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Friday, 25 April 2014

How do we Reach the Readers?

How do you get your book seen, and get the attention of those precious readers? The truth is, I don't really know, but here's what I've tried and tested.

For those who can afford to buy advertising space, their marketing methods of their books might be successful. On the flip side, for those who have a shoestring budget, free advertising is the only way. I'm not saying that it is successful, for me it hasn't been, but yet I do it daily.

1 - Reviews = FREE
Initially, I thought the best way to be noticed would be to have lots of good reviews. This meant searching for book reviewing blogs. I requested reviews on them, only to receive promises that my books would be added to their very long lists. For me, this wasn't going to work. Clearly, these type of book reviewers were becoming bogged down with all the new self published authors saturating the market, just like me. Incidentally, I'm always happy to provide a FREE e-copy of any of my books, in return for a review on Amazon. Just contact me.

2 - KDP Promotion Days = FREE. I tried the KDP promotion run by Amazon. If you join KDP for 90 days, you are allocated 5 days promotion, of giving your book away for FREE. At first my downloads numbers were quite high. For books 2 & 3 they were pretty poor. Did I achieve reviews via this method? In short, no. Did I get extra sales - no.

3 - AUTHOR INTERVIEWS = FREE. This involves filling in Interview Forms on blogs and book sites. In return my piece was included within their pages. I can't say this method did anything for my book sales but they all looked nice.   

4 - GROUP COMMUNICATIONS = FREE. Joining groups such as Goodreads and many FB pages. Over time you can weedle out the good groups to remain in. Didn't increase sales, but it did increase reviews. By talking directly to individuals, and giving them free e-copies of my books, those reviews slowly increased. 

6 - BLOG = FREE. Since my very first book being published, I have had a blog (this blog), dedicated to my books. I've tried many different approaches for increasing followers, such as other author interviews,  hosting Book Tours. Nope, didn't do anything for my sales. 

7 - SOCIAL NETWORKING = FREE. Have an author Facebook Page that I have been slowly building up. I have fun on my FB page, talking with other likeminded people, but it doesn't lead to sales. You cannot blitz blogs and FB pages with your own book advertising, you'd soon lose your followers if you did. However, sneak in the occasional post about your  book and have links to your books and sites. I also automatically Tweet from my FB pages, so that's two ways of getting out there.

8 - EMAILING READERS = FREE. I heard from another author that they had some success with  emailing readers directly. So I created an emailing list of about 100 readers. However, as with the social networking, I didn't want to spam readers, so never used it.  I still have an emailing list with Mailchimp, but will save it for when I release something new, or run free promotions. 

9 - WEBSITE = FREE. I enjoy running the website, because here I tell readers all about the world I have created. I've even started to add images of characters. It's great fun, but does it lead to extra sales - Nope. 

10 - BOOK TOURS = NOT free. The only advertising feature I have paid for. Didn't work. Led to no extra sales.

So what am I doing wrong? Well, I say 'NOTHING'. 

I have every confidence in my writing and story telling skills. But, it truly does take time, when you're a one man band. You really do need lots of stamina. Build up that social networking i.e. FB page, Blogs, Websites. Gain the confidence of other readers and other authors. I say other authors because it's a strange world being a writer. We're not in competition, we actually help each other to sell. We've all created something different and unique. If you help them, they will try and help you back. Not always, but most of the time, this seems to be the philosophy of the social networking world. But, are we all just messaging each other?

I do have a Forward Plan, or a Business Plan for 2014. I'm working on it, as I write. If I just achieve the goals I have set, then I will consider this a success. Will it increase sales, probably not, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride.  

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