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On Marketing

October 17, 2014

If you’ve been following the Florida Writers group on Facebook, you might have seen a little discussion about book promos. I promised that I would talk a bit about how this strategy might not be the most effective, and what can be done.

You might have seen me talk a little about marketing online before. One of my favorite people for info on marketing online is Rachel Thompson, who advocates a soft-sell approach I couldn’t agree more with. This approach is based on building relationships with people as opposed to sharing a string of book links.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying never share your book link. We are, after all, authors who are trying to make a living selling our work. I loved how Rachel broke the problem down, though, in regards to groups: People are sending their book links to groups filled with writers who are doing the same. Why is this a problem? Well, the main one I can see is the posts get little-to-no action. I very rarely ever see a LIKE or a comment on these posts, or a share. Another issue I see (and what has happened with me and others I know) is people go blind to the posts after a time.

I get the temptation. After all, we writers are all readers too! Still, there is a method I think would be even better, one that I have seen people use to great effectiveness: marketing to groups specifically for promos/readers. Why is this a good idea? Because people are going to these groups because they are looking for new books as opposed to a lot of other places where people might be going to get advice, discuss topics that affect writers, and other similar things.

After doing all the reading online and thinking on ways to connect, here are my favorite ways to promote:

  • Joining groups for readers/promo/your genre. A quick Facebook search turns up  quite a few of them.
  • Posting interesting facts about the topics you write about. For example, I write a lot of paranormal/new age stories, so I share information/ask questions about crystals, meditation, reincarnation, ghosts, favorite paranormal shows, and so on.
  • Sharing quotes/videos/lyrics that relate to your topics or inspired your writing. Here is one of those tweets:

Tweet for Post

  • Retweeting others who have similar interests/genres. I get more action for these and question tweets that almost anything else.
  • Chatting people up and asking them questions. It connects me with followers and is my way of showing I care about what they say. And let me tell you, some of these people are hilarious! I put my favorites in different twitter lists so I can easily follow them.

Now that I’ve said all that, what is another way to make the book promo thing more effective in groups, besides the obvious part of joining reader/promo groups? Here are a few:

  • Share each other’s stuff, especially those who are in the same genre as you. Your fans might like similar works by other writers.
  • Switch guest blogs/interviews with fellow writers.
  • Have a radio show/podcast? Offer people the chance to be on it!
  • Trade beta reads/ARCs. Advance reviews help spread the word about a work. You might also get some valuable feedback from betas that can improve your book!

These are just a few of the ways writers can both promote their work while connecting with others and building relationships. Do you have any you have used? If so, what? Do you have favorite groups you post in?

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