Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Great Marketing Challenge

As with most Indy authors, sales are important. When I first started to publish through Kindle, I checked my sales stats hourly, then daily. Now I barely check them, unless I have a new release or an ad campaign running.

It makes me neurotic. It makes me crazy. Why isn’t it selling. I spend hours re-evaluating my story, cover, price … you name it.

I depend on sales. I am very blessed and fortunate to be able to make a living off of writing. While it is an extreme budgeted living, I am still blessed. I tried working a part time job, a few hours a day. Although it didn’t cut into my writing time (I allow nothing to do that), it did however cut into my exposure time. The time I spent getting out there, spreading the word, reading and reviewing. And in turn, that showed in my sales. It proved to me that being a fulltime writer, doesn’t just entail a full time writing schedule, but a full time marketing schedule as well.

To make money you have to spend money and I firmly believe that. However, most of my ‘go to’ ad sites have strict guidelines, and the book has to have X amount of reviews. Here we are in a catch 22, it takes a while to get those reviews. By the time I get them, the book is selling.

It’s frustrating, after a few months of part time work and a new found appreciation for my hours again, I am going to experiment with marketing. I’ll post results of my efforts frequently, in hopes that my efforts can help other authors.

What I have planned will take effort and time, not to mention a little money. Not much money, because I am going to assume that all authors who try this are on an extreme budget as well.

Once a week post a sneak peek at one of my novels and run a three day special on that novel. So Fridays are free peek days. I get a few hundreds hits every time I post a sneak peek, yet I have not tapped into that for sales. That’s my bad.

Odd Gift Giveaways.
I accredit my daughter for this one. At the end of each month, I will do the giveaway blog. Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a drawing. They will receive a nifty gift (And not one of my books, they can have a book if they want in addition) But the gift will be good for anyone. Authors give away book, this author will give away a toaster or something like that.

Book Ads and Press Releases
This will take a while to see the results. I have my  ‘go to’ ad places, but they cost upwards of  $175. So what if for me and others, I located low cost ads. Look for the ten dollar bargain bin. Who knows. If one $200 ad can yield $400 in sales, then maybe I can make that strategy work with lesser ads. But I am still researching for those places.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But I don’t use this much. So, I’m gonna do a hashtag experiment. Instead of the annoying ‘buy my book’,  every hour or so, I’ll see what’s trending and post something witty or insightful about it, then comment on three people’s hashtag about it.  My hopeful results, more followers, more retweets, and more chance of that weekly sneak peak not being ignored.

So that’s my strategy. Will I stick to it? Who knows.  It’ll take some work, but it’s work I can do on the go and while cooking dinner.

Keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Love your books and loved this post! Will tweet it to my followers.