Tag Archives: marketing strategy

Are You Crazy or Just An Author?

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?

 “I do use social media, namely Facebook,Twitter, and a personal blog. Because of the tools available through these sites, I’m able to automatically send every post on Facebook to my Twitter account.  My Amazon Author Page is set to display all my Twitter messages, so everything on Facebook is sent all over the place. I have a blog on Google which is automatically shared on my website and on my Amazon Author page, so again, the word is shared through multiple venues. Since Facebook only allows 5% of your friends to see any kind of marketing post on your page, I found that having multiple pages helps to increase the number of folks seeing an ad.  In my case, I have a personal page, an author page, and 3 other pages that are dedicated to different books/series.” Alan
“I have used social media for marketing, mainly Facebook and Twitter, but I’ve been taking a hiatus from any marketing right now.” Teal

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


Calling The Curious

Good morning! Today is a shameless plug so I’ll make it short & sweet.

March 21 at 10 PM CST, yours truly will be interviewed for his FIRST blog talk radio show. (Cue raucous applause sfx.)

I’m flattered and humbled anyone would be interested in interviewing me or listen to what I have to say, so it should prove interesting on many fronts. And since I’m an old fart and I’m usually asleep at this time, the interview will be an exercise in willpower & caffeine consumption. 🙂

So…

If you’re wondering what I sound like (here’s a flashback post on the topic) or curious about my War of Whispers series or waging bets in Vegas on whether I can stay awake and attentive for that long, then I hope you’ll tune in.

If nothing else, wish me luck!


Books, Writing & Promo

Today’s post is my grocery list of what I’m taking on these days as an author. Maybe you’ll find it interesting or maybe you’ll be able to relate, but if nothing else, I wanted to share the misery, um, I mean the joy of working this thing called promotion. So here we go…

Book III is at my publisher. I’m excited to get his feedback! More on this later…

Working on bookmarks to use as business cards. I’m not but others with graphic design skills are.

Reaching out to bloggers/fans for interviews and reviews. If you’re interested, drop me a line. If you’re really serious, I’ll toss you a free e-book. Okay, not literally toss like a baseball since it’s digital media but I think you get what I mean.

Getting my map created by my uber talented son. The fact that he will take my chicken scratchings and turn them into something visually appealing will be a miracle in and of itself. The new map will be inserted into Tears and Moon as well as Book III.

Considering posting a short story in my blog but doing so a chapter at a time. Kind of like “tune in next week” sorta thing. Why? Well, because I’d rather write a story than blab into your conscience about this or that. I’ll let my characters do that 🙂

Well, time to go; the list is long and the day is short. Wishing you well in all your endeavors.

JL

 


Three Rules To Writing

If life is a river, then I’m body surfing white rapids!

Work is SO busy that I hardly have time for anything else, but has that ever slowed me down? Of course not. I simply pick up the pace, sleep less and wonder why everyone is so irritable (after all, it ain’t me!)

Crammed into the work week is my training for a 100 mile bike ride to raise $$ for juvenile diabetes (JDRF) I log 150 miles a week which takes a ton-o-time and energy. And yeah, that was a plug to see if you’d consider donating or at least cheer me on.

That would be enough, right? BUT NO! I’m also working on Book III of my War of Whispers series. When? Well, that’s a silly question! Naturally this is done before sunrise. DUH!

So it’s little wonder that blog and Twitter posts have fallen by the wayside.

Nevertheless, I’m squeezing one out this morn and wanted to share a quest post I did for Jill Edmondson’s Blog.

I shared my experience with characterization and referenced Tears of Min Brock. Yeah, it’s a shameless plug for my book, but ‘ya gotta do whatcha gotta do! I hope you check it out and let me know what you think. Kinda bummed she posted the old cover for Tears and not the new one, but those things happen.

That’s it for now. After all, it’s 4AM and I’ve gotta pack my lunch before I bike @ 6 so I can run to work and get to Saturday in order to bike which leads to Monday when it starts all over again and…and…and…


Writing, Tips, and Reality

Today’s post could be filed under ADD Blogging as I’m going to hop from topic to topic like a frog on espresso. Ready? Let’s get hopping!

I’ve befriended a fellow writer, Karen Wooward, who posts really helpful tips for authors.  If you have time, check out her posts like this one, 7 Interesting Links for Writers. She has zeroed in on creating very informative, short posts that I can skim much like a news feed. Great blog model to follow!

I received a flattering review of my book, Tears of Min Brock, from Pure Jonel (a blogging friend) that went along with an e-book giveaway. For what it’s worth, I’ve found the most effective means to gain reader awareness is by connecting with fellow bloggers that do reviews, giveaways and interviews. I’m not saying this translates into sales, but it has increased “likes” on my social media sites. I’m also using Tears as a kind of business card, if you will, and give it away as often (within reason) as I can. The hope being they’ll like it enough to buy the sequels.

Writing. I dove back in to re-writing Book III. The reason this is news worthy is that I needed to get back to basics, which is the joy of storytelling, and set aside the sadomasochistic treadmill I was on trying to sell, sell, sell, sell…. Always a good thing to remember why we do what we do. Satisfies the soul!

Next week, I’ll be with my family for a beach vacation (yeah, I know, rub it in!) Aside from logging some serious beach time and dunking my grandson a time or two, I look forward to writing with the only interruption being “time to tan.” Sorry, I couldn’t help but rub it in, much like suntan lotion! Ouch, there I go again!

Thanks for joining me today. I truly appreciate you taking time to read what I write. Honest.

But now I’ve gotta run. Need to find my beach chair 🙂


“Let’s Get Visible”-My Thoughts

Let's Get VisibleI’ve been following David Gaughran’s blog for some time, primarily because he is experienced, straightforward and insightful.

So when his marketing book came out, Let’s Get Visible, I grabbed it.

David’s writing style is crisp and conversational, making this book easy to read and comprehend.

As far as content, the book is packed with useful information and isn’t just re-prints of past blog posts. You’ll also get a good understanding of Amazon’s algorithms along with links to helpful sites/resources. My only gripe is that if you’re not planning on going with Amazon’s KDP, which I’m not, then there are sections that won’t be applicable.

Nevertheless, Let’s Get Visible is a great resource to have as an indie author. In fact, I’m excited to give some of his suggestions a whirl.

What have you tried to promote your books?


Where’s My Antacid??

Performing on Prime Time Country; circa 1995.

Performing on Prime Time Country; circa 1995.

I’m often asked, “Did you get stage fright before a concert or performing on live TV?”

“Nope,” would be my answer.

Sure, I got butterflies and cited my “just-don’t-screw-up” mantra, but all-in-all, I thrived in such settings. Honest.

Now ask me the same question in regards to being in my own videos! I’m proud of how they turned out, and I’m eternally grateful to Matt Giesler who donated his talent, but now I’M the focal point (gulp!)

I can’t hide behind my bass and sunglasses!

So here they are. I wanted them to be short, entertaining and informative.

The Storyteller

Story Behind the Story

Bass, Tours & Castles

Feel free to share, throw tomatoes, snicker, etc.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go find my antacid!


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