What's the point of this blog!

I'm documenting the marketing for my YA book series "The chick friends rules". I want to see which marketing strategies will work best in creating buzz and hopefully income. So, sign up below and take the journey with me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 things I've learned in one month of marketing my book.

It's my one month anniversary. I began this blog a little over one month ago; September 17 to be exact. I feel like a whiny girlfriend wanting to celebrate every little milestone. But I think it's important to note any noticeable achievements I've made in regards to my marketing plan so all of us small indie authors/publishers have at best a road map on what to expect when marketing our books. So, here we go and I'll do it like David Letterman, just probably not as funny. Note: this information is assuming you already have your book published and available to the public.

10. Keep a journal. Its important to have some documentation for reference of your daily activities so you can better keep track of what you're doing. Mine is this blog.

9.Connect with other writers for moral support. It's important to surround yourself with positive people, like-minded artsy people; not folks that are going to tell you to get over it and try to convince you that what you're doing is just a pipe dream. I don't tell "regular" people my business because "regular" people are buzzkills. I don't even share too much of what I'm doing with my own husband because he's not an artist and doesn't get it. "Regular" people don't share my passion for writing, it's all dollars and cents to them and the last thing I wanna hear is, "so, how many books did you sell?" or "Is there any money in that?" Ughhh, get the hell away from me dude. So, I only talk about this to fellow writers.

8. "Big" magazines are willing to negotiate. Don't be afraid to contact an ad rep. I Googled, the top ten teen magazines and contacted the kind folks over at Girl's Life magazine. My hands shook the whole time wondering if they would even talk to a small fry like me. But, not only did they talk to me, they were willing to throw in a lot of extra sweeteners for my business; more than they advertised online. They want your business so they may not be as out of reach as one might think. I'm considering advertising with them the first of the year or early spring.

7. Be prepared for the giveaway. I purchased 10 books this month for giveaways. To date I have given away 8 books with two left to go. For me 10 books a month is manageable. Maybe for someone else, it's 5 books a month or 20 book. And don't forget to budget for postage. Ask for the book rate at the Post Office, it'll take 7-10 days to get to the winner instead of 3-5 days but its way cheaper than First Class.

6.Connect with book bloggers in your genre. This is crucial. Find a blog directory in your particular genre and start working your way down the list. I made it my job to send out 10 emails a day asking YA bloggers if I could participate in a giveaway, interview or guest post in exchange for a review of my book. Out of 10 emails I'd might get one response. Some of them didn't have time for reviews but agreed to a giveaway. Book bloggers need giveaways to maintain their site. It's a two way street, they need the giveaway and we need the exposure. I would have at least one giveaway going per week.

5.Get a website and book trailer. It's a no brainier. I have a website for the book series but not a personal author's website. There are plenty of do-it-yourself sites where you pick a template and just add photos and information. The one I have cost only $9.99 per month and is super easy to use. If it's possible try to create a book trailer and place it on Youtube. I created my own trailer using stock footage. And don't forget to connect it to all of your social media as well.

4.Social media is a must. I'm not a fan but its a must. I got a Twitter account for myself and a separate one for the book. Don't forget a Facebook "Like" page for the book and make sure to connect everything to your website, your e-mail, your book trailer, your FB account and the Twitter account.

3. Just go ahead and pay for a Facebook ad. A Facebook ad is inexpensive, simple and easy to create, just make sure you have an attractive ad and able to sell it in about 50 words or less. If you've ever had to create a classified ad it's similar to that. I went through a couple of ads before settling on the one I'm using now. You can connect your FB ad to either your website or your "Like" page. Pay attention to the demographics as well. Mine were United State, ages 14-18, male and females interested in literature and reading. They have demographic choices down to the zip code and personal hobbies and activities. The bids for cost per click is negotiable and can be changed at your discretion as long as it falls within the "bid range". On the weekends where user activity was high, I paid $0.40 per click but on for example a Tuesday where user activity was low, I only paid $0.19 per click. You're allowed to set your own budget, dates and even time of day the users will see your ad. Super useful for exposure, not sales. To date with a two week ad; over 70,000 people have seen my ad at least 3 times. The first week I sent the ad directly to my website and the second week I sent my ad directly to the "Like" page. I prefer the "Like" page because I know exactly who's interested in my book and I can vet them later as potential customers. I've had 4 sales as a direct result from my FB ad. So, again, its good for exposure, not sales.

2. Goodreads.com is another must. I didn't know about Goodreads.com until I received my first review from one of the bloggers. It's like FB but for bookworms. You can create an Authors Page where you can upload your books, write reviews, find friends, join groups, upload your blog, excerpts from your book, participate in giveaways for your book, and of course connect to your FB and twitter account. I spend a good part of my day managing my Authors Page. the resources are endless.

1.Be productive everyday to keep yourself inspired and focused. Hey, guys if you like this; sign up and take the one year journey with me.


  1. Great post, full of ideas that work! Thanks for sharing!

  2. That's awesome. Thanks for sharing all of this. I will definitely be putting some of this stuff in place.

  3. Same boat, Vici. I published my first book last week and agree with all that you write. There are so many views on the subject of marketing a self-published book. Mine is simple. Local first, national second. Don't try to do it all at one time. I sent three books out for review (the best in my genre). While that is happening, and before I invest any money, is to obtain local success. Getting friends and family to buy through Facebook, book signings, local press, etc. If that is successful, then I will have a message (good reviews, local success) to go out nationally. Wish me luck as I do you. Good luck!!

  4. i haven't thought of magazines to contact to get anything going on that way so kudos to you for going down the road that is less traveled.

    Another thing on you list should be doing events - whether it be a book event or something that is related to your books -me, I've done the homeschool events the last 3 years and now am moving on to teachers' and librarian conferences; social studies councils and events like that are next on my list but they take money, something I don't have much of right now; to get my name out there. These are opportunities to do presentations albeit not being paid for them yet but that is coming. Also, don't forget school visits and doing presentations whenever you have the opportunity.

    As far as making your list, can you not return after each letter or use the bullet thing when you are composing your email? Just like any blog posting, you should be able to return after each sentence/numbered item - will make it more readable and you probably could very eaasily edit the posting to do so. Good luck with everything - looking forward to learning more about your process. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery (coming soon);
    The Proposal, a humorous romance (now available);
    Bride-and-Seek, a paranormal romance (coming soon);
    The Tulip Kiss, a paranormal romance (coming soon); and
    Butterfly Halves, a Ya fantasy (coming soon)

    Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
    Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    Where will the adventure take you next?

  5. Great ideas, I'm interested to see which one(s) worked the best. My one suggestion would be to list your ten items separately instead of in one massive paragraph. It would make them easier to read and think about.

  6. Great Post, thanks for passing along the information. I am learning that there are many levels to the marketing of ebooks and it is taking a while to get the whole thing down. Sharing things like this is important to help others get it going to. Just making sure that your book is in the right category, ie one that suits the book but doesn't have a lot of competition on amazon can make a huge difference just in passive marketing. So how to we sign up for your one year journey. I'm interested.

    AM Burns