Writing a flop! - Page 2


Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 38

Thread: Writing a flop!

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    I see your point, but I'm not sure it's in keeping with general advertising theory. There are ads everywhere (including in our homes when we're watching TV, on the internet, etc.), not just in the places we go to buy specific products. I guess the idea is to MAKE people want to buy a book (or whatever other product).
    I was involved with internet marketing for almost 10 years Bayview. at one time people said facebook and Twitter were the saviours. But I found Google Adwords to be the most direct and responsive of all.

    Somethings do work great via Facebook and Twitter. Weddings, holidays I know work well that way because people share that stuff. Un-read new books.....I have no idea but I would be surprised if the answer was yes.

    If I want something I go to the right place or search Google. I do not look on Twiitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and other. The second place I would check for how good or which one would be Youtube, which is of course Google.

    But this of course what I would do. I am not a Facebook or Twitter person.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    I may self-publish this year as I'm becoming aware / slowly accepting that I am probably not the ideal client for an agent. But anyway, I always thought I would try some guerrilla marketing tactics - cryptic stickers on lampposts near bookshops, sneaky inserts into magazines, a simple pencil or biro drawing for a cover that I can do myself, some tie in / SM campaign leading to a mysterious website that hints at more info (before dumping the potential reader into an amazon page or whatnot). What are your thoughts on that? It just seems to me that all the millions of self-pub book ads are incredibly generic, so doing it differently excites me.

    The only thing that I find a little offputting is all the social media side of things. Churning out identikit clickbait and engagement fodder just depresses me, not least because there are so many high-profile accounts there it's hard to compete, imo.
    It sounds like fun, but the number of people you will touch will be tiny if you are doing it those things personally. You need a mate who is into video to record you doing it as a little 'local author' documentary, then you give that to local TV for cheap 'filler' content and get a much bigger audience. Failing that you write it up and give it to the local papers.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    The only thing that I find a little offputting is all the social media side of things. Churning out identikit clickbait and engagement fodder just depresses me, not least because there are so many high-profile accounts there it's hard to compete, imo.
    I empathize with this perspective greatly. I think if I was going to seriously go down the SP route I would probably look at trying to get the marketing outsourced somehow. Expensive, possibly prohibitively so, but the idea of spending time on promoting rather than writing isn't my thing. Most SP authors I have met, at least ones that actually make sales and didn't already have some sort of name recognition from traditional publishing credits, seem to actually enjoy the hustle, seem to see it as part of the writer's experience rather than a necessary evil. I suspect it's a personality thing. We're talking about people who would, in another life, have been great salespeople.


    Quote Originally Posted by Biro View Post
    I suppose before you start. You should ask yourself....If I wanted to buy a book. Would I go to Facebook, Twitter or a place that sells books?

    Your answer may be there.
    If I recall correctly, I think somebody knowledgeable (possibly Ralph) had a thread on here awhile back about Facebook, Twitter, etc. and basically it is kind of a loser. Might be wrong. I'm sure it's very un-cheap to advertise on those platforms.

    My feelings (not necessarily backed by data, though I can't be troubled to look right now) on a lot of these social media platforms is that they've kind of jumped the shark anyway as far as outlets for marketing. Might be a demographic thing, but certainly fewer and fewer people I know are using Facebook, purely because it has become such a shady swamp for advertising and clickbait and general abuse of information. Point being, I can see a book -- any book -- really not benefiting from promotion via those platforms. On the other hand, a well-placed ad on a science fiction forum for a science-fiction book could well be a winner, I suspect, and that's not necessarily a place that people go to buy books either, right?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post

    My feelings (not necessarily backed by data, though I can't be troubled to look right now) on a lot of these social media platforms is that they've kind of jumped the shark anyway as far as outlets for marketing. Might be a demographic thing, but certainly fewer and fewer people I know are using Facebook, purely because it has become such a shady swamp for advertising and clickbait and general abuse of information. Point being, I can see a book -- any book -- really not benefiting from promotion via those platforms. On the other hand, a well-placed ad on a science fiction forum for a science-fiction book could well be a winner, I suspect, and that's not necessarily a place that people go to buy books either, right?
    Yeah, I dunno. The most recent indie-published book I bought was on the back of a tweet that linked to Amazon, all by the author. Admittedly I was in the market for an indie book and had already scoped out the one I bought, but the nudge was definitely there. To me, my concern - and tying in to what Olly says above - is that because so much of the standard Twitter (to take my most-used social media platform) sales pitches are so generic, I would get bored with that idea and try something crazy and new. For eg., I once considered setting up a Twitter account as my MC or my antagonist. But who would know? Who would even give a shit? And then, in the process I would worry that I would miss the fundamental nature of how to market via SM and burn loads of time in missing that mark, so get nowhere. It's entirely my MO. But that's me, not knowing what I'm doing.

    As I understand it, as it is, I think I will approach known accounts and book reviewers and get in with them and say "can you review my book and write something nice about it" and so forth (or pitch whatever crazy idea to them). That seems to be in line with, for instance, radio. A lot of informal-sounding "conversations" on the radio are adverts, as are shelf-placings and "staff picks"-type stuff in bookshops. You pay to have a fifteen minute chat about your product, or to have it left Casually Leaning At That Quirky Angle Against A Sack Of Coffee BeansTM in the store, and away it goes. I'd just have to find someone hungry for material, or at a reasonable cost, or for whom I can do some tit-for-tat.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Yeah, I dunno. The most recent indie-published book I bought was on the back of a tweet that linked to Amazon, all by the author. Admittedly I was in the market for an indie book and had already scoped out the one I bought, but the nudge was definitely there. To me, my concern - and tying in to what Olly says above - is that because so much of the standard Twitter (to take my most-used social media platform) sales pitches are so generic, I would get bored with that idea and try something crazy and new. For eg., I once considered setting up a Twitter account as my MC or my antagonist. But who would know? Who would even give a shit? And then, in the process I would worry that I would miss the fundamental nature of how to market via SM and burn loads of time in missing that mark, so get nowhere. It's entirely my MO. But that's me, not knowing what I'm doing.

    As I understand it, as it is, I think I will approach known accounts and book reviewers and get in with them and say "can you review my book and write something nice about it" and so forth (or pitch whatever crazy idea to them). That seems to be in line with, for instance, radio. A lot of informal-sounding "conversations" on the radio are adverts, as are shelf-placings and "staff picks"-type stuff in bookshops. You pay to have a fifteen minute chat about your product, or to have it left Casually Leaning At That Quirky Angle Against A Sack Of Coffee BeansTM in the store, and away it goes. I'd just have to find someone hungry for material, or at a reasonable cost, or for whom I can do some tit-for-tat.
    Facebook and Twitter is about sharing.

    People share their latest personal news or interest news. Their latest holiday experiences. Wedding preparations. Clothes buying or new car etc etc.

    They will also share their latest book read if they are of that mind. But this post will only be of interest to some other readers who may also have these accounts and bother to use them.

    Youtube is a great way of checking 'user experiences'. People doing user reviews etc.

    Book websites like Goodreads.com and the like may be a better place because 99% of people there may be readers. People have set themselves up as professional/semi professional book readers on this websites and even have their own book review website. Do prospective readers take any notice of these people?

    Go to Google put in a search for thriller novels. Be more direct search for Irish thriller novels. More direct and use tools in the drop down menu.... Irish thriller novels ...'this month'. Then you will get the latest Irish thriller novels added this month if they have been listed on Google.

    Thats a very basic way of searching. You can make it even more precise if you want. But does Joe Public search this way? The answer is mostly .....no they do not.
    Joe Public is extremely lazy and only bothers to click on the first few results of a search. One reason to use Google Adwords because then your Advert will be at the top most times.

    Works for lots of products but does it work for books? Also I know how to use Google in depth whereas a lot of people cannot be bothered.

    How about going direct to the reader. Kindle Adverts.
    Adverts that go direct to kindle readers on their screens. Great idea.
    But my experience was that you have to bid over a $ per click to even get shown. That dollar click seriously takes the profit out of any book sales and kills Amazon ebook profits dead because the profits are so low.

    The whole caboodle is so problematic and time consuming it really makes you wonder if it is cost effective or worth the hassle. I personally do not think it is. Especially as Ralph hasn't included the endless hours he spent writing and editing his book in his price structure breakdown. So if he paid himself a minimum hourly wage for that. Just think in real terms that loss making book actually cost him.
    Last edited by Biro; February 5th, 2020 at 08:08 AM.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    I'd add a bit of shading to reason 4), I think, by saying the right people didn't hear about your book. As you note, there are a couple thousand new books put out every day, which makes it really easy for a book to get lost in the flood. But there are also a hell of a lot of readers out there. It's not necessary, or even advantageous, for all of these readers to hear about your book - it's only important that the right readers hear about it. The target market.

    People resist genre classifications and want to write what their muse demands, and this is great if writing is the main goal, but if selling is the main goal, it's a problem. Genre classifications make it possibly to connect the book with the right readers for that book. There may be two thousand new books a day, but there are only, maybe, a hundred new books in a specific genre. If your book fits easily into that genre, you're swimming in a much smaller pool and it's much easier to reach your intended market.

    So I'd add another element to your list, I think, for books that are, by their very nature, hard to market (b/c they don't fit into a tidy genre) and/or for books that are marketed to readers who are never going to read the book regardless.
    Very true. Some genres are harder to market than others. With Calizona I was able to market directly to survivalists and preppers because they have numerous forums and clubs.
    But other genres are not always so easy to crack (or even figure out where your readers are so you can market to them.)

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I'm curious about your costs, Ralph. It looks like you are factoring in the costs of book fairs to the cost of this one book, but is the dollar amount not based on the entire fee? If so, doesn't a book fair allow you to showcase all of your books? If not, if this is the cost of a single book or calculated through division, the costs of book fairs (which I know nothing about) seem extremely high -- are they worth it?

    Overall, I found your advice very useful and it kind of supports my feelings about publishing. I feel like it's a good argument for pursuing traditional publication in the event that option is feasible and/or the writer (me) lacks the sales and marketing knowledge. $732.79 is a lot of money to risk I certainly would not feel comfortable about being that much in the hole before a sale.

    A couple other questions for ya:

    - Is spending $150 on a cover a good idea? Given the strength of ebooks where covers are -- I would assume -- less important than in a book store, and the fact you can get cheaper, serviceable (though perhaps less strong) covers for far less than that (not the free ones, but - say - commissioning a freelancer to put together a simple yet non-shitty cover for maybe $50) $150 seems like a lot of avoidable cost. Similarly, with the custom font, I can see why nobody wants their cover in Comic Sans, but is a custom font for $30 as opposed to merely a more tasteful font, downloadable for a buck or two, a good investment?

    - Ads... I have personally never bought a book because of a banner ad, though I have looked at a couple. In any case, I feel like $100 for an Amazon ad is a lot. I'm not saying it's a bad investment, and you'll forgive me if this is ignorant on the workings of Bezos, but isn't there an option to simply have a book marked as 'promoted', bringing it to the top of the listings for awhile, rather than an actual ad? I don't buy books based on banner ads but I do buy books based on how easy they are to find and if a fee guarantees top-placement in a listing that would definitely help. Not sure if maybe that was included in the $100...?

    True that the book fair costs really should be split up since I was marketing multiple books at each (and sold very few copies of Ming.) The image is from my expenses spreadsheet I use for taxes, so it reflects all costs per anum.

    As for the $150 cover. This was actually a really, really good price for professional artwork. Although there are many really talented artists who do commissions...they are not cheap. At least not the good ones.
    I have used cheaper artists, and the result was...underwhelming.
    Most artists will charge +$300 for something like this.
    SigmaDog would quote you much higher for an image like this.



    With ads, you can set a daily limit, and a campaign limit, then let it run on its own. You can choose to be promoted content, as well as ads that appear on the wake-page of a kindle.
    I have never seen much return from Amazon ads tho.

  8. #18

  9. #19
    As near as I can tell, this book failed due to reason #3; It was just not a story anybody wanted to read.
    My marketing data showed that I successfully drove a lot of people to the page...but they did not buy.
    Reviews were positive (except one troll who I believe came from another forum) so I can likely rule out #1.

    So failures like this make me stop and consider the books I am currently working on.
    As much as I would like to write them all...I have to be realistic.
    Writing a book is a lotta work...a ton of work, in fact.
    So often I sideline a project simply because I do not see it being a market success.

    What's the point of getting up at 0400 every day to write a book when I know it'll flop like a fish?
    I have shit-canned some great stories for this reason.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    As near as I can tell, this book failed due to reason #3; It was just not a story anybody wanted to read.
    My marketing data showed that I successfully drove a lot of people to the page...but they did not buy.
    Reviews were positive (except one troll who I believe came from another forum) so I can likely rule out #1.

    So failures like this make me stop and consider the books I am currently working on.
    As much as I would like to write them all...I have to be realistic.
    Writing a book is a lotta work...a ton of work, in fact.
    So often I sideline a project simply because I do not see it being a market success.

    What's the point of getting up at 0400 every day to write a book when I know it'll flop like a fish?
    I have shit-canned some great stories for this reason.
    Ralph you ever thought of banging those 4.00am wanna be's onto a Ralphy website and driving your traffic there as well?

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.