Ebooks and marketing can sometimes be overwhelming. Especially when it just took me fifteen minutes to get it the cover of my last book placed here in my blog. I recently read an article from one of those online gurus and the line that caught my attention was " run email marketing promotions through, BookBub, FreeBooksy and Ereader News." Sounds great doesn't it. I have ebooks so I looked at each site.
BookBub wanted $410 to have my book on their site. I'm a poor struggling author. No way could I afford that and my husband would kill me.
My ebook marketing research took next me to FreeBooksy. The free really called out to me. That one wanted $70 for just one day. Are they nuts?
The I went to Ereader news. Again an unreasonable fee I can't even remember right now.
I have three books that I would like to promote on those sites and get some sales going. No wonder only the big guns can afford to get their book out there in front of people.
I'm self-published for a reason. I can't wait for a traditional publishing house to pick me up and I can't afford to put all the money necessary into marketing to get noticed and be a best selling author on the NY times list.
I almost made the best seller list with my book Bottle Alley. A few more and I would have made it.
I find the best way for me is to use my auto responder, I use Mailchimp. Letting my readers know when I have a book coming out. Make it available for pre-order and cross my fingers.
I also make rack cards with VistaPrint. I take these to events and hand them out. After the event I will sell a couple ebooks.
My advice to anyone that wants to promote their ebooks is do your research and don't spend more than you can afford. Unless you are very lucky you may not make that money back in sales.
Never under estimate the importance of social media. It's here to stay and authors need to use it. Personally I use Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google plus. You are probably asking how can anyone find the time to keep up a presence on all the social media sites? Answer is I don't. I'm just as busy as the next guy. Today I read that you should plan to publish every ninety days. A can manage a novel once a year and maybe throw in a children's book. I write one short message and I use www.buffer.com to connect my social media sites. They do charge a small fee each month but to me it's worth it.
I have started to blog here on my new site and with Weebly I can share my blog in an e-mail announcement. Last time I missed a step and my emails got delivered but not my blog. So much for technology tripping me up again.
The last thing to mention is having an e-mail list and and auto-responder. I use Mail Chimp. Everytime I go to an event or a booksigning I ask people to sign up for my newsletter. I promise not to clutter their inbox with a lot of nonsense. When I get home I add the e-mails to my list in mail chimp and for my blog contacts.
I find that when I let people know that I have a new books coming out, a special event or booksigning they appreciate the information and sometimes will come out to meet me. I love meeting people that have bought one of my books. I get to ask them face to face if they liked it or not. Course they are all very polite and tell me they loved it.
We are not all computer wizards and I can't spell with out spell check. You also have to get pretty close before spell check can figure out what you're trying to spell. I do make mistakes in spelling and can get a punctuation wrong. That's why I pay an editor. In my blog and e-mails you get what you get. Please share my blog and write a comment or ask a question.
Finding a hook can be hard for some books but it's worth trying to find one. I was recently at the Florida Friendly Eco Fest at the Hyatt in Sarasota FL for four days.
Honey is a hot item at the moment so I wrote two new books. One for the kids, Hayden and the Honey Farm and one for adults, Honey Tree Farm.
The Sarasota Honey Company was listed as a vendor. I had found my hook. All I had to do was think of a way to help both of us with sales and have them agree to it.
I created a coupon that would give a reader $2.00 off either of my new books if they bought a jar of honey. First I wrote the honey company an e-mail. I didn't get a reply but I never let something like that stop me.
At the event I introduced myself to Alma from Sarasota Honey and she was totally on borad with the idea. I gave her a bunch of coupons.
Alma was right across from my booth. It worked out great. She told her customers about the coupon and I told customers about the coupon. It was a win, win for both of us.
Later she said she would put both books on her website. Her Honey Company also has a Honey Bee festival in March that I have been invited to attend. Finding that hook has been a great way for me to reach a bigger audience for my books. I sold out of Hayden and the Honey Farm.
I found another hook at the same event, actually two. The Sierra Club was there and I sopke with their program director. She was very interested in my children's books because they have to do with ecology and I also do a powerpoint presentation on bats for children. She is going to plan a family day for me in the coming months.
The last hook was a woman from the Big Sister/ Big Brother program. They are planning an event in March 2017 and ask me to be a vendor.
Many authors do not want to go to events. Especially long four day ones. I'm not crasy about doing four days again either. But if you want to sell books and get your name out there it's what you have to do. Finding a hook is worth the effort.
From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding