Posts Tagged book marketing

A Series Dilemma

When should a book be part of a series? For some authors, it seems like the more appropriate question is when shouldn’t a book be part of a series? Everybody and their uncle has one these days. You know what I’m talking about. It seems like half the books on Amazon have the parenthetical A Bobbaloo Buttkiss Mystery or the like. And then there are the trilogies. Hunger Games, Insurgent, Fifty Shades, etc., etc.

I don’t think it’s a secret that this is a marketing technique for many authors. Not all, but many. If people like the first book in the series, then guess what? Chances are good that they’ll buy the second book, the third book, all the way up to the eleven-teenth book. It’s a little hard to fault this logic if your primary goal is to increase your sales. After all, book marketing occurs over the long haul. Very, very few authors can earn a living off a single book.

But this does raise a question. Is it a bad thing to write a series? Even if the logic is sound from a business perspective, we’re authors. We make stuff up for a living. Is it wrong to take the easy path and produce a bunch of sequels? Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard Lessons in Marketing

I have a confession to make. In the month since my book launched, I have been obsessing over its performance. I was extremely excited when my book first launched. My launch day giveaway yielded over 1,200 downloads with 20 to 30 sales a day for the next few days. But it didn’t take long for everything to change.

As the days and weeks wore on, I started watching my Amazon sales and rankings with a keen interest, feeling almost sick as I watched them plunge into nothingness. I felt discouraged and helpless as my sales dried up and my rankings dropped. I went from 7,000 to 15,000. Then I dropped from 15,000 to 30,000 to 50,000 to 80,000, and so on. I found little solace in the idea that a sales rank of 80,000 is still in the top 8%. You see, I had the unrealistic expectation that my sales would at least stay flat, if not increase a bit each week.

What made it even worse was that nothing I tried worked. Tweeting about my book didn’t help it recover. Neither did Facebook or Goodreads ads. New four and five star reviews didn’t help either. It seemed that nothing could slow my ranking’s steady decline and it just didn’t make sense. Scores of people on various Kindle boards felt the same way about their own books: surely, something is wrong with Amazon’s reporting. We can’t possibly have dropped off a cliff into obscurity, could we have?

The simple answer is this: Yes, we could have, and we did. Of course we did. You see, the real problem is that I didn’t understand how book marketing works because I’ve never done it before. But now, I’m smarter. I know more than I did a month ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goodreads is Great for Writers

Goodreads boasts something like ten million members, but, in case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a flourishing online community for readers. It’s a bit like Facebook in the notion that you can friend people and share status updates. It also has a collection of online forums geared specifically toward reading and/or writing. It allows you to rate and review books, and it has a recommendation engine, too.

These features make it an excellent resource for readers, but it is also an amazing platform for writers. I’m still trying to get this whole marketing thing down, but I’m convinced that Goodreads has been the single biggest influence on my book sales to date. Thanks to Goodreads, somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 people have expressed specific interest in reading my book. I can’t say how many of those folks will actually read it, but that is a huge jump start above where I would have been without it. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Tweet or Not to Tweet

I’ve been thinking about marketing a lot this week. A whole lot. As some of you probably know, my book, The Timekeeper’s Son, released a week ago yesterday. Because of that, I’ve been all about watching sales and trying to figure out how to make them climb. Unfortunately, I haven’t learned a whole lot in that regard. What I have learned is a bunch about what not to do. I’ve been scouring the web looking for effective marketing strategies and I’ve been diving into to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

I think I’ve learned a lot this week about the things that don’t work. I thought I’d share some of those and, this time, I’ll focus on Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

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