Friday, October 25, 2013
What can I do to help market my books?
Question from the E-mail: What can I do to help market my books?
Answer: Use social media to help promote your books. "Friend other Write Words Authors on Facebook, Link to them on Linked-In, and post any news about your books there! Share the post with all your friends, or make it public. This is information you want to get to book buyers everywhere, whether you are "friends" with them or not. That is why I didn't start an "Authors' Group, where only members can see the feed. We want everyone to see those feeds.
If someone asks to "friend" you because they like your book, always say yes! Sure you will get the inevitable requests to play Farmville or Casino (apologies to all lovers of Farmville and Casinos), but there is a way to turn those off. Don't ask me what it is, I just delete the messages.
Mention to your groups that you have started a book. When we are in the process of selecting a cover, feel free to post them on FB and ask your friends to vote on which they like best. Mention that they can "SHARE" the quest for opinnions with their friends. Getting people to vote sets up an interest pattern and they will be looking forward to the release.
If you see a posting on the news feeds about a fellow Write Words, Inc. author, don't just "like" it, "Share" it. We share everything our authors post about their work if we see it, though I only hit FB for a short time each day, so it's easy to miss something.
When the book goes to press, Post the cover in your groups, with a message: Gone to Press!! I'm so excited. Advance copies soon!
Everyone knows that if you are holding a book in your hand today, and it's October, 2013 and the copyright page says First edition, April, 2014, it's not yet a final copy. It is an Advance Copy. That is the time to ask friends and neighbors to post reviews on amazon.com or Good Reads, and so on.
DON'T HIDE YOUR LIGHT UNDER A BUSHEL!
We typeset the files and make all corrections ourselves, using a "What You See is What You Get" typesetting program. They print the files we send them and (because amazon owns our printer) set them up for sale right away on amazon.com So most mistakes are our fault and ours to fix. But errors can still happen in the print shop.
No one will know your books are for sale there unless we tell them. AFTER you see the book and know that it isn't printed upside down and backwards (Don't laugh, that can happen!) Then post that advance copies are available on amazon, at WWI, etc. Check the sales web sites to see they are there BEFORE you post about that site in your groups. When it goes up on amazon. Post "Now available at Amazon!" But wait until you see it loaded into any site before mentioning that site. Give you another opportunity to post. We have to do all that by hand. It isn't automatic, and each site has a different process to follow, so it doesn't all happen at one time.
Befriend or link to your favorite authors and watch what and how they do posts about their upcoming books. Steal their ideas. JR Rain, Carla Neggers, James Lee Burke and Rose Pressey are masters at this.
We are a small company and don't have an advertising budget. But we do have a blog. Any of our authors can send us a blog column to be posted there. Five hundred words. Subject of your choice (politics or religion excepted) but it's a sales tool, so mostly that will incude some aspect of your books. Humor helps, if something funny happened.
Why you wrote the book?
Who is the favorite character, and why? (From others' books. And again from your own.)
What is the book's theme and why is that important to you?
How has your writing affected your friends and family? How did they react?
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Who is your favorite cheerleader?
Who sits beside you while you write?
Who influenced your writing?
What books by other writers do you admire most?
If your characters cook or eat in your book, send a bit about their favorite foods, with a recipe.
We plug a book, usually a previously published book, on our blog every day. And sales of those titles appear regularly on our data lists. If you sold only one copy recently, then it may be due to a mention there, because in doing the sales data, we realized that Most of the titles mentioned on the blog had at least one sale to show for it.
Almost Every Friday we do a Catching UP! column, where we list the books that were worked on that week. What has gone to press, what galleys have gone out, What books have begun, including titles, a short book blurb, etc. If you see your book on there SHARE the information.
Yes, today is FRIDAY, but we are still running behind due to the late computer difficulties. When the laptop died, much of the work in typesetting died with it. DON'T PANIC. WE DIDN'T LOSE ANY BOOKS! But some may need to be typeset again, and some corrections may have to be reentered. We'll run Catch UP! tomorrow.