Amazon has a cool feature that lets you read the first few chapters of RELIC: BLADE right here on the site. If you like what you see, click on the ‘BUY ON AMAZON’ link below the book. To start, click on the “FREE PREVIEW” link and you can start reading on this page. Just tap the right/left arrows to move between pages.
Have you seen Bookbub’s incredibly useful slide presentation of marketing tips? Here you go.
Tip 1: Survey your audience.
Tip 2: Conduct reader surveys.
Tip 3: Create a reader persona.
Tip 4: Create a list of target keywords.
Tip 5: Create an author website.
Every author needs an online home. And every home should be shiny clean for your visitors.
Tip 6: Set up a blog on your site.
Tip 7: Link to your published books.
Tip 8: Brand your homepage with your newest release.
Tip 9: Build a mailing list on your site.
Tip 10: Welcome new subscribers with an auto-response.
Tip 11: Customize your Bookbub Author Profile.
Tip 12: Claim your social media profiles.
Tip 13: Link to your website and your Bookbub Author Profile.
Tip 14: Create a video blog.
Tip 15: Hire a cover designer.
Tip 16: Test cover variations with your audience.
Tip 17: Unify cover designs in a series.
Tip 18: Relaunch a book with a new cover.
Tip 19: Add a blurb to your cover.
Tip 20: Make book samples end on a cliffhanger.
Tip 21: Cross promote books in the back matter.
Tip 22: Include an excerpt in the back matter.
Tip 23: Link to your mailing list in your back matter.
Tip 24: Optimize your book description.
Tip 25: Include target keywords on product pages.
Tip 26: Choose relevant sub-categories on retailer sites.
Tip 27: Link different book formats together.
Tip 28: Link series books together by name.
Tip 29: Make books available for pre-order.
Tip 30: Make books available internationally.
Tip 31: Bundle the fist few books in a series.
Tip 32: Create a box set for stand-alones.
Tip 33: Include exclusive content in your box set.
Tip 34: Publish a multi-author anthology.
Tip 35: Write a killer elevator pitch.
Tip 36: Poll your audience to test marketing copy.
Tip 37: A/B test marketing copy.
Tip 38: Get blurbs from reputable authors in your genre.
Tip 39: Create images for teasers and quotes.
Tip 40: Make sure your book gets a Bookbub New Release alert.
Tip 41: Ask readers to review your book in the back matter.
Word-of-mouth is crucial for any author to succeed. If you enjoyed the book, please leave a review at Amazon. Even if it’s just a sentence or two. It would make all the difference and would be very much appreciated: Leave a review here. Thank you!
Tip 42: Provide ARCs to relevant bloggers.
Tip 43: Offer free copies to Amazon top reviewers.
Tip 44: Run book giveaways.
Tip 45: Add a free eBook sampler to retail sites.
Tip 46: Upload a pdf sample to your website.
Tip 47: Create and distribute swag.
Tip 48: Sell themed merchandise on your website.
Tip 49: Submit your book for relevant editorial reviews.
Tip 50: Submit your book as an award contender.
Tip 51: Temporarily discount a backlist book to drive sales.
Tip 52: Promote a full-priced book in the discounted book’s back matter.
Tip 53: Discount the fist book in your series.
Tip 54: Promote your eBook discount on Bookbub.
Tip 55: Create a permafree gateway book.
Tip 56: Run price promotions in foreign countries.
Tip 57: Run a price promo when you launch a new release.
Tip 58: Email your mailing list when your book launches.
Tip 59: Later, email the ones who clicked.
Tip 60: Later, email the ones who didn’t click.
Tip 61: Promote your book on relevant blogs.
Tip 62: Sign up as a HARO source.
Tip 63: Partner with other authors to run themed promotions.
Tip 64: Create a relevant video series.
Tip 65: Answer relevant questions on Quora.
Tip 66: Run a Google Adwords campaign.
Tip 67: Time your campaigns with current events.
Tip 68: Link to your newest release.
Tip 69: Write and syndicate a press release.
Tip 70: Reach out to the press.
Tip 71: Contribute guest blog posts related to your book.
Tip 72: Participate in relevant interviews.
Tip 73: Submit a post to Buzzfeed.
Tip 74: Host a release party on Facebook.
Tip 75: Run targeted social media ads.
Tip 76: Brand your Facebook cover photo.
Tip 77: Make your blog posts easy to share.
Tip 78: Make each social media post visual.
Tip 79: Post behind the scenes looks on Instagram.
Tip 80: Run a participation contest on Facebook.
Tip 81: Run a fan art contest.
Tip 82: Pin important updates.
Tip 83: Create Pinterest boards of inspiration.
Tip 84: Host a Q&A session on Twitter.
Tip 85: Launch a Facebook Group with other authors.
Tip 86: Ask questions and encourage participation.
Tip 87: Pre-schedule social media content.
Tip 88: Hold book signings at bookstores and conferences.
Tip 89: Give a talk at a relevant conference.
Tip 90: Participate on panels you’re invited to.
Tip 91: Print business cards to hand out at events.
Tip 92: Run a contest when you attend live events.
Tip 93: Partner with relevant local organizations.
Tip 94: Coordinate your marketing efforts in a single week.
Tip 95: Pitch your book as a holiday gift.
Tip 96: Donate books to people who can spread the word.
Tip 97: Measure the ROI of your campaigns.
Tip 98: Continue publishing new books.
Tip 99: Sign up for your library’s and local bookstores’ newsletters.
Tip 100: Use Square.
If you’re a writer and you’ve wanted to try Facebook advertising for your books, then check out this great graphic… straight from the horse’s mouth!
It’s such a concise breakdown, it makes me wonder why they can’t be this succinct with the Facebook interface. Haha. I’m laughing at my joke, which makes one of us.
But let’s break it down from a writer’s perspective:
Tie your text to your visual – I love this advice and I’d imagine you do too. Us writers love to be told to tie stuff together! The point here is that the image and the text should not be isolated. Tell a story. Flex those storyteller muscles.
Create different ads for different people – It’s a lot of work but it’s necessary. Identify your audience and then break it down further to find strata of that audience. For example, Facebook will allow you to identify people who love your genre. But you can also break them down into people who love your genre who are also parents of kids with ebook readers.
Speak to your audience – For every large swath of audience type, craft your ad for them specifically. So for the general Fantasy fan, include an image of your cover. For the Fantasy fan who loves to use her Kindle, show the cover displayed on a Kindle Fire. When you identify the audiences, don’t just write the same copy for all of them. Use words that will stand out for them. For the Fantasy loving Kindle owner, mention Fantasy, Kindles and even if the book is free for Kindle Unlimited customers. Does that make sense? If not, let me know in the comments!
Be recognizable – This is your chance to identify yourself to your potential customer. Use images that have consistency. Think about putting a logo on your images. Have a strong voice and a call to action that’s all yours. For example, my ads for the Camelot Kids usually include, “Armor up with The Camelot Kids!”
Keep it short and sweet – Want them to buy? Why should they? Want them to sign up for newsletter? Why should they?
Stick to one call-to-action – At the end of your ad building you’ll be asked to choose one call-to-action. This will give you a button inside the post that reads “Buy” or “Download” or “Sign Up”. Everything you write and every image you post should drive people to the action you want them to take.
Mention price – Specifically, mention the regular price and the current lower price ;-)
Include timeframe – My favorite is “For a limited time”.
I have only one thing to add and it will save you a lot of money. Do not rush the copy for your ad. It’s SO easy to be in the middle of crafting an ad on Facebook when, all of a sudden, a wave of excitement crashes over you. In a way, it’s similar to posting a regular post on Facebook! You can’t wait to see how people respond, right? Big mistake. Preferably, you should write the ad and choose the image even before you start crafting the ad on Facebook.
Do you use Facebook to advertise? How’s it going? If not, why not? Let us know in the comments!
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Humor author John Logsdon and I are having a blast with our new author podcast!
It’s called You Should Be Writing! (With the exclamation point! Just because!) We’re up to episode 14 and each one has been more fun to do than the last. Does that mean that each one is better than the last? Absolutely not even a little bit, no.
After having such a good time on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing podcast, (with Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo and Jeffrey M Poole) JL and I decided to try out this podcasting stuff on our own. Are we good at it? Not yet! But we have some good info on everything self-publishing.
We discuss the indy book publishing world and all of its peaks, valleys, oceans and trolls under bridges. Reviews, newsletter sign ups, the newest gurus, the latest tools… we have it all. We do the podcast every Friday (though we’ve missed a few over the hectic summer). If you want to keep up to date and maybe even show up for the taping, just Like our YouTube page.
Thanks. We hope you enjoy You Should Be Writing! Now go on and get some writing done, will you?
This is either a “No duh, Ben” post or a “Holy cow, that’s cool!” post. I was playing around with Facebook search the other day and found it to be much more useful than I thought. There may be a buried tool in there to help people find you and buy your book…
I typed in the name of a friend of mine to see what he’d been posting recently. I usually see much more chatter from him and I was worried about his Facebook silence. He’s also a fan of my work and we share a love of Fantasy books that will keep us close, even in the afterlife (where I’m sure our perspectives on Fantasy will likely change).
Well, I found that he’d been posting as often as ever but Facebook decided to show me less of his life. Thanks Zuckerberg!
But I noticed something cool in my friend’s Interests column. He’d recently liked Snow Crash (he’s slow sometimes) and it got me thinking.
Can I search for all of my friends who like Snow Crash?
I typed “Friends who like Snow Crash” in the field and, boom, got a list of friends who like Snow Crash. Okay, maybe that makes sense to you. Facebook is, after all, a social network!
But then I typed “Friends of my friends who like Snow Crash” and you know what? I got a list of people, most of whom I don’t know, who like Snow Crash.
How is this useful?
Well, imagine that you’re targeting lovers of Snow Crash in your marketing efforts. Now imagine you could compile a list of people who may be interested in your book and they’re a free nudge away from giving your book a shot. All you have to do is let your direct friend know that you think their friend may be interested in your work and ask them to call out their buddy in a FB post.
So this is how it would work:
1) Determine what books your book is similar to.
2) Search for friends of friends (FoF) who like each of these books.
3) Make a list of FoFs, who your mutual friend is, and which book the FoF likes.
4) On launch day, announce your book and then ask the friends with FoFs to comment on your launch post with a direct call-out like: “Hey [FoF name] I think you may enjoy this book. It’s like [Name of similar book that the FoF likes].”
Yes, you could spend a few bucks to reach the same person but they’re more likely to respond to a recommendation by a friend instead of a sponsored post in their feed.
Mind you, I haven’t tried this myself but it seems like a no-brainer way to get the word out about your book.
What do you think?
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Twitter. One day I think I understand it and the next day it’s filled with some faux outrage (faux-rage?) thingy that makes me want to turn the world off. But my love affair started up again once I realized that Shirley Link’s success as a perma-free book is primarily due to the cacophonous bird.
But now I want to take it a step further. I want to pay to get access to their huge audience. I want this for two reasons. First, I want to sell my $1 eBooks. Second, I want to grow my mailing list.
So I attended a great Q&A with some Twitter employees who were eager to educate me about spending my hard-earned money on their promo tools. They clarified a bunch of nifty-sounding services that you may have heard about but had zero idea how to leverage. That’s right. They gave tips on how to promote a tweet and they even explained Twitter Cards.
It turns out if you use Twitter Cards and promoted tweets together you could drive some incredible (valuable) traffic.
Here’s what they taught me.
How to promote a tweet according to Twitter:
First sign into ads.twitter.com. I’ve found this site to be the easiest way to tweet. I like the way it lets me schedule posting times AND it how it allows me to attach images with 100% guarantee that the image will show up in the actual tweet. That’s not the case on Hootsuite where I’ve found that the image often gets cut out of the tweet.
Plus, it’s the only site where you can create a Twitter Card. Why would you want to do that? read on!
I think Twitter messed up in calling these things Twitter Cards. It’s a bad name for a cool idea. When I picture a card in my mind’s eye I picture, well, a card. Like a business card. Or a playing card. A Twitter Card is more like a visible attachment that hangs from the bottom of your tweet. What else could they have called it? A Twitter Tail? A Tweet Board? Yes, those are awful ideas but you get the point.
This is an example of a tweet with a Twitter Card attached to it.
The actual Twitter Card is the lower half of the tweet, including the image, the Shop Now button and the text “Armor up with The Camelot Kids! Only $1 for a limited time.” You can make that button read anything from “Shop Now” to “Download” to “Sign Up”. The larger image spot is a great way to stand out on a busy feed.
You see the text “Want a good fantasy read? One reviewer says TCK “will take you back to the day when you first read Harry Potter…”? That’s the tweet I wrote. After I wrote it I attached the Twitter Card by pasting its url in the tweet. it’s pretty simple to set up.
But once you get a few cool Twitter Cards set up, what do you do with them? Simply put, you target your audience, set your budget, assign some tweets to the campaign (with Cards attached) and press the Fine, Take My Money button.
The one hour talk covered best practices for promoted tweets/Twitter Cards. Here are the basics, with some icing:
Experiment with targeting usernames. It allows you to get into the feed of followers of specific people.
Experiment with targeting keywords. The important thing to understand here is that keyword targeting scans for tweets in real-time on the service. They do not target overarching interests, old tweets, or bios. I didn’t know this before. Socialbro will take your money to target that kind of metadata.
Experiment with images. You may have great copy but the image might need a refresh. Play around with the most eye-catching imagery you have.
Check your dashboard often to spot places to tweak. Twitter reporting (which also resides on ads.twitter.com) is robust and relatively clear.
Set up conversion tracking to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. Just follow the steps Twitter lays out.
All pretty standard stuff so far, right? Well, here’s some good stuff to add on top:
Separate your campaigns by objectives and targeting. Don’t make a campaign that’s meant to get sales AND sign-ups. Each goal needs its own campaign.
For username targeting go for 30 names per campaign.
For interest targeting select the most specific categories possible. Do not exceed 2 interests per campaign.
Avoid using hashtags, @’s or urls in your Twitter Cards and promoted tweets.
Do 3-6 tweets per campaign to give the Twitter elves something to work with.
Twitter loves fresh content so swap in new stuff often. “Often” being a relative term that should be dictated by data in the reports.
Use the Lead Gen campaign for email sign-up campaigns.
Expect a 1-4% engagement average.
Do NOT pause and stop campaigns. This damages the performance. Plan and budget ahead. You can start small and ramp up the budget and number of tweets as you build confidence.
Here’s a list of resources they provided to get started:
- New campaign creation – ads.twitter.com
- Campaign best practices
- Twitter Ads success stories
- Website Card
- Mobile App Card
- Online conversion tracking
- Ads targeting options
- Twitter analytics
- General best practices – business.twitter.com
- Twitter Small Business Blog
I hope you found this post on how to promote a tweet useful. Let us know how your campaigns go in the comments. Good luck!