In the first of my posts relating to my experiences with book marketing, I talked about a few methods I discovered to help with my book marketing efforts. In this post, Book Marketing Part 2 – Onward Through the Fog, I will continue with more marketing opportunities I have found. Some of these I have used successfully and some not so successfully, but, as I have said before, authors have to find what works best for their books! I will start with blogs.
I highly recommend every author create a blog. Having a blog does a number of things for authors. First, it gives a place to discuss all things related to your books. On your blog, you can discuss upcoming releases, share reviews from readers, create the all-important relationships with readers, and generally improve writing skills. While a blog isn’t a novel, it’s still writing. Practice never hurts, and a blog is an opportunity to experiment with different styles or simply hone your normal style. And, a little shameless self promotion never hurts and since it is your site, promote away! Here is the cover of the first book of my series (my shameless self promotion):
I use my blog (as you have probably noticed) to write about more than The Gemstone Chronicles. I write posts on gemstone hunting, gold prospecting, vacations, my dream car (1973 Corvette Convertible), submarines, and other things that interest me. It isn’t that marketing my books aren’t important to me, but there are so many other things to talk about that I just included them. I used to post reviews on my blog, too, and I could go back to doing that, but I decided to post the reviews where they would help the authors more. My reviews now go on Amazon (in multiple countries since many of my author friends are in other countries and this gives them exposure in their markets), Goodreads, Shelfari, and Barnes and Noble.
I know authors who sell their books through their site, post reviews for other authors, and have created an amazing fan base. A blog is fantastic for all of those and much more. Blogs don’t have to be a major monetary investment as there are a number of free hosting options out there. I spent a little bit of money on mine and have my own domain as it provides the option for selling ads or other revenue sources, should I choose to do that in the future. The WordPress Booktable plug-in allows me to list my books with links to sites that sell them. I do keep a few copies of each of my books on hand so that if someone asks for an autographed copy, I can send it right along.
I don’t visit other blogs as often as I should, although I subscribe to a number of them and get a feed about their posts. I will visit them on occasion and take a look, but I don’t comment as much as I should. This is an untapped resource for me, but I want to make sure I am commenting because I enjoyed the information in the post. I don’t want to comment simply to try to gain favor with blogger. I rarely ask for reviews from bloggers, so I don’t think I’m in danger of that, but still, I want to make constructive comments. And don’t limit yourself to book review blogs. If you are interested in a blog, read it, comment, and help the blogger build an audience. Again, this is about relationships!
There are ways to use blogs, though, that will help book marketing. Blog tours are great and relatively inexpensive (and sometimes free). Check them out and see what they can do for you. Remember that bloggers are writers, too, so helping bloggers build audiences is helping out fellow writers. I know I try! Below are some blogs I follow:
You can also find other blogs and sites I follow on my Links Tab!
I could go on and on about blogs, but I think you get the gist. Start blogging and meeting new bloggers, it’s worth the time and effort!
Shifting gears now to discuss one of my favorite sites, the Independent Author Network!
Independent Author Network (#IAN1):
One of the first sites I joined was the independent Author Network. It’s a one-time set up fee of $24.95 to join and list 1-6 of your books. You get an author page with links to selling sites. You can list your books in the IAN store, and you get to interact with some pretty amazing authors. There is a social network page for members only that is part of the membership. IAN tweets over 100 member pages per day, 7 days a week, so that is a ton of free exposure. Members also tweet other members pages and links to multiply the exposure. Using the #IAN1 will help, too. You can even post links to book trailers and radio interviews! Give IAN a try, but remember, you can help determine how many visitors your page gets each month. If you happen to have the most in a month, you win more free publicity, so give IAN a try! Find my IAN page here!
I am a relative newcomer to Google +, but I like it. I know a lot of people don’t get Google + because they say it isn’t similar to Facebook or other social networks. Google + allows you to join communities (that’s similar to FB) and follow members (again similar to FB), and create relationships. I admit, though, it is a lot different. You get a better chance to engage members than on FB, and the communities are pretty amazing. I have learned a ton and met some really awesome people on Google + and they are always ready to help! You can add people to different circles, post only to the certain circles, or to public, or any combination you like. You can +1 a post (similar to liking a FB post), share the post, comment on the post, and tag users. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I think it’s worth the time to learn it. You can connect with me on Google + here! Some of my favorite Google + communities are:
Most people know LinkedIn as a professional network that connects people in similar industries and similar occupations with others. It’s a great place for finding new opportunities for employment, making connections in new organizations, and finding help with business related questions. Authors are professionals and have many of the same networking and opportunity questions as those in other professions, so why not leverage LinkedIn as part of your marketing strategy. There are groups to follow, people to connect with, and professional sources to find – all with the click of the mouse on LinkedIn.
There are a ton of book reviewers, editors, authors, writing coaches, and publishers for you to connect with and tap into their knowledge base. One of the great things about LinkedIn is that you can find groups that match all of your interests. For instance, I joined groups about gold prospecting, submarines, Naval Nuclear Power, and business groups, as well as writing, publishing, book promotion, and reviews. This may seem redundant to some of the groups on Facebook or Google +, and that may be true, but it seems to be a different set of people in these groups. I have found some of the best resources on LinkedIn and, like any of the other sites, the Indie authors are very helpful! Find me on LinkedIn here! I listed some of my favorite LinkedIn groups below.
I hope some of these sites and groups will help you with your marketing plan and branding of your books! I know they have helped me tremendously. But, that begs a question: what sites, blogs, or groups have helped you discover and create effective marketing plans? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’m always willing to learn new things!!
Connect with me: