Last week I outlined some of the activities I am planning to try to market my new novel, ‘Bleak – The story of a shapeshifter‘. This includes a free 10,000 word prequel on Smashwords. I also have a collection of short stories out (also including the prequel). I am investing some of my limited budget with BooksGoSocial.com for reasons I explain in the last blog. However I feel there must be more I can do myself to enhance and build on that activity.
One piece of advice I read, and rings true to me, suggests that people need to see something six or seven times before deciding to buy. So I need get that book cover out there in as many places as possible. For me that means onto sites, blogs, reviews etc. etc. I have some lined up, but I need more – all suggestions welcome. Where I admit I am still struggling is where I can get exposure for my work on sites that specialise in my genre. The science fiction blogs I know about and look at occasionally seem to concentrate on the well-known published authors. I guess I need to keep looking.
Guest blogging is an area I’ve tried before. Some require a previously unpublished piece of work but others will accept a reworked blog. The advantage here is that you are reaching a totally new audience and they will give you a brief bio section, links to your own blog etc. The trick is to read carefully what they are wanting and to have a good look at other content to make sure what you have to offer is a good fit. I found a list of blogs looking for guest blogs at The Write Life. It’s also a good place to go to look for more ideas on blogging, self-publishing and marketing. If you don’t know it, it really is worth a bookmark or follow on twitter.
I also know I have to work harder to try and get some critical reviews. I have submitted to a few sites in the past without much success with the exception of ‘Deborah Jay Author’ who often reads my blog and comments. I’m hoping that if I can get more reviews on my new works then that ‘success’ will make it easier to obtain those first critical reviews.
Another area that I’ve seen good reports is using services such as BookBub who e-mail their subscribers with new book deals, books that are on offer for free or at a substantial reduction. Some are for well-established authors, but they will also feature self-published authors. However, I think again to have a reasonable chance of being selected as a self-published author a certain amount of success and a good number of reviews (and possibly critical reviews) are needed.
The final activity I’ve been researching is that of Facebook ads. I subscribed to three free videos by the successful self-published thriller author Mark Dawson. He also runs a paid course on using Facebook ads. He does make it sound simple and if done correctly very productive (and I know I could say ‘well he would wouldn’t he’). It doesn’t seem that difficult and you can limit you spend to just a few $/day for a limited time. However, I have also read that it can be a good way to waste a lot more money than you were intending. I will keep researching and let you know if I decide to give it a go.
So going back to part one, for the reasons explained there I think going with BooksGoSocial.com is a good start. Then there some things like guest blogging, looking for more sci-fi sites and possible critical reviews, I can do for myself. As I mentioned at the beginning the more times I can get that book cover out there and in as many different places the better chance I have of people deciding to give it a go. As for BookBub and Facebook ads, I’ll put those on the back burner for now. What I am learning is that I need to be patient, keep at it and then perhaps be prepared to experiment.
As always comments and suggestions are welcome.