Monday, May 8, 2017

Marketing Tips From A Newly Published Author


Launching my first book was a time of excitement, anxiety, awe and of humbleness for me. At last one of my big dreams was coming true. I spent a lot of years saying I wrote because I loved to write. That publication wasn't important to me. But I was only fooling myself.  Most of us write because we want to be heard. Without readers, we remain mute. 

As of this today, the novel has 90 reviews on Amazon and 70 plus on Goodreads. They average about 4.5 stars. With a lot of work to get the word out, A Bend In The Willow was selected as one of Amazon's Hot New Releases and climbed to #4. 
A friend suggested I talk about the process of getting to this place--that it might be of interest to other writers.  This is what I've learned:

1. Write the very best book you can possibly write. Don't think you're finished because you've come to the end. Edit. Rewrite. Edit and rewrite some more until you've done all you can.

2. If you are self publishing, hire a good editor. Take her suggestions unless you have a very good reason not to. 


3.  Get someone who is good with grammar to proofread the book.

4. Have a great cover design. I was very fortunate that Tirgearr assigned me an editor, had the book proofread and designed a fantastic cover. If you are self-publishing, you need to take the same steps.

5. About six weeks before the book is to launch, start soliciting reviews. Some publishers will do this for you. Most will not. I went through Amazon's Top 10,000 reviewers and pulled out the ones who reviewed books similar to mine and who'd left an e-mail. There are websites you can join that will do the scanning for you and provide you with a list of e-mail addresses.

6. I wrote query letters to each one--giving them a brief summary of the book along with the cover art. I was polite. I told them how much it would mean to me if they'd review the book. But even if they didn't want to, I appreciated the time they'd taken to read the query.

7. When I heard back, I sent their requested format. Since Tirgearr publishes first in e-book, I had mobi (for Kindle) e-pub (for Nook and other e-readers) and PDF.  Be polite. They are doing you a favor. I sent out twice as many ARC's (advanced reader copies) than I have, so far, received reviews--but 50% is a good turnout.

8. When they wrote back with their reviews, I thanked them profusely and asked them to post the review on Goodreads (they allow reviews on books that have not yet been launched)  On launch day, I already had 35 or so reviews on Goodreads. I also asked if they would like to be on my list of reviewers for my next book, Redemption Lake, which will launch in May. All of them said, "yes".  This is important because it will decrease your work load when your second novel is released.

9. The morning of book launch, I sent an e-mail to everyone who'd requested the book, reminding them that they could post their reviews on Amazon. I told them not to worry if they hadn't read the book yet, I'd greatly appreciate their review whenever they had time to do it.  Again, be nice. 


10. About a month before launch, I set up promotions for that week. Places like: Book Lovers Heaven, Book Goodies, The Fussy Librarian, My Book Place, Ebook Soda, Read Cheaply, Free Kindle Books and Tips.  EReader News Today (ENT) is one of the better sights but requires reviews. As soon as I had some reviews in place, I contacted them.  According to my publisher, 162 ENT readers bought the book. Well worth the investment of $50.00

11. You might want to start out with a low price. Tirgearr started A Bend In The Willow at .99. The price went up $4.99 after the launch.  Readers are more likely to take a chance on a new writer with a low price. And for the first book, you want to get your name out there. You may not make a lot of money, but you are getting name recognition and fans who will want to read your next book.

12. Don't be afraid to ask other writers who have been through this process (either self publishing or with a small press) for help. I would have been lost without my very generous writer friends. Most writers like to help and share what they've learned.

I hope you found this advice helpful. I'm flying by the seat of my pants a lot of the time, too. It's a learning curve. But, thanks to some hard work, 
 A Bend In The Willow got off to a great start and was actually one of Amazon's Top 100 Hot New Releases.  


Now, comes the maintenance phase for A Bend In The Willow. 
Picture
Available on Amazon

My second novel, Redemption Lake, will be released on May 17th.  It is available for presale for only .99. The price will go up to $5.99 on May 22. I'm hoping I've learned enough with A Bend In The Willow to successfully launch another book. It isn't as hard as you think it will be. I promise. 



Available on Amazon

1 comment :

Peter Hogenkamp said...

These were fantastic tips. Can't wait to use them. peter