Book marketing: What works, what doesn’t work

Let me save you time and anguish by sharing what has worked (and not worked) for me:

  • TRIBES: These are groups of writers who support and encourage each other. That’s fine and dandy and noble. If you need someone to push you to keep writing, then join one of these groups. But when it comes time to marketing each other’s books, the only author that usually benefits is the person who founded the group. F.
  • YOUR BOOK’S COVER: This is the single best investment you can make in your book. Period. If the cover looks amateurish, most readers will not buy the book. A
  • FACEBOOK: Readers want to engage with you and Facebook is a great way to do it. The time investment can be as little as a few minutes before bedtime. People will friend you and Facebook’s sponsored posts are a cheap way to remind them when a new book goes on sale. B.
  • TWITTER: Programs like TweetDeck can be set up to email you every time someone tweets that they have bought or finished your book. It will generate a few dozen leads for you. C+
  • BOOK TRAILERS: What was the last book you bought after watching a trailer on YouTube? That’s what I thought … If you’ve got the skills, then consider this as a way to build your brand. Otherwise, save your money. D
  • FACEBOOK ADVERTISING: I think it’s become more powerful over the past two years. Whether it’s cost effective, though, depends on the price of your book. It’s impossible to break even on a 99 cent novel, especially if you run ads on a cost-per-click basis. But if you’re selling at $2.99? Then it may be worth a dollar per click because each Kindle sale generates a royalty of $2.09. B.
  • OTHER ADVERTISING: It depends on the site. eReaderNewsToday (A) gives an excellent return on value but it may be a year before your ad runs. Pixel of Ink (C) depends on the genre of your book, although it’s sister site Inspired Readers (A) is free and very influential if you write religious fiction. Kindle Nation Daily (D) is very expensive for the results they tend to deliver.
  • GOODREADS: People will rate your book here so create an author page to let them know about your upcoming books. Free marketing. B
  • LIBRARY THING: An excellent way to give away free books, including e-books. Only downside is you are prohibited from using emails to build your mailing list. B
  • BACK OF BOOK: When you put Book #2 on sale, put the first chapter at the end of Book #1. It’s worth the cost to pay the e-book formatter a second time. B+
  • WATTPAD: Popular with those who like to read on their smartphones, it’s a good place to post a sample chapter. B
  • FREE BOOKS: Why do you want to give your book away? Because every new author needs to build a following. Free means there’s no risk to the reader. Amazon’s KDP select program makes promotional giveaways easy for you. I’ve given away 54,000 copies of “Signs and Wonders.” If just 10 percent of them read the book and opt to buy “Finding Grace,” that’s more sales than if every paid sale (3,200) chooses to buy the sequel. A.
  •  YOUR BLOG: Use your blog to remind people when your new book is coming out, like this:

Alex Adena’s “Finding Grace,” the sequel to “Signs and Wonders” will be published in late April. Sign up for a reminder at his Facebook page, Alex Adena Books.

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