Saturday, December 22, 2012

Self-publishing 101 (6): Marketing

Covers sell. I still get tricked into buying books by good looking covers, and I should know better. Good book descriptions sell. Readers’ testimonials sell. Beyond that, marketing comes with a price, and like I said in a previous post I am not willing to pay it right now. So don’t offer me tons of reviews if I pay a certain sum or a radio interview that comes with a mandatory donation clause attached. It won’t happen.

How else can you get the word out about your books then? Some of the practices followed by the indie writers include:

- spotlight posts on various book blogs – done that, and it works well since it requires the least amount of effort from both sides. It’s usually better if they’re combined with an excerpt, interview or giveaway.

- accept to be interviewed on similar sites – done that too, and some were quite fun, except for the dreaded question ‘name your favorite writers’. How could I possibly list them all? They’re so many!

- write guest posts on blogs – I don’t think I’m experienced enough to give lessons to other writers so I don’t do ‘advice’ posts. Character interviews seem a little pointless to me if the book just came out and people didn’t get a chance to read it yet. That’s better fit as a bonus for the book later during the marketing stage. There are other subjects to talk about if you really want to, but I didn’t look into it much.

- some indie writers do all of the above on their own blogs – I guess it’s good for their popularity, but frankly I’d rather invest all that time and energy into writing, so again no. Besides, I’m a little wary when it comes to cross promoting if I haven’t read the book, no offence.

- exchange reviews with other writers – No. Well, mostly because there are tons of books out there that I really want to read and must find time to do it, but also because it doesn’t feel right somehow. So if you’re a reader and want to review my books, I’ll give them to you with the risk of a  bad review, but if you’re a writer and offer to review my book in exchange of me reviewing yours, I’ll pass. Amazon doesn’t like writers reviewing other writers anyway (which is stupid if you ask me, because I, as a private person, should be allowed to review whatever I want wherever the hell I want it in the way I see it most appropriately fit).

- giveaways and promotional prices – we talked about them in the previous posts.

- blog tours – I haven’t tried it yet, I get dizzy just from thinking about all the logistics needed to organize one. Maybe for The Impaler series…

- book trailers – I really really don’t see the point of those. I never had the patience to watch one from the beginning to end, and I honestly think they take more money to make than the revenue they bring.

I’m sure there are many other marketing strategies that work, more or less, but like I keep saying I’m lazy and I’d rather write. If you know something I missed, feel free to comment below.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about social media. Until then, check out “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks” (Amazon, Smashwords), discounted from $2.99 to $0.99 during the holidays, and let me know what you think.

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