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Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:30 pm
by R_Marsden
Hello all,

For those who don't know who I am, I am Richard Marsden, small-time author who started out on this illustrious forum. My 40k fan-fiction works (which include several novels) can be found for free at the Librarium.

For those who do know me... buy a book then PM me and demand the Tyrant song, I'll email it to you for free! I know some of you ordered the book and live far-far-far away from the US. You deserve a goodie!

Which brings me up to today's topic. Marketing!

Talk about a tough gig. Not everyone gets to write for BL and have a built-in fan base. They have to make it on on their own by, begging, waving, smiling, and nodding in an attempt to get people to join their tribe. On my end, it's been a difficult task to drive traffic, and namely customers, to my website.

What good is our fiction if only a few people get to see it? So, I open up this topic for people to pontificate on how to market. Below are the techniques I am using and how they've turned out after day 10 since 'book launch'.

1- Word of Mouth = Literally my mouth. I emailed and pm'ed everyone I knew and invited them to buy the book. This method drew in relatively few people, but most did buy. Sure, my dad complained about the cost of shipping, but he's my dad, right? He has to buy it. The only issue here is that I'm out of friends. I've told everyone I know about the book. Like a shotgun, I got in one good blast. Now what?

2- Website = Having a website with little goodies all over it has helped maintain the interest of the customers, but by itself hasn't drawn in much traffic. The website gets new things added to it here and there and according to Google analytics, I'm getting a few people to check on the website more than once. Are they buying the book? Mostly no. To me that means I need to increase traffic to the site realizing that most people are just window shoppers. However, the more window shoppers, the more likely someone will purchase the product.

3- Facebook = Don't have a facebook page for the site yet, but one is in development. My research indicates that this social-networking medium is sure to draw in friends, and perhaps a few customers.

4- Google AdWords = For money, Google will have your website show up more often. However, the cost is intense and given that most people don't buy, they just window shop, I think it may not be that effective. I had 50 dollars of credit with them and have spent 8 so far in exchange for a handful of clicks to my website.

5- Free Stuff = I've been offering free stories, including audio ones, as well as music to try and inspire sales. Is it working? When I posted Chapter I of my novel, the Traveling Tyrant: Paradisa Lost, people did read it. Did they buy? I'm not sure.

6- Publisher = I do have one, and he promises he'll promote the book. So far, not much has come to my website through him, but it's early yet in the campaign. The publisher makes money for every book sold, so the incentive is there.

7- Website Link = A game designer who runs the vizzed forums for old-school gamers promoted my book. Just like that, I got a 100 hits! Any sales? Probably not, but the more traffic the better.

After a month I'll report back how many books I sold. Normally, authors get secretive about this unless they have mega-success. However, I want everyone here to see what it's really like. Win big, or lose big, I'll let you all know.

In the meantime, .... how would you market your work, and your book, and your ideas? (And by all means do so).

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:03 am
by Jelboy
Hi Richard,

Have you sent your novel to the various novel review blogs, to help get your name out there? Preferably those that have an interest in sci-fi or independents? You can find them easily via the blog directory

There is a website, where many hundreds of thousands of people keep and eye on what others are reading (a bit like the 'what are you reading thread' on this website, but by a factor of many hundreds of thousands)

What ad copy and what keyword did you use for google ads? A quick check indicated to me that for maybe 5c you can effectively bid for a slot for those people typing either indie authors and indie novels (not many people type those words a month, but they are looking for precisely the product you supply).

Have you thought about entering the BL submission window with a story - a win would raise the profile of your name?

Have you asked your local brick and mortar store for a slot for your novel in exchange for a book signing? Similarly the local regional newspaper would probably run an article on you.

Good luck, and keep us all posted. i haven't received my copy of the novel yet, as you know I am one of those people that live far far away (but not a long time ago).


Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:40 am
by Bod the inquisitor
Hello Richard,

First off cograts on the first novel.

Jelboy got there befroe me. I was going to suggest the golden oldies. The interent is an advertising dream but we msut not forget the pre-internet methods of old.

One thing I would say, though perhaps considering I do not have anything published, is the following saying;

You don't get an oak from an acorn over night :D

Yes I know I'm full of rubbish.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 2:04 am
by R_Marsden
Hey Jelboy!

Great ideas and I'll look into them all. I do have some leads here and I'll report back.

As for BL stuff, I will admit I gave up on them. I make more money and get more acceptances with my short stories which by and large are picked up by magazines. One of my issues with BL stuff is that it's so theme specific that if my story fails, I have to do a lot of work on it to make it acceptable elsewhere.

Thanks Bod! Indeed, success takes time. My goal is 1000 dedicated friends and fans of the book and the universe I'm creating for it!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 2:28 am
by schaferwhat‽
I'd imagine you'd get allot of traffic detailing these "how to get published" and marketting posts on some sort of "writing blog" other aspiring writers would look at it, then follow up to the travelling tyrant site (if it wasn't 2:30 in the morning I'd look at that site properly now, alas I only think about it when I need to sleep or leave the house). Just an idea for you yourself to get out there, I know I'd throw some links up places to that sort of thing whereas I'd be less likely to pimp out your site for the travelling tyrant until I've actually read the book cos I have some degree of moral standards despite appearences.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:10 pm
by Rayo Azul
Hey Richard, got your post and will be along to take a look at TT.

From the marketing side I guess we are all learning at the same time. I have noticed a lot of traffic to my blog and Smashwords published work after forum presence. Choose the forums you like or are specific to your genre and join in. Have your sig linked to the book and your web so that it gets out there. It's amazing how the traffic increases via presence there, on FB, and through a blog.

For the Kindle versions I am taking part in Kindleboards and Amazon communities, and again have seen traffic follow.

I think that you have to pick the mix that works for you.



Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:01 pm
by Rayo Azul

Right now I am working on marketing through my blog. I have been doing the usual self-promotion, but got involved on a thread discussing just such marketing. The basic premise is as follows - you don't directly promote your work, but promote the work of others through reviews of their work, author guest interviews etc and they do the same.

I have a backlog of stuff I will be working through and I will let you know how it goes.



Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:35 am
by steffen19k
Keep your chin up. There are people out there who like reading. Like me.

As soon as I can get the rest of my life in order, I'll buy a copy of your book.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 7:37 pm
by R_Marsden
Thanks! Only with your help will the be successful.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:36 am
by R_Marsden
Well I got a sales report today. From April 19-May 15

Most authors jealously guard their sales numbers until they are enormous. I have no shame though and want others to learn from me. Even when I fail.

Not good so far for me. 28 books. I think all of them were bought by those I directly asked to buy. My publisher hasn't met my expectations yet. There are things in the works, like reviews and interviews, and we'll see if they happen and if they work out.

The website gets visits and I have little products up, like t-shirts and what not.

I'm still in the process of sending copies out to bookstore owners.

When the book becomes available for E-readers the price will of course drop which may also increase sales.

The book hasn't been out a month yet, so it is early, but I was hoping for a little more than the books bought by friends, family and good forumites here!

Keeping you posted on my ventures- good and ill.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:00 am
by shadowhawk2008
I would say it is a very decent start :) Everybody always starts small. Let's hope you end really big :)

Good luck with the marketing and sales! 8-)

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:31 pm
by R_Marsden

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:32 am
by R_Marsden
I've tried the facebook thing. It's drawn in some traffic. My sister bought some facebook addspace. She put the book on 55,000 facebook sites for about 10 bucks. Of the 55,000 15 visited the website. Somewhat telling about how the add process works.

Keeping you all posted!

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:09 am
by R_Marsden
Will music and video and photos draw in customers? Who knows, but I'm trying it anyways.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:14 pm
by R_Marsden
Less than a week on facebook and a prostitute tried to 'friend' me. I told her to buy my book first.

She is confused and I don't think our relationship will go any further.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:40 am
by Bod the inquisitor
R_Marsden wrote:Less than a week on facebook and a prostitute tried to 'friend' me. I told her to buy my book first.

She is confused and I don't think our relationship will go any further.

That has to one of the best facebook stories I've heard, it had me in fits of laughter :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Having seen the Youtube vid perhaps the bit we will make all your illegal desires true bit gave her the wrong impression. The video is good though it should bring a few people in on its own. Mind you me giving ad advice is like asking a mouse to drive you home. I take very little notice of ad's there jsut those pesky things that come up every now and then. But still a very good ad vid.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:29 am
by R_Marsden
Turns out I am funny! Thanks for your help! We are ALL in new territory here. I've gotten a lot of short stories under my belt, but novels and marketing I'm blind to.

Hopefully the video will work, like all things I need to get it to the masses and then from there if they like, perhaps they buy!

Here's some updates!

My website gets half its hits from an advertisement on a video game forum, a ton more through facebook, but I think I've tapped all my friends. I had 50 dollars in Google Ads and 70 in Facebook ads. Neither drew in very many hits at all. Waste of cash, but lesson learned.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:57 pm
by shadowhawk2008
Facebook ads I think are just far too niche market. I mean, just consider how many people are actually put off by facebook, even though they use it now and then. I myself was thoroughly into it with apps and stuff a few years back but I never once clicked on any ads there.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:50 pm
by R_Marsden
A good point.

Today my sister called, and she changed up one of the facebook adds using the following picture.

That one worked. Or, at least it drew in plenty of hits in the past 24 hours. There is a story in of itself in that.

Re: Marketing You

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 6:57 pm
by shadowhawk2008
Any advertising is good advertising goes the saying :)