In my personal opinion, writing the story, editing it and teaming with an agent are the easiest parts of the whole authorship adventure for me. Selling to a publisher, whether it is from myself or my agent is difficult, yes, but the tension and frustration really mounts with the sheer amount of promotion and marketing that must be employed to sell even a few copies or gain any reviews. We have a serious glut in the number of books and stories being published each year now, ranging into the millions.
The competition is more fierce than ever. Self-publishing has allowed any and all persons from all over the world to write and publish just about anything and call it a book (this is discounting the real indie authors who have great books and stories to share).
Unless you are published by one of the Big 5 corporations and one of their imprints, which has vast distributorship capability, you will be lost in a sea of written words. Trying to brand your author’s name today is very difficult and time-consuming, unless you have a breakout best-seller or already have name-brand celebrity recognition and status. It seems all of us have experimented with ads, whether they are banner ads, AMS or booster ads from Face Book and Twitter. Most of these ads are a total bust and do nothing but flood the marketplace with similar ads by authors who have the same desires to showcase their literary merit. It’s nearly impossible to know which ads bear fruit unless an active spreadsheet is maintained to watch orders and sales rank. The key word is "customize" the ad for your specific book. Get your audience right.
Advertisement expenditures can be very costly and disappointing to the uninitiated. Then there are the high dollar ad campaigns that profess to give profitable returns on their investments. BookBub is just one of them, but then again, thorough research is needed to know how to apply that type of ad to reach your target audience. In addition, you must be accepted by BookBub after you register, and you need to explore all of the cost options. Some of the ads can be very expensive. But when your BookBub ad is right, It's really right and shows return on your investment. You can read the testimonials.
WHAT’S ON THE BRIGHT SIDE?
Her is a partial summation of a blog where I talk about promotion. Some is pretty basic and old hat, but it still works.
A lot of authors reach customers via their website. This is a rather generic article that might encompass other products, but a well designed website does well for books, poetry and short stories that you might have listed on retail sites.
A website is a wonderful tool to reach the masses whether you are selling products and services, books, or programs. It's almost a given for any serious author and many publishers ask writers if they have a current website, or even a blog that will afford promotion space. Increased website traffic translates to more readership, visitors and ultimately, income. Once you have a website designed and active and you’ve established that you have a viable product or service to sell, it is important to draw as many potential customers and readers to your home base website. Here are some ideas on how to promote your website and draw that much needed attention.
First and foremost, you need to link your website URL to any and all sources on the Internet that you frequent (search engines). If you belong to a group such as Readers Forum, any display sites, several blog sites or other relative websites pertinent to your product or service, you should list your URL in any signature line or profile page provided. When you comment or guest-write a blog or article, your link will take potential customers and readers to your website. This works well if you are an authority on your subject and your interaction piques curiosity. You might have a website that is genre specific, such as Young Adult, science fiction or fantasy.
Offering something of value free gratis on your site is an excellent way to attract visitors. This could be free excerpts, short stories or entire novels, and you can lay out stipulations for acquiring the freebie. You may offer a free non-fiction tutorial or eBook that has valuable information. Small contests work well where you pose questions or offer free merchandise to a limited number of first responders. You can post questions that have to do with characters or plot points in one of your books and reward for the correct answers.
Offering discount days also works for drawing attention and you can announce these discount days via FaceBook, Twitter or on a separate blog. Write a small blurb in any website group that features a thread on “latest news” or “goals and accomplishments.” Radio, newspaper and cable TV sources are always on the hunt for local human interest stories and articles—this is a terrific way to reach the masses, especially if your website is new and in need of traffic. You may also convince other websites to give away your freebies, in essence, using their traffic and membership to widen your exposure.
Using “pay for rank” search engines is an economical way to get targeted customers that share your subject matter. Visitors obtained in this matter may cost as little as 10 cents apiece, but the traffic jump may result in the thousands of visitors to your site. Ezine advertising works the same way—you pay a small upfront fee to advertise in numerous ezines that may result in hundreds of thousands of prospective clients and customers. Unlike paper magazine and newspaper advertising, ezine ads are longer lasting and able to reach the masses instantly. You may also publish your own ezine or newsletter that offers a membership. If you have a number of titles, especially in a series, you can create your own little book club. This will bring repeat customers back to your website via embedded email notices, especially if you are adding new information or making announcements.
You may try “joint venturing” where you team up with several competitors or persons in related book and reader groups and agree to cross promote or list your URL on their sites. Joint venturing can go nearly viral if there are dozens or hundreds of similar websites that offer the same products and services you are promoting.
My new website, Christy's Young Adult Fabuliers: (Note that it is under construction and needs work)