Author Topic: Book promotion - where to begin?!  (Read 2671 times)  

Offline Alex Makepeace

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Book promotion - where to begin?!
« on: August 26, 2017, 02:37:57 am »
So, the book is almost ready to be published, but now for the scary part: marketing.

As a newbie to Kboards, it is intimidating to see so many authors (with so many books - I have just the one!) and quite so many strategies for promotion. The mailing lists, reviewers, sites, jargon... I was tempted to pay for someone to help me navigate this, as I appear to have come to the party rather late, but even trying to find a legitimate (ie non rip-off/ waste of time) service boggles the mind... I have to remember that there's no rush... these things take time, etc.

But I would appreciate it if someone (anyone!) could point me to any posts/ sources that provide a step-by-step guide for simpletons like me on how to maximise exposure of your novel without breaking the bank!

Thank you!!!

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    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 04:00:41 am »
    I'm in the same boat. I just finished the first draft of my very first novel and now I get the fun of wading through all the marketing threads I skipped while focusing on writing. Here's all the threads I bookmarked so far:


    AMS ads
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,246899.0.html

    Book Funnel vs Instafreebie
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,248699.0.html

    Going wide
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,254508.0.html

    Launched book 2 here's what I did (Probably not for us until we get another book or 2)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252288.0.html

    Kindle scout and other ideas
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245964.0.html

    Groups for FB promotion
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253980.0.html

    Pronoun and high price testing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253350.0.html

    Using Bookfunnel
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253647.0.html

    Creating your back matter pages to point readers to your other stuff
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253701.0.html

    Info on sales without advertising
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253363.0.html

    Spending on advertising and optimizing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253412.0.html

    Romance authors using AMS
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253375.0.html

    Copyright
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253300.0.html

    Strategy for building mailing list
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253286.0.html

    UF keywords (might give you ideas on these if you aren't UF)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252372.0.html

    Three year plan to sustain income
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html


    Offline Avery342

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 04:16:50 am »
    Badredhead Media's book called 30 Day Marketing Challenge (or something close to that), does a good job of leading new authors into the world of book marketing. Very beginner level with step by step instructions broken down into 30 daily tasks. Has some great info to get you started.

    Offline skywalker

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 06:51:54 am »
    I'm in the same boat. I just finished the first draft of my very first novel and now I get the fun of wading through all the marketing threads I skipped while focusing on writing. Here's all the threads I bookmarked so far:


    AMS ads
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,246899.0.html

    Book Funnel vs Instafreebie
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,248699.0.html

    Going wide
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,254508.0.html

    Launched book 2 here's what I did (Probably not for us until we get another book or 2)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252288.0.html

    Kindle scout and other ideas
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245964.0.html

    Groups for FB promotion
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253980.0.html

    Pronoun and high price testing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253350.0.html

    Using Bookfunnel
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253647.0.html

    Creating your back matter pages to point readers to your other stuff
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253701.0.html

    Info on sales without advertising
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253363.0.html

    Spending on advertising and optimizing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253412.0.html

    Romance authors using AMS
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253375.0.html

    Copyright
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253300.0.html

    Strategy for building mailing list
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253286.0.html

    UF keywords (might give you ideas on these if you aren't UF)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252372.0.html

    Three year plan to sustain income
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html

    Very useful

    Offline Alex Makepeace

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 09:24:25 am »
    I'm in the same boat. I just finished the first draft of my very first novel and now I get the fun of wading through all the marketing threads I skipped while focusing on writing. Here's all the threads I bookmarked so far:


    AMS ads
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,246899.0.html

    Book Funnel vs Instafreebie
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,248699.0.html

    Going wide
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,254508.0.html

    Launched book 2 here's what I did (Probably not for us until we get another book or 2)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252288.0.html

    Kindle scout and other ideas
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,245964.0.html

    Groups for FB promotion
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253980.0.html

    Pronoun and high price testing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253350.0.html

    Using Bookfunnel
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253647.0.html

    Creating your back matter pages to point readers to your other stuff
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253701.0.html

    Info on sales without advertising
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253363.0.html

    Spending on advertising and optimizing
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253412.0.html

    Romance authors using AMS
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253375.0.html

    Copyright
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253300.0.html

    Strategy for building mailing list
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253286.0.html

    UF keywords (might give you ideas on these if you aren't UF)
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,252372.0.html

    Three year plan to sustain income
    https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,231169.0.html

    Thank you! Phew... I'll take a look!

    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 01:04:37 pm »
    I have another 47 links in my browser that I get to go through now.  :o

    Offline PearlEarringLady

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 11:37:25 pm »
    This can seem so overwhelming when you first start. To keep it simple, I'd suggest three things to do to help this first book out of the door:

    1) Start an AMS ad as soon as the book's live. Use the sponsored option, use author names in your genre as keywords, bid the suggested 26c initially with a daily cap you feel comfortable with and monitor closely.

    2) Set up a small promotion early on, either 5 or so days at 99c or 1-2 days free. Pay for just one promo site per day. I'd recommend BargainBooksy (if 99c), FreeBooksy (if free), ChoosyBookworm, EbookBetty, ENT, ManyBooks. This is a nice low-stress way to give the book a boost without getting complicated.

    3) Write the next book, because this really is the best way to promote the first book.

    Good luck!

    Offline Used To Be BH

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 01:32:24 pm »
    Promos have their greatest effectiveness when run during the first thirty (or failing that, first ninety) days. Books are more visible on Amazon during that time, so exposure pays off more strongly.

    If you have the budget for it, I would suggest Ram's Promo Stacker http://www.book-rank.com/services.html. The options are highly customizable. What Ram does is book promo sites for you for a small fee. Depending on the package, he also runs social media ads for the book. Opt for spread instead of stacked; Amazon's algorithms reward consistent sales much more than sudden spikes. Probably one of the less pricey packages or a custom order would be a good fit, because some promoters wont take a new release unless you already have a well-reviewed book to point to, so there's no purpose in choosing the most expensive, submit-to-everyone-in-the-universe option.

    If your book is in one of the right genres and you haven't published yet, I'd suggest trying Kindle Scout. The odds on being picked up by Kindle Press are low (1 to 3% chance), but KS makes a great launch platform. Lots of people browse the site, and at least some authors are always driving people there by advertising, so even if you don't advertise yourself, you will get a fair amount of free exposure. If you release soon after, you can capitalize on that momentum. (My Scout-rejected book was my best launch ever.)

    As Pauline says, it's important not to lose track of the writing. Most successful self-published authors don't necessarily have that one blockbuster book that sells thousands of copies a day. What they have instead is a large backlist. Many books each selling a few copies is more doable than one that sells a huge number of copies. Also, the books, especially if they are in the same genre, sell each other. A reader who likes one by an author is likely to check out more.
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    Offline Not any more

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 03:33:14 pm »

    If you have the budget for it, I would suggest Ram's Promo Stacker http://www.book-rank.com/services.html.
    Whoa. I would have a difficult time recommending that. Pretty pricey. The promo stack I did to launch book 1 of my current series ran around $400 and the book hit 1,300 in the overall store.

    Check out promo posts by Pauline, Izzy Shows, C. Gockel, me, etc.

    This post remains on KBoards over my objections.

    Offline Saboth

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 04:15:02 pm »
    So, the book is almost ready to be published, but now for the scary part: marketing.

    As a newbie to Kboards, it is intimidating to see so many authors (with so many books - I have just the one!) and quite so many strategies for promotion. The mailing lists, reviewers, sites, jargon... I was tempted to pay for someone to help me navigate this, as I appear to have come to the party rather late, but even trying to find a legitimate (ie non rip-off/ waste of time) service boggles the mind... I have to remember that there's no rush... these things take time, etc.

    But I would appreciate it if someone (anyone!) could point me to any posts/ sources that provide a step-by-step guide for simpletons like me on how to maximise exposure of your novel without breaking the bank!

    Thank you!!!

    I just put up a book for preorder yesterday. I had quite a few lists of promotions from Kboard posts, and Excel lists that other authors used, but I was ineligible for many of them.
    1. I had to put the book up for preorder (I was going to wait another week or 2 for this) in order to get the ASIN to put on promotion sites. They also wanted a link to the product.
    2. Most sites were only for discounted, free or .99 books. And of the ones that were discounted, they wanted a certain % of discount (like 50%). So I didn't qualify. Many of the best ones want either massive discounts or
    great reviews or both.

    In the end, I ended up going with:
    http://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/ $10
    https://www.justkindlebooks.com/submit-your-book/ $18
    http://www.readwriteclub.com/submit-your-book/ (free option)
    http://mybookplace.net/submit-your-book/ (free option)
    http://readper.com/authors ($35 option)
    Then I'll run AMS ads (larger budget in first week, then reducing it each week, but probably only $80-$100 for the total run).

    I'm not sure if it's a good plan or not, but I spent more time on sites that I didn't qualify for than I did qualify for, so I'm thinking this is "good enough" for now.

    Without a stable of books, I didn't want to go overboard, but I did want to get my book/name "out there" somewhere, since my social media presence is nil, and I have zero mailing list. My first book I did zero promotion, and it pretty much disappeared off the face of the planet after its first week (but that book was just a test really, and I didn't want/expect it to sell).

    I considered at least a 50% discount on release, but my preorder won't let me do a promotional price. I suppose what you have to do is set the preorder price to your promotional price, then on release raise the price to your "normal" price, then use the amazon discount option. But I thought I'd read people saying the price won't update immediately, so they had trouble on release trying to switch over (and I didn't want any trouble on release).
    « Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 04:18:46 pm by SMays »

    Offline Not any more

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 07:18:19 pm »
    I considered at least a 50% discount on release, but my preorder won't let me do a promotional price. I suppose what you have to do is set the preorder price to your promotional price, then on release raise the price to your "normal" price, then use the amazon discount option. But I thought I'd read people saying the price won't update immediately, so they had trouble on release trying to switch over (and I didn't want any trouble on release).
    Other people may do it differently, but I put my books on pre-order at 99 cents and leave it there for the first week after it goes live. I run a Headtalker on release day, then 1-2 promos per day all week. The idea is to grab rank, hit the first page on the HNR lists and the Top 100 paid in genre, then boost the price and make some money.
    This post remains on KBoards over my objections.

    Offline Alex Makepeace

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 12:29:40 am »
    Just a quick thank you to everyone who has participated in this thread, this is really, really useful stuff. I guess I will have to be patient and methodical. I have looked at the Kindle Scout option, which may be worth my testing the water with, and then, presuming I have no success (and it seems unlikely, not least given I have no promotional experience or mailing list or anything) use that as a way to gain exposure and then start promoting in the ways you guys suggest.

    Offline Anarchist

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 07:15:57 am »
    Just a quick thank you to everyone who has participated in this thread, this is really, really useful stuff. I guess I will have to be patient and methodical. I have looked at the Kindle Scout option, which may be worth my testing the water with, and then, presuming I have no success (and it seems unlikely, not least given I have no promotional experience or mailing list or anything) use that as a way to gain exposure and then start promoting in the ways you guys suggest.

    I recommend writing down all of the promotional tactics at your disposal (email, social, AMS, Facebook ads, etc.). Then, create a strategy that focuses on just one or two from your list. Choose these tactics based on three criteria:

    1. budget (e.g. can you afford Facebook ads, which requires testing?)
    2. effectiveness (e.g. what are the odds that Kindle Scout will result in sales, reads, fans, etc.?)
    3. will you enjoy it? (e.g. I can't stand social, so I don't do it.)

    It's easy to get overwhelmed. Worse, it's easy to get overwhelmed pursuing tactics that fail to move the needle when it comes to sales and reads.

    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

    Offline gilesxbecker

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #13 on: October 01, 2017, 12:21:51 pm »
    Whoa. I would have a difficult time recommending that. Pretty pricey. The promo stack I did to launch book 1 of my current series ran around $400 and the book hit 1,300 in the overall store.

    Check out promo posts by Pauline, Izzy Shows, C. Gockel, me, etc.

    I agree, Ram's Promo Stacker is great and he will go the extra mile for you. Polite and really helpful and it looks like the ads are working. Great service!

    dystopian sounds grim but actually fun abounds
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    Offline gilesxbecker

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    Re: Book promotion - where to begin?!
    « Reply #14 on: October 01, 2017, 12:25:19 pm »
    Oops looks like I quoted the wrong person. Sorry! (strikes self in forehead a solid blow). Anyway, for me he was really worth the money, it wasn't all that pricey for me anyway, and instead of clicking and clacking on my keyboard I got to go and run the snake down the drain to try to clean it out without calling the plumber who is 20 miles away. What's not to love? 

    dystopian sounds grim but actually fun abounds
    Giles Becker | Giles Becker

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