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Old 02-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
Kemp
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Take Marketing Breaks?

Just curious what some of the other authors have done with their works.

To summarize: Haven has done pretty well on Smashwords; I'm pretty happy to have hit the top 50 less than 2 months. I'm pleased as punch at its success thus far, but I've been pounding the marketing for it.

Have some of you other folks been engaging in similar efforts? I feel like I need to relax a bit on signing up for/advertising in more Goodreads and Shelfari-type places, maybe focus a little more time and effort on writing. Any thoughts?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm new to the self-published, self-marketing idea, so I'm just curious to know what some of the other people do.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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I'm not an author, but I can give you my thoughts as a consumer.

I tend to pay attention to and purchase (then actually read the book) from an author who is an active participant in various areas of the MR forum. I especially pay attention to an author who takes into account the worldwide membership and various devices of our membership. That means the new author who sells multiple formats without DRM and without geographic restrictions.

An author who just comes on, tells about the book or doesn't bother to offer it so all members may purchase, then doesn't bother to stick around... well, I may get the freebie, but it will probably go pretty far down on my TBR list.

Many of us already have TBR lists and sometimes it takes a couple of months or so to get to commenting about the book.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
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I think writing needs to be a writer's top priority when it comes to their books - not marketing... that's gotta be the golden rule. Easier said than done, though, I guess

I can't claim to be an expert at this stuff, by any means. When it comes to marketing, I've tried to make use of methods which will have a flow-on effect for the times when I just couldn't be bothered. The first marketing I did for DEAD(ish) - and probably the most effective - was to start my @onlinefiction twitter account and market the hell out of a lot of people's free fiction, not just my own (note to the curious - this has been put on hold not because I'm done with marketing atm, but because I've been without home internet for months). That garnered me a surprising amount of goodwill, and I think I've been coasting on that for the last few months The other two big (in terms of results) marketing choices were to join this forum and the NookBoards and just get involved in the community. But posting on a forum like this is leisure-time for me, not work, so I can kill two birds with one stone

I'll admit I've been just plain lucky in the amount of publicity DEAD(ish) has received, though. I've been able to just sit back and let word of mouth spread... a lot of people have written reviews, passed it onto friends, retweeted info about it. I think people's willingness to try it out is partly due to the length (not a huge time investment) and partly due to the cover that MoeJoe designed for me.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
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Well, I'm only slightly ashamed to say that MR has been the one place I've tried to establish a solid presence at, but that's primarily because I enjoy posts and discussions here. It's very time consuming to be active on several different forums at the same time.

I think my main issue is patience; I sadly don't have a lot of it. There's a big gigantic (scary) internet out there, and there has to be universes of untapped potential and hundreds of readers who wouldn't mind getting something free. Sigh...

Well, I think I'll just have to sit back and content myself with what reviews and the possibility word of mouth can spread, and maybe I can tackle the untouched avenues in a month or two. Versatility, as in having more than one piece of work, will most likely serve me much better in the end.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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I think my main issue is patience; I sadly don't have a lot of it. There's a big gigantic (scary) internet out there, and there has to be universes of untapped potential and hundreds of readers who wouldn't mind getting something free. Sigh...

Well, I think I'll just have to sit back and content myself with what reviews and the possibility word of mouth can spread, and maybe I can tackle the untouched avenues in a month or two. Versatility, as in having more than one piece of work, will most likely serve me much better in the end.
Yup. I'm another person without much patience, and I found it really frustrating to just hang back a bit and not stress about exactly how many downloads, reviews, etc I'd received.

I've thought about this a bit more, and here are some other things I did which helped:

Ebooks Just Published is a site where you can create an account and submit a 'press release' type post about your ebook. It needs to be DRM-free and, I think, published in the last 6 months? I found this to provide a huge short-term jump in downloads, and trickles every now and then.

FeedBooks distributes free ebooks to a lot of mobile phone apps, like Stanza. I have a sneaking suspicion that it's easy for people to download a few dozen ebooks all at once via Feedbooks, and therefore the download figures may not reflect readership numbers very accurately, but they're still pretty impressive numbers 12000-odd and counting for DEAD(ish).

B&N has surprised me. I didn't expect DEAD(ish) to make much ground in a commercial environment, up against traditionally-published ebooks, even being free. But I found that the 'critical mass' number of downloads is actually relatively small, and what's really required is to get that number of people to download the book - and preferably review it. If you can get a free ebook into the top 100 or so, and into the 'Free Ebooks' pages on B&N, it practically takes care of itself. Of course, B&N take a fair while to get the ebook from Smashwords, format it, list it correctly, make it available, index it, then categorise it... the process took months, and all I could do was watch and chew my fingernails
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:08 PM   #6
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Not an Easy Decision

Kemp,

I understand very well what you mean. Since Boomerang came out in ebook form I have spent countless hours trying to get the word out. The positives of all this time and energy have been several hundred downloads and meeting some very nice people along the way. The negative has been that I allowed the promotion of Boomerang to overshadow my current WIP and now I am way behind the schedule I set for myself. So there are truly times when I felt it was a Damned if I Do and Damned if I Don't sort of situation. Back off the promotion and let the firstborn wither, or keep plugging away and let the unborn one languish. And then there is the fact that life has other demands that should not be ignored or degraded. If full time jobs and the joys of family life (and I do mean that sincerely) did not figure into the equation, maybe this other choice wouldn't seem so difficult. Personally I am striving for a time when my full time job is writing, but that ain't the case at this time. And family will never take a backseat to anything for me. No way. There are a ton of success stories in not only the arts but business that involve people who have sacrificed or simply ignored the people in their lives in order to further their personal agendas. Divorces, screwed up children, destroyed relationships all strewn along the wayside on the road to "success". That's not for me.

I understand dream's POV too. Why should anyone be expected to invest time and money in an unknown if that writer isn't going to take the time to become part of a community? Way before MB's were born, this idea of introducing oneself, becoming known and trusted in a community has been a vital step on the road to getting ones art out into the world.

So I wish I knew the answer. All I can tell you is we probably have to figure out a way to serve both gods. I made a deal with myself to back off promoting Boomerang a year after the paperback came out. So that means as of March I am scaling way back on time spent participating on any MB, and devoting that time to the WIP. I want to be able to share that work with the kind folks who have already taken Boomerang into their lives. And if sales plummet, so be it. If it wasn't good enough for at least a small percentage of the five or six hundred folks who have a copy already to recommend it to their circle, well maybe all the promoting in the world wouldn't make that much difference.

Sorry for the ramble.

Best to all,
Alan
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:00 AM   #7
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Kemp,

I want to be able to share that work with the kind folks who have already taken Boomerang into their lives. And if sales plummet, so be it. If it wasn't good enough for at least a small percentage of the five or six hundred folks who have a copy already to recommend it to their circle, well maybe all the promoting in the world wouldn't make that much difference.

Sorry for the ramble.

Best to all,
Alan
That's how I feel, too. I've backed off marketing to concentrate on other work.

I've learned some important and difficult lessons about my writing by putting the work out to readers, and can hopefully translate that into future work that will resonate even more. I'm not in this for money, so there's no reason to push the marketing to the max. My object is to create better, more compelling stories with each successive effort (and maybe improve some of the ones I've already written). But I'm not counting on ever being able to do this full-time. I need to write for my own sanity. Anything else that I get beyond that is gravy.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
MConti
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I'm so glad to have found this thread. As a relative newcomer in terms of my experience publishing ebooks for multi-format download, this is like a brave new world to me. I've been publishing on free sites for years and have established a fan base for my romantica writings, but it's a big, big step to go from free to "for sale" and the effort that is required is huge. I find myself spending hours upon hours scouring the 'net trying to find new potential readers without feeling like I'm banging people over the head in the process.

I'm about to step back from my promotional efforts and get back to the one thing I know how to do: WRITE. I just started my second book and it's what I need to focus on.

The promoting part tires me, except for on rare and wonderful occasions when I get to interact with other people in the same boat or with readers.

My book: http://www.lesbiannovels.com/Erotic%...ca%20Conti.htm
My blog: http://monicacontieroticlesbianfiction.blogspot.com/

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Old 02-23-2010, 08:41 AM   #9
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Edit.

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Old 02-23-2010, 03:02 PM   #10
TC Beacham
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Just curious what some of the other authors have done with their works.

To summarize: Haven has done pretty well on Smashwords; I'm pretty happy to have hit the top 50 less than 2 months. I'm pleased as punch at its success thus far, but I've been pounding the marketing for it.

Have some of you other folks been engaging in similar efforts? I feel like I need to relax a bit on signing up for/advertising in more Goodreads and Shelfari-type places, maybe focus a little more time and effort on writing. Any thoughts?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm new to the self-published, self-marketing idea, so I'm just curious to know what some of the other people do.
Just wondering - have you used paid advertising anywhere? I thought about pay-per-click, but have been advised against that by other authors who have tried it and felt it was a complete waste of money. Have started thinking about other options for paid ads. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:11 PM   #11
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Now see, I'm not a very good salesman. I'm hoping that those who enjoy my work will spread the word about it, but I'm finding that's not as easy as it sounds.

I've been toying with the idea of adding a coupon for future novels at the end of the upcoming novel that I'll be finishing in a little bit. Or maybe at the end of a short story or something. Maybe that will be a nice incentive.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:39 PM   #12
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Just wondering - have you used paid advertising anywhere? I thought about pay-per-click, but have been advised against that by other authors who have tried it and felt it was a complete waste of money. Have started thinking about other options for paid ads. Thanks!
I've heard the same thing about that kind of advertising, and I will most likely never utilize it. I've heard the same goes with Press release distribution; you find more of an audience when you use the free versions as opposed to the paid ones.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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I've heard the same thing about that kind of advertising, and I will most likely never utilize it. I've heard the same goes with Press release distribution; you find more of an audience when you use the free versions as opposed to the paid ones.
Have you used paid advertising on sites like Goodreads?
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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No, I haven't done any paid advertising. Like getting a professional editing service, it is not viable or cost effective for me.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:30 PM   #15
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No, I haven't done any paid advertising. Like getting a professional editing service, it is not viable or cost effective for me.
I haven't either - just beginning to think about it.
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