for sharing your tips.

Kittie Howard said...

PK, your post hit a grand slam! Thanks for sharing such fab tips! You rock! And thank you for your comments about authors in each other's faces to buy books -- what started out as simple blog tours has turned into a blogging disaster!

erica and christy said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing and congrats on your success! Best of luck with your sequel..and prequel!! christy

jamieayres.com said...

Wow! You don't sound like a rookie to me! Love the idea of a postcard with the code to scan, and the art show, and the Wattpad story! Congrats on all your success! You'll be a NY Times Best Seller one day :-)

Tammy Theriault said...

don't forget the mere fact that you wrote an amazing book!!!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Thanks for the shout out, PK. *tackle hugs you*

I didn't know about the Hot New Releases page either. I've wondered if the FB pages ads work. I haven't tried it or the Goodreads ads yet.

Julie Flanders said...

So awesome that you've been able to stay on the New Releases page. Yay!! And it's great that Wattpad has been a success for you, what a great idea. You definitely don't seem like a rookie to me. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

Your book is on the front page of Amazon's Hot New Releases in it's category... how cool is that?
Congratulations.
And it sounds like Wattpad is taking off------ are you sure you're new at this marketing game...?
It sounds like you know what you're doing!

LD Masterson said...

As a not-yet-published, I'm just soaking up all this great advice. Thanks for sharing yours.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I have postcards with QR codes on them too - I was very good at leaving them in random places, but I haven't carried them for a while. I must get back into the habit - thanks for the reminder!

It's awesome that your book is being visible on Amazon - I think that's the key at the moment.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great marketing tips!

William Kendall said...

Good ideas, PK!

I have seen quite a lot of writers marketing to other writers... and you're right, it doesn't really work.

Claudine G. said...

Excellent ideas here, PK. I tried FB ads, and though they churned in many likes, I saw no real bump in sales. I'll try Bookbub for my next book.

Congratulations to Stina on her debut!

Ellie Garratt said...

I didn't know that about the hot new releases. A member of my writing group suggested tweaking the blurb every 4-6 weeks, but it didn't seem to have much affect. Will definitely look into what you've said. Awesome post. Thank you!

JJ said...

Book signings rarely work. Great post.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Had no idea Facebook ads were that cheap. Thanks for sharing your story, this is great information.