Sunday, September 18, 2016

Author - Are You Getting The Most Bang for your Books?

The writing world has been flooded with so many books, that it's hard for an author to know what to do for promotion these days.  Book tours, writing workshops, facebook ads, twitter, submitting book ads to every blooming group on social media like Pinterest.  Does it help or are you sticking your head in the sand and ticking off potential readers?

Depends on who you ask!  This is my personal opinion and you can take it with a grain of salt (oh yeah my originality these days cracks me up).  I'm not only an author but an avid reader.  Signing on to my facebook page last week I was slammed in the face with the same authors books covering my page blocking out every personal post made by my friends (not that some of these said authors aren't my friends, but keeping it real.)  Know what I did?  I muted every facebook book promoting group so I could see what was really going on outside of the book world.  I know shocking ain't it?  I actually HAVE a life outside of writing and promoting books!

My conclusion?  Pasting your book to 100's of  facebook groups a day is annoying as CRAP for potential readers.  I've been guilty of doing the same thing.  I get it!  You want everyone to know about this great book you've written.  Spamming pages isn't the way to go about it.  I was so ticked off I refused to buy any book I saw being dumped onto my screen and later that night when I was ready to read, I went to a few book sites and picked up what interested me.  What a revelation, right?

So what does this mean for me, the author?  I'm no longer sharing my book with all these groups.  I have a facebook author page, a website, goodreads page, pinterest, and mailing list.  If you don't might I suggest you spend your time working on that instead of annoying the crap out of your facebook friends?  Yes, I've done it.  Want to know how many books I've sold that way (I keep up by linking my books from to see where I'm getting hits from)?  Five.  That's right.  Five people who were probably related to me picked up my ebook from facebook.   If you're happy selling five books a month and annoying everyone else, more power to you, but for me, that's not the way I want to do things.

I mean seriously, how many times can  you see the above ad before you say, HEY I get it.  You wrote some book and it's 99cents.  Now shut up so I can talk to my friends!  So if  I'm not spamming facebook with my ads, how am I supposed to get sales?  It's not easy.  If you thought I had some great revelation about how to get my books moving, well I hate to disappoint.  The truth is you've got to build your reader base.  Give away a free book if they sign up for your mailing list.  Put out some content that gives the subject of your ebook without slapping them in the face with book ads, and start relating to your potential readers again. 

I get it.  Writing, promoting, editing, and selling is a full-time job, but losing the personal touch with your readers?  That's a career killer!  That saying about worry about writing your next book instead of promoting the crap out of the current one all the time?  Yeah.  It's true.  Readers are going to find you if the work you're putting out there is quality to them no matter what genre you're writing in.  Do a book blog tour when  you first release your book.  Send ONE (not three or four) email out to your mailing list to let them know you've got something they might be interested in.  Head over to goodreads and put your book up there and put in on bookshelves in groups that share a love for your genre.  Do a press release, since Hollywood can't do anything but release remakes lately, obviously they need some entertainment context out there to find new ideas.  Sorry had to throw that tidbit in.

If you can afford it (which really who can today) go with one of the huge book promoters and let them do what you pay them for.  Share your ARC with readers who will  hopefully tell other readers how dang incredible you are without having to promote yourself like a proud peacock strutting your stuff.  The self-publishing world has EXPLODED with new authors, and to make it in this new world you're going to have to think outside the box!  The tried and true is no longer working. 

And Kindle Unlimited?  Don't get me started.  Many authors are over there I'm sure making a killing... it was a total waste of time for me.  I want my books going out on every platform available (sorry Amazon, I love you but my days of slaving away to fill your pockets are over).  If you're considering going wide... try out Draft2Digital.   

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