Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday's Helpful Hints - What didn't work - for me.

There are several things I did, as far as I know, (note the caveat here) had little effect on my marketing of my books. I also had a good friend who was a military analyst who agrees with my own results.

It doesn't seem that much benefit is gained from online advertising. It's way down on the list of things that work. I'm not certain about paid advertising in print medium because I've seldom had the money to be able to buy an expensive spread in a retail spot. So I'd have to say - for me at least - paid advertising was a waste of my money.

Also, today, many of the loops devoted to romances, which I write, are full of other authors promoting their books. So, for as much time as I spend on those loops, I doubt I gain much help in selling my own books.

Giving away books also doesn't do a lot either. I have to buy my print books and except for the few copies I get when the book is released in digital form, I must buy the digital book from my publisher if I want to continue to gift the ebook to others. Contests stir up some interest, but giving away a lot of books doesn't seem to aid in my actual sales numbers.

The three best things I do, is first word of mouth. It's been reported that your name has to register at least seven times, before people will begin to recognize you. So, if that premise is true, then you have to have someone talk about you at least seven times before you'll be remembered, they'll have to see your name in print at least seven times before they get it. So, word of mouth is the most important and seeing your name in print is next. That means blogging for others and well as at least one blog for you, tweeting and facebook, and the other forms of internet media.

The third thing I've found that helps is always carrying a bunch of bookmarks (mine are business cards and I'll explain why in a minute). I pass these out to anyone I see reading, in a restaurant, doctor's office, where ever. Of course, I will also pass them out to people I see reading from a digital device like a kindle. I usually ask what they are reading and if it's history, romance, or most forms of fiction, I'll pass out a card or two. I also keep my doctor's office supplied, hand them out at the hospital when I go for blood tests, at the beauty salon, and I add them to almost all of the mail that leaves the house.

Now, why do I use business cards as opposed to regular bookmarks? First, I can make them myself and print as many or as few as I want or print them as I need them. I can print both sides, and let face it, today not everyone uses a bookmark, but people do keep business cards. The stock available is excellent, not horrendously expensive and with the new printers, you can produce a reasonably good product. I put the latest cover of my book on one side and my back list and buy info on the reverse. I'm definitely looking into using a small QR code on my next card.  Don't know what that is? Look it up and you'll notice it's now frequently on all kinds of products.

Okay, I'm a little long again, but there is much to share. I'll wait until next Monday to get into the press kit. So, see you then.

Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch
Betrayed Bride available from Champagne Books
Lynbrook's Lady coming in August from Champagne Books


Glynis said...

Interesting, and informative post, thank you. I made bookmarks to give with my books, maybe I will use the cards instead.

Jan Scarbrough said...

My books have done better since I've connected with another bestselling indie author who writes books in a similar setting. I've also started using Twitter in a more productive way, and blogging.

Rita Bay said...

Hi Allison,

You know what they say about great minds! I'm a great believer in having a blog and visiting blogs and Yahoo groups.
Of course, content is important. Folks won't buy or return if the content is crap.

I also use the business cards with the back as my titles list.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Very good advice, Allison. I use postcards with latest book covers on them and info on the back. Agree about word of mouth!

Judith Copek said...

Interesting post. I'm going to start handing out bookmarks like crazy. I've even read to stick them into your bills when you pay them. I agree blogging and a web site are important. Another avenue is to belong to a speakers bureau that gives library programs, etc. This is a good way (if you aren't public-speaking phobic) to get your name out there and sell some books. If you ARE weak-kneed at the thought of speaking, join a Toastmasters Club and they'll have you speaking in no time. I promise. Thanks for the good advice. I agree that ads and free books are not the way to go.

Judith Copek
World of Mirrors

LizB said...

Actually, I'm finding cheap ads on Fiverr work quite well. They only sell a few books, but they are getting the book covers seen, which seems a bonus to me.

It's all rather an experiment, though, and I think one has to try all sorts and find out what works best.

Evelyn Cullet said...

Thanks Allison. I have to agree that paid advertising seems like a waste of money. I've tried it, and it didn't sell many novels, if any. I'm always looking for new ways to advertise. Passing out bookmarks and cards seems to be the most economical way to get sales.

Angelina Windsor said...

Thanks, Allison, pretty much what I was thinking too which is always great when you get confirmed in your ideas! Best, January

Pippa Jay said...

Ditto on the paid advertising, but I've taken advantage of any free advertising I can get. Contests get a lot of hits but rarely seem to lead to sales. Word of mouth is top, and blogging in different places, sometimes those outside your familiar areas. Having a free short story has helped for me and, surprisingly, book trailers. I didn't think they'd work but I've had the odd comment that someone has picked up my book after seeing the trailer.

Richard Hacker said...

I use business cards too. Not sure how much impact they have, but it does get my name out there. I've also gotten some traction from blog tours. Thanks for the post Allison.