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Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:22 am
by Jelboy
Hi Guys,

Have you seen this marketing service?

it might help you get your name 'out there'

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:57 pm
by R_Marsden
Jelboy - A nice link (and review) thanks!

I contacted a self-published author who was doing 'well' and asked him how he did it.

He told me that I should give my book away at times, especially if there is a series available. He said that helped him immensely.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:04 pm
by shadowhawk2008
R_Marsden wrote:Jelboy - A nice link (and review) thanks!

I contacted a self-published author who was doing 'well' and asked him how he did it.

He told me that I should give my book away at times, especially if there is a series available. He said that helped him immensely.

Richard! How goes progress on getting the novel out there?

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 pm
by R_Marsden
Slowing down significantly. It's almost like you find a 'resource' and use it up.

So, friends and family - done.
Here - done.
Publisher's Website - done.
Facebook Connections - done.

Now I'm getting books sold to my wife's friends and family and my books were taken to a convention. My sales have been theoretically less in volume each month which consisted of using up the above resources. The good news is I was given 10 books and since then bought 20 more and just about all of them have sold in a steady trickle. My publisher doesn't count the books I sell as a part of overall sales, skewing the numbers somewhat. I also might pick up some sales from the Western Martial Arts community. As I get more active in their forums they may nibble on my fiction, not just my historical articles.

So now, I am sending the book to reviewers if they reply to emails and I am encouraging those who have read it to give an review.

Book 2 is getting processed and I may offer brief runs of it for free as one author suggested. Book 3 is halfway done.

My goal is not to get rich, but to at least get a 1000 copies moved. I'm at about 100 copies floating around out there so far I think.

Very rocky start, but I'm a nobody and having to do the marketing entirely on my own. Time and effort will hopefully expose others to the book! On an upnote, bunches of my short stories are being picked up (for money) by a variety of magazines. I made 300 dollars last month!

Oh and reviews of the book are positive, even by quasi-strangers. So that's good!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:39 am
by shadowhawk2008
Excellent news my friend. Slow and steady wins the races as the old saying goes. I am sure your hard work will be duly rewarded :)

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:42 am
by R_Marsden
Book 2 is edited by the same person who did book 1, will be working on a cover and formatting in the months to come and see how the solo-gig works compared to the mircro-press.

So far, there is up-front money involved to pay for the services of an editor, format guy and cover designer, but it's not too bad. I'll get back with you as I learn more.

Meanwhile my Warhammer 40k novels have been accessed fairly often on my website.

Keeping you posted on how marketing works!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:17 pm
by Rayo Azul

Seems as though you are moving forward. I have sent you a PM in reply to your questions.

It seems to be a marathon rather than a sprint, and speaking with others, this is a common feature of the self-published or small publishing houses. With no huge marketing budget, nor a recognised fan base, we need to work on building such a thing ourselves.

Reviews help, but quite often a mention on a book blogger's site will bump up interest only for a few days.

It's good to share things that work and those that don't, and many people have been helpful especially within the various writing forums available on the net. They have helped me to modify my strategies which keeps me moving forward. Luckily this is not my day job, but a hobby and that I think gives me a more realistic view on the process.



Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:03 pm
by Balhaar
Hey Richard,

I saw an earlier post from you saying for others in your position to post their marketing.

I have had 2 radio appearances and have a 3rd in an hour. I have also had two newspaper articles done on me. Not very big pieces, but I am hoping to get more soon.

My publisher likes their authors to talk to each other, and one in particular has been like a sounding board with me. So much so that I am thinking that I am going to try and get a few small authors (like us) to start some sort of promotion group. We could search high and low and keep all our possible places for reviews and what not in one area where everyone could draw from it. That way instead of one person trying hard to help themself, we would have a few trying hard to help each other. Might even be able to draw off of each others fans.

My book is out this week (kindle already out and will post a thread at some point when the paper back is out) so this idea of mine may be put on hold, but if you fancy it then feel free to get in touch and we can share any helpful info we already have.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:15 am
by Robbie MacNiven
I got an ebook short published last month and set up a facebook page for it. I was going to do some ads on facebook but the cost put me off. However facebook has been giving away £25 worth in free advertising lately to those with business pages and I took them up on it. Ad has been running for under 24 hours now and I've got ten new likes and three sales. I plan to keep it going for a week. I'd recommend the facebook advertising, it tries to suck you in to spend more and more and likes certainly don't always translate into book sales, but the target audience is HUGE and you can cater it a lot.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:14 am
by R_Marsden
Hello all! Marketing news.

I did use Google and Facebook as an advertisement. I spent about 100 for each to see what it did. Traffic was fairly low until I used a photo of my sister, who is attractive, in a costume set in the 'universe' of my book. That increased traffic to my website. Not many sales though and not nearly enough traffic to justify the money spent.

In other marketing news...

Scammers contacted me today to promote my book. Well, they may not 'be' scammers. I found their website and then a ton of websites calling them a scam, but not a single person actually used their service. Many of those complaining had agents and professional marketing services.

On the other hand, I found no positive testimonials about bookwhirl except through their own website.

What do they offer?

For money they'll promote your book. Does it work? Probably not. The company claims to be based in Wisconsin, but they made the mistake of accessing my website while chatting to me and I tracked them down to Quizon City some-such in the Philippine Islands. Their phone-girl also wouldn't reveal where she was born other than saying 'out of the country'. (I had asked her about her lack of Wisconsin accent.)

I told the nice lady I would not pay 799 for a mass email to 500,000 sign-up volunteers lest it made me at the very least 800 dollars. She seemed perplexed by this notion.

I told her I work for the Traveling Tyrant who would murder me if I didn't make at least a dollar.

Further confusion on her part.

I then told her to email me a testimonial not from her company's website. She said she'd get right on it. Even now I imagine they are busily cobbling together a temporary website for my benefit.

And I contacted Smith Publishing, a genuine marketer, and they'll do things like a book promo for a month for about 3 grand. Wayyy too pricey for me. I keep telling marketers that I need to make back the money I spend and they seem to think that's foolishness!

My second book in the Traveling Tyrant series will be out before X-mas I hope. Here is a link to the photoshoot for the cover of the second book. I'm going to go with live actors and a professional graphic designer. It should look more slick than the cover of the first book.

Small Authors Teaming Up
I'm game. Marketing is by far the hardest part to figure out. Everything else I have a handle on, but getting the word outside my 'circle' is tricky. I think there has to be a more efficient way than trying to be on a lot of blogs and what not and essentially be a door to door salesman of the 21st century!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:24 am
by Balhaar
I will admit, I share the view of the promotion company. Why on earth would anyone WANT to make profit on the money they spend...

Is your book out on Kindle Richard? Or Amazon at all? If so (you've probabaly already done this) I would suggest tagging it. I tagged mine with 'Vampire, vampires, undead, novel, dark fantasy' and I noticed a few blogs that gush over vampire novels have listed it on their page. Might or might not equal sales but it is a tiny bit of exposure for something that was free and took all of 30 seconds to do.

My publisher tells me they are looking for places to review me, I shall list such places here when they materialise. I already have a review being done on a website called 'Demons' or something like that. Shall post that here when it's up so you can see if anyone there would be interested in the Travelling Tyrant.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:09 pm
by Rayo Azul
This is a great thread...nice to hear that we are all in the same boat.

I have been out for a few weeks, what with vacations and the start of a new job. My experience for August was that of a slow month, with sales down by 50%. It seems that, particularly on Kindle, their summer promotion pretty much killed the normal sales pattern. This is not just my experience, but that of many people over on Kindleboards.

I have had a number of mixed reviews over on Goodreads, but that's fine, all reviews are exposure and quite a few valid points were made for me to take into account. I find that I get little from overly entusiastic reviews and less from the "hated it" brigade (who so far have thankfully been few and far between), rather the peole who explain why they got it or not. I am incorporating their comments into my new work, which is in the fledgling stage at only 5000 words.

Now that I am back I will be blogging, writing and taking part in forums again. I will let you know how I get on.



Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:55 pm
by R_Marsden

I went to a Steampunk convention to teach Western Martial Arts, specifically rapier and Bartitsu cane-fighting. I met a mildy successful author there.

My experiences are copied from a forum that has an 'author's section'

The convention...

The title of it should have been, "Meth- a hell of a drug".

The turnout was low, the tables few and far between, and full-price suckers paid 50 bucks for three days of the same thing. Most of the audience was older with a sprinkling of meth-heads. I was there to get interest in Western Martial Arts. There were some keen people, but very few. Then there were a ton of people who claimed to be ninjas and most of the women there claimed physical health problems. I try not to be judgmental and oft say, 'all God's creatures', but when people with 'issues' insist on invading my personal space I tend to want to hurt them.

Steampunk was the theme, but the young ones really liked the 'punk' word. The lack of Victorian knowledge was a bit startling and to me it seemed dressing up (kinda) was the main draw. Online steampunk communities seem to me far more dedicated and whatever cons they go to must be neat.

There was a mildly successful author there who wrote the Idiot's Guide to Werewolves and other such novels. He was with a buddy who he was trying to help be an author by co-writing work with him. The two were a great resource and his buddy was on par with me, with about a 100 or so sales. (He and I were making more per year on short stories)

Once I explained I was an author and had no interest in learning how they got published or an agent and only wanted to talk marketing, they got very excited. They told me most conventions were a bust. Now- they didn't do anything to sell their work besides sit at table. However, the advice is important to learn from. They sold 2 books over many hours and I purchased one of them.

The author told me that larger conventions he can usually do better at and sometimes high-dollar conventions mean high-dollar customers. He said he does book-store signings and its a waste, although Barnes and Nobles will do it right if you contact their event person and actually have a book on a shelf. For us small-time folk that may not be possible.

He mentioned that the industry still doesn't get that kindle is the future and the big publishers are missing out on authors who are going that route. A website is important they said, and other than that- continual exposure. Like many authors I speak to, success is a product of hard work and luck. I hate luck since I often can't control it. The mildly successful author wasn't sure why one of his novels suddenly did well and got him attention - it just did. Jim Butcher has a similar story about his early days where his book was ignored for 2 years and now is a best seller.

The mildly successful author (his words not mine) had been writing for 10 years, but only making a living at it in the last 5 or so. He was paid healthy advances. These advances he needs to pay back through royalties. He says this is a slow process which means he needs to write more books and survival off of royalties is unlikely. He mentioned it gets tough because various people take a piece of the pie.

He warned me against paying for anything. Marketing services and what not are a waste of time and money because they charge so much. Smith Publicity charges 4k for a month or so of heavy advertisement. You'd need to probably sell 4000 books to make your money back if you're not getting much from the publisher per book. Chances of making that many sales? Low. When I contacted Smith they were utterly unaware of how many sales their clients did!

Self-Publishing! The mildly successful author and his buddy suggested I use Create Space and had a few tips and tricks for that. Mostly based on spending money on them for extra services. I shall give that a go and see if it pays off for the sequel to my novel, The Traveling Tyrant: Paradisa Lost. New novel will be The Traveling Tyrant: Casual Fridays.

I think that sums up my experiences and hope it is of use.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:07 am
by shadowhawk2008
Lots of useful information there Richard! I've been fiddling around with an idea for an original novel and all your insight has been quite valuable with regards marketing.

From what I hear, BL is doing quite well with the Ebook business since they have been knocking out novel after novel into the new format, not to mention the audiobook side of it. Too bad some of the other publishers are not catching on to that.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:49 am
by R_Marsden

There may be a Richard Marsden short-story collection coming out that will include some popular titles such as, "The Dome of Florence" found on Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and "The Spirit of Nationalism" found in audio-format on Pseudopod.

Crystal Wizard Productions purchased some of my historical shorts and like them so much they wanted to make a book. It looks like we are moving forward on the project and I sent in my 90k manuscript.

I'll update you all here and in Pimp Anything as I struggle to be a struggling author.

How does this apply to you? SAVE YOUR SHORT STORIES! Reprint them when able and you might get asked to make a book. I thought this project died, but now it lives. Let's hope!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:02 pm
by LordLucan
I'm in the same boat as grenadier now, as I too have had a short story published (on the same site incidentally).

I like the sound of a sort of marketing alliance heh. :)

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:03 am
by R_Marsden
One of my publishers which had held onto a few of my stories has run out of cash. While it's not gone defunct yet, it's not looking good.

A word of warning- be careful how many stories you let a publisher hold onto. I've had two accept multiple stories, only to go out of business later. Small time presses are easy to work with, but also are one man shows. No man, no show!

Edit = Keep a website (if you can) up of all the things you've done that are available in print or e-book.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:39 am
by Bod the inquisitor
R_Marsden wrote:A word of warning- be careful how many stories you let a publisher hold onto. I've had two accept multiple stories, only to go out of business later. Small time presses are easy to work with, but also are one man shows. No man, no show!

Hi Richard,

Do you know what happens in these instances, i.e. if the publisher goes defunct do the rights to the story return to you as the writer. I would imagine that if they get bought out then the new owners get the rights but if they go out of business and no buy outs then it reverts to you as the author, but I’m a novice at this kind of thing so what do I know.

Oh how’s is the anthology thing going, you mentioned it in a post above was wondering how much further that has moved on.

Oh love the web site very easy to navigate.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:28 pm
by Robbie MacNiven
R_Marsden wrote:One of my publishers which had held onto a few of my stories has run out of cash. While it's not gone defunct yet, it's not looking good.

That's Library of the Living Dead Press, isn't it? I'd subbed to their werewolf anthology but, alas, it's been cancelled with the meltdown. Now I've got to find a place for it somewhere else, no easy task considering anything about vampires, werewolves and zombies is instantly consigned to the "borning cliche" pile. Still, ho hum.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:42 pm
by Squiggle
here is a question you can all answer.

I might be being naive but as my novel grinds slowly towards first draft completed status, I am still clinging to my dream of getting it printed and sold by some sort of publisher. obviously im not expecting penguin to pick it up, but you know what I mean.

have you all given this a shot and not met with any success, or have you made a deliberate choice to do it yourselves?

I don't mean this to be insulting, I am just curious since with the advent of kindle etc, I get the impression alot of authors are doing the self-published thing, presumably with the intent of building a reputation and getting a publisher to pick them up that way?

Anyway I am just curious - I know all the big publishers will only accept manuscripts via an agent, although there are some smaller ones which do not require an agent. Whether or not I'd want to pay up front for an agent with no guarantee is a question I haven't gotten near answering. The only good thing is that my novel appears to be moving nicely towards setting me up with a sequel, and by the time my initial round of manuscripts have bounced off (six months etc) I should have the second one written!

this is an interesting thread - good luck with your various projects!