I said that I would report back to you on the different online marketing strategies that I have taken since I began my journey (For those of you who are new to my site, look back into my September-November posts to read more on the history). If you don’t care and just want the results or have been following me this whole time, just read on to get to the meat of it.
Kindle vs. Create Space:
Thus far, create space has had far more sales for both my nonfiction and fiction books. So, it is true that people still prefer to touch what they are reading. I would venture to say that 80% of my sales have been in the printed platforms vs kindle downloads. Even though both books are cheap as dirt on kindle, I am still gaining more buys through Create Space
Don’t skip making your book available in print. Also keep this in mind: Think about years from now, when your book gets borrowed out, or resold: That is free advertising for you as well.
Kindle Giveaway vs. Kindle Countdown Deal:
Every 90 days (if you enroll in Kindle Select’s program) you have the option of offering your kindle book for free or at a discounted price for so many days (both options are free for you). But, you can only do one or the other –not both!
You can do a free giveaway in one 90 day period then in the next 90 day period opt to run your kindle book as a discount. That is allowed: but you can’t run both at the same time.
With that in mind, I tried both ways for each of my books. What I found out is that my nonfiction book, On Homeschooling, did much better on both platforms than my fiction book did. Through both platforms, my nonfiction book out performs by far. (HINT: Sundays /Mondays were my top seller days of the week).
Here comes the embarrassing part: Yes, your cover matters!
I know that if I had taken the time to make a great cover, I would have sold tons more on kindle (and no doubt on Create Space as well). You will be competing with millions of books. I cannot stress how important it is that your cover stands out. Really. In fact, looking back on my start, I wish I had taken the time to make great covers for each. PLEASE LEARN FROM ME!
I would fix this, but at this point, I am almost finished with my novel, and I really want to concentrate on that first. If I do trade the covers out, I promise to let you know how sales improve. Yes, I am assuming they will because I am that confident that covers matter. Think about your book cover as a first date. When that bell rings and you open the door: how do you picture your date dressed (dressed for first impressions, right?). Okay, enough said, let’s move onto the next item.
Twitter vs. YouTube vs. Websites vs. Blogs:
Twitter got me a few sales, so did YouTube, and so did my website. But, by far, after experimenting around, I can’t say enough that YouTube and regular Blogging has by far the best mode of advertising. Don’t do what I did. Just don’t.
Here’s what I would do: Make a website that is centered around a passion of yours and blog at least every week. And make sure that you run an RSfeed out of it into your author central page (if you use Amazon and don’t use this free service you are a fool). Also open up a Goodreads account and run your blog into that. This way it runs up your chances of coming up on hits via google search engines. (This is also supposing that you took the time to load up on keywords in your SEO area).
In your website, add a tab with your books for sale. People will see it. If you are running a straight blog, add a clickable link to buy your book at the bottom of each post –But, for God’s sake, don’t talk about it all the time. The only time it should be mentioned is when you are running a deal, or as a side bar. But, don’t look like a loon and constantly blog about how great your book is. It is a turn off!
Likewise goes the rule about twitter: Pin your book, and then tweet about it every once in a while: but don’t make twitter a space for advertising. Nothing is more obvious than that. If someone is interested, they will share your pinned tweet. Be authentic, that’s my point. It would be better to have 300 followers that you interact with, then 10,000 who never retweet your annoying push in the face book. If you don’t believe me, friend a few authors and note the ones that tweet their books each and every day (dear Lord, sometimes multiple times each day!). After a while, I confess, I became a traitor and unfollowed them. It wasn’t hard; I shed no tears in it. And neither will your followers.
If you can, do have your presence out on twitter, Facebook, blogging, YouTube, Goodreads, websites, etc. You must establish an online presence ~The more the better. But, don’t make fans: make friends. I really enjoy my twitter family. So, spending time on twitter is a great break and a treat for me. Stop caring if you make money on your books: write because you love it. Just do.
I like to share info I learn with others, so writing on my websites is fun.
I sucked at YouTube, but if you look at people like Mark Dice, you will see the great potential that is there. HINT: He has even come up with other ways to fund his life.
There are about a million other ways to work the online platforms to your advantage, but if you make it as far as I have, then I am betting you will figure out the rest.
From here, I am going to just say what I plan to do next: Finish and edit my book. Since, it is at least a trilogy; I want at least half of the second book finished before I publish the first book (If fans like your book they won’t want to wait too long).
Next, I am going to make sure that my cover is fabulous! I don’t care if I have to pay. Then, I am going to run a giveaway through Goodreads. I made a lot of sales during the 30 day give away for my first fiction book. Plus, if they like you, they will let others know. It is a trusted platform for readers.
Next, I will pay for advertising and I will set up a local book signing (with a free giveaway at the signing).
I will also work on other things…
But, I thought I would share what I am going to do with my first Novel. I am glad that I took the time to learn the ropes from my first two shorter works. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am kind of glad my first works didn’t sell by the thousands: because my writing has improved tenfold (we are all fully aware of when that happens – that magical moment).
Hey everyone, have a great week! And write on WRITERS!