Advertisement and the Awkward Authoress

Marketing has never been my strong suit.  I always worry about where the line is between good marketing and being absolutely obnoxious. Typically I air on the side of caution and not get on my box with a megaphone and shout about my book like a sideshow barker, but on Sunday and Monday, my book was on sale for 99 cents and I went to town advertising.  I convinced my boyfriend/in-house artist to create an ad banner for me along with a new banner for my Facebook and Twitter pages.  I also paid $15 to have the Ereader News Today advertise it in their email newsletter and website.  From Sunday morning to mid-day Monday, I was hustling.  On both of my pages, I posted the advertisement banner along with a little message saying to please share the picture and spread the word, and guess what, people did!

With Facebook now limited how many people see your posts on author pages, I have friended quite a few readers on my main page as well as many authors (self-published and traditional).  Authors are awesome people.  If you are a writer, get involved on Facebook author groups.  Other authors understand how hard it is to advertise and get the word out about sales and new books, so when you say, please spread the word, they do.  I lost count of how many people shared my ad on their own pages and even tagged friends they knew would be interested.  Even on Twitter, I had probably ten to twenty people retweet my ad (even if it was past the 99 cent period and I felt a bit guilty about that). Now, I finally understand what people mean about networking. Honestly, authors are just as important, if not more important than readers, especially in the early stages of your publishing career. If they have an established audience (and you have a meager one), they are offering you a tremendous resource when they share your work with their fans.  It doesn’t matter if they don’t write the same genre as you. Think about what you read. Do you exclusively read steampunk or paranormal fiction? I know I don’t.

One of my author friends, Alys Arden (check her out, her book, The Casquette Girls, is a great story if you like vampires and New Orleans), sent me a message bright and early with a screen shot of my Amazon ranking (technically, the picture below is from an hour later when my rankings were at their peak).

holy shit

I have NEVER made it that high in the rankings ever.  #3 in steampunk is amazing! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my book would rank higher than Gail Carrigers, and The Earl of Brass beat all of them that day.  It’s amazing how a small investment in advertisement and a bit of work on social media can boost a book’s sales tremendously.  Even now, the book is currently hovering around #20 in steampunk, and I haven’t advertised since Monday.  With the social media shares and the ENT advertisement, I was able to sell more ebooks in two days than I sold in the past six months (not including the freebie days).  At this point, it isn’t about how much money I make off it, but I definitely recouped the $15 several times over.  Many people will say that KDP Select isn’t worth it, but the days where you can run free or discounted promotions are wonderful, and I sold very, very little when I was on itunes or Nook.

The whole reason I did this promotion now is that I hope to bring in sales for The Winter Garden when it is published in a few months.  I actually got my first pre-order during the promotion.  The plan is to gain a wider audience who will finish The Earl of Brass in the next month or two and look forward to The Winter Garden.  Let’s see how it goes. I will update everyone as this plays out.  Soon, I need to start thinking how to promote The Winter Garden, and I am hoping to get a few bloggers to promote my book or let me guest blog on their sites.  Fingers crossed.

As a side note, The Winter Garden is on pre-order for 99 cents, here.  The price will go up to $3.99 after it’s release.

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