I want to share with you, my own experience of book marketing and the use of social media. What you won't get here is a step-by-step guide on how to use this technoglogy (I am crap at explaining logical instruction!!).
In the previous article, I talked about dealing with agents/publishers, Amazon, KDP Select, designing your own website and the use of You Tube to create a book video. If you have not already done so, you can read Part 1 of this post.
Book Marketing for New Authors Part 1.
In this article, I want to tackle the issue of using Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, predatory marketing services, advertisments as well as the use of reviewers and last but not least, focus on the most important issue of all — the book itself!!
I actually have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. On the one hand, it gives self-published authors the opportunity to publish books and on the other, it has (nearly but not quite) destroyed the traditional book market. With its vast array of books and give-away attitude, does anyone actually want to pay for books anymore? I price my book at £1.99 for the Kindle version and £7.60 for the Print On Demand (with $ and Euro conversion rates) and I am sticking to it!! Amazon now deposit the royalties straight into your bank, every month. I do take advantage of the free book promotion every three months on KDP Select and promote this through my Facebook page, which I must admit has generated a lot of interest. What I also do is bulk buy (the more you buy the cheaper the cost!) from Amazon and sell my own signed copies. This is quite an interesting strategy, because you do make a decent profit margin. I also want to extend this strategy by adding PayPal to my website/Facebook page, but still need to implement this over time or when I have the time. Then there is the case of an audio book. This costs about £1,500 to produce and surprise, surprise, Amazon provide this service through ACX Audio Books. With a zero marketing budget, I declined the offer. I do know several people who have used this service with variable results!! It's your choice!
Since the book was launched in March 2016, I have turned into a marketing maniac, and it all started on Facebook, so I apologise profusely to all my followers. I churned out post after post about the book, blurb, website, book video, Amazon links, reviews, photo competition for my next book (I actually received some brilliant photos for my next book cover) and general information on the trilogy. And, I did pay to boost some marketing posts (not much) and this has been quite effective. I paid £32 to boost my website page and received 50 likes over a period of a week. However, I have spent a grand total of £180 in four months boosting relevant posts, especially related to my FREE five-day book promotion on KDP Select. Small price to pay, I think?
I never connected with Twitter in the beginning. I had 35 followers until about a month ago. And then, without warning, I suddenly turned my focus towards Twitter and dumped Facebook. I now have 450+ followers. But wait a minute. Is it all about the amount of people who follow you? Absolutely not! It is about the quality of those followers. I have made some fantastic connections — authors, artists, photographers, reviewers, bloggers, criminologists, physicists and Scotland enthusiasts like myslef — and do not want it to become out of control. I observe people with 25K followers, but when they tweet a post, not one, and I mean not one follower likes, comments or shares? What is that all about? I see the merits of connecting with so many different types of people, but for me, I would NEVER pay for followers on Twitter. A little time and effort, no actually a lot of time and effort, will connect you to the right people. I also like having access to Twitter analytics. It's intersting to break it all down. Facebook also provide this service on paid advertising posts. It is interesting to see what demographic is connecting to your book.
Other online forums
Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat — no thanks. I dont have time at the moment. It would drive me insane having to manage so many different forums and I am mad enough, thanks very much! So, managing my website, You Tube channel, Facebook and Twitter is enough for now. I think these things cannot be rushed and will develop over time, perhaps. The dilemma for me at the moment is book marketing v writing. The book marketing has to stop and the writing has to commence on my second book. I feel the marketing maniac I have become is slowly returning to normality.
Now this really annoys me. I am a firm believer in Do It Yourself — if you can, but never pay for services (I forgive msyelf for paying for my Facebook advertisements because I do feel it has helped to establish my book in its early stages of life/growth). I see them all over Twitter, preying on your insecurities, promising quick-fast followers, receiving a "celebrity status" and managing your advertising costs at a huge cost to your wallet. STOP! STOP! STOP! Ignore these predators and carry on, Do It Yourself, take your time and connect to people who matter.
And now to the sensible part of book marketing. I seem to have come full circle and landed in this category. I forgot about the book itself and feel I am nearly back on track with what matters the most. My book. I have connected to some fantastic reviewers through Twitter, but would NEVER pay for a review. I came across a predatory advertisment the other day, enquired about information on the process, only to receive a link asking for money. GET LOST! So, I am very grateful to the reviewers who are taking the time and effort to read my book and hope they enjoy it. GULP! Wish me luck fellow readers.
Social media marketing
This is an area that I am interested in at the moment and have found a fantastic website that explains all the up to date technologies with step-by-step instructions on how to use this technology — Social Media Examiner. It's definitely worth a look! At the moment, I am learning how to embed tweets into a PDF file as I have sample book chapters on my website. This allows readers to share that file to their own Twitter page. Clever! I am also interested in the use Podcasts and online interviews. One for the back burner, for now.
Don't forget your book in all this marketing nonsense. This will be the focus of my next article in this series.
Copyright: Marshal Hughes
P.S. Please feel free to comment and give your opinion or advice. I have endeavored, as much as possible, to edit my own post, but there is always some kind of error.