Twenty-six days until the release of the first book in my Totem series. Writing the books have been amazingly fun, but marketing them, well, I have some new white hairs.
I've been doing a lot of research on book promotion. My first reaction was: AAAH! I've been doing it wrong all along. *falls down and cries* Okay. Maybe that's a little overdramatic, but that's how I felt. In the past, I did cover reveals, blog tours, blitzes, and giveaways, but it was not helping me reach a larger audience.
I had not been taking advantage of two key marketing tools: ads and newsletters. All my research states these two things should be what authors are focusing on.
- You need money to buy ads. So what if you're not selling enough? Look for venues that will shout-out about your book for cheap or free. Or ask for ad money for your birthday like I did.
- Research the ad sites. Some have strict submission requirements. Make sure they will accept your book.
- Plan way ahead. Some venues are booked two months in advance.
I decided to go with The Fussy Librarian. The prices are very affordable, and the site is easy to navigate. Nothing to be intimidated about there. I have an ad scheduled for October 25th for Dark Dawning (Totem #1). And yes, I'll let you know how it goes.
I also have a sale next month for Of Blood and Sorrow. It will be the first time I've put it on sale, and I hope to lure readers to the Totem series with the novel. I submitted it to Ereader News Today. It's more expensive than The Fussy Librarian, but it has a bigger audience. Plus, they only take novels. I could not advertise my Totem books on there. The ad will coincide with the first day of the sale on October 12th.
- According to several authors, this is the key tool for connecting with readers, and you can create one for free. Well, it's free up to a certain point, and then you'll have to pay. But if you make it to that point, you'll be making enough sales to afford the small cost.
- Newsletters are easy to create once you're familiar with the template.
- Building your newsletter list is difficult. Offering freebies and holding giveaways helps, but in the long run, you're building your list one subscriber at a time. (I offer a digital copy of The 13th Floor Complete Collection to new subscribers.)
- You can grow your list with newsletter swaps. What's this, you ask? I only recently started to take advantage of this myself. You trade book info with another author and each of you feature the other in their newsletter. This works very well for those of us who have a small following when paired with authors who have huge lists.
Last Friday, I asked for authors who have books with shifters in them to do swaps. I'd love to feature them alongside my Totem books over the next few months. Please leave a comment below or email me if you're interested.
Have you tried ads to sell your books? Do you have a newsletter, and if so, how do you go about building your list?