So your book is published. Great! And now you’re trying to promote it. Welcome to Fight Club! But what works?
If you search the web, you’ll be inundated with info, promises, sworn testimonies…
I found one company that claims a book trailer is the key to success, never mind the fact that they produce videos for a living.
Others promise to tweet your book to thousands for a small fee. I decided to try one since they have 44,000 followers. I even went in with a realistic expectation: sell 2 books and get some new followers on Facebook or Twitter. Fail. Waste. Moving on…
And then there are the gurus offering free videos. I watched several but found the info commonplace and felt like I was stuck at an Amway convention. Sure enough, at the end of the freebie, they get to the point of their spiel: sign up for their not-so-free courses for the REAL secrets to success. Maybe it’ll work. Maybe I’m a fool for not buying. I guess I’m a cynical tightwad who’s not willing to toss in $500 +/_ to find out.
Frustrated, I asked two friends, D.Alan Lewis & Teal Haviland, what their experience has been marketing books. Their candor was refreshing and if nothing else, confirms I’m not going crazy. Not yet.
Have Paid Promotions Increased Sales?
“I have paid for 2 different ads on Facebook and saw zero sales for the books being promoted during the sales drive. I’ve paid for small ads on various websites and have seen little to no sales from the effort. So far, I’ve not found anything that really works well. I know some folks have had success with various social media platforms, but most authors that I talk with are still struggling with sales. Social media is a great and mostly free way to advertise, but it doesn’t translate into big sales. Still, everytime I push books on Facebook, I do see a few sales, so it does help.” Alan
“I have paid for advertising on Facebook. From what I can tell, I’ve had little success from it and feel it’s been a waste of my money. I do, however, have author friends who’ve paid for advertising on Facebook and they say, if done right, that it can be very effective. I haven’t tried the things they’ve suggested, yet, because I’m waiting to pay for further advertising when I have my entire series done and released.” Teal
Do You Use Social Media?
What Has Helped Sales?
“So far, I’ve not found anything that really works well. I know some folks have had success with various social media platforms, but most authors that I talk with are still struggling with sales. Social media is a great and mostly free way to advertise, but it doesn’t translate into big sales. Still, everytime I push books on Facebook, I do see a few sales, so it does help.” Alan
“I think the key to the marketing conundrum so many authors find themselves in, is to realize that there are things that will work one time, that you’ll then do for the next book and it might not work at all. Even if you do everything the same. Our industry and what readers consider “hot” are constantly changing and we, as authors, have to be willing to go with the flow. We need to just write the stories we want to write and release them to the world, then do our best to let the readers out there know our book is there.” Teal
Any Sage Advice?
“Write. Rewrite. Edit. Release. Do your best to market, and let it go. Then, rinse and repeat. Your readers will find you, eventually. Make sure they have a lot to get their hands on when they do.” Teal