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I need to figure out more ways to pimp my book - to readers instead of writers.

One way I tried was at SlushPileReader - I posted a little of it there with links to buy your book at Amazon at the end of my blurb and at the end of my sample chapters.  I can tweeted it, blogged it, linked it to facebook, etc.  Slushpilereader is also offering a sweepstakes.  I added my friends' emails.

I think all that resulted in six sales.  There's got to be a better way - tell me your secrets.
 
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There's a fine line between pimping your book and annoying the crap out of your friends. I believe I've probably crossed the line towards the latter over the last two weeks. At a certain point, or at least I hope, people will just buy it to shut me up...or I alienate everyone entirely.
 

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Z.D. Robinson said:
There's a fine line between pimping your book and annoying the crap out of your friends. I believe I've probably crossed the line towards the latter over the last two weeks. At a certain point, or at least I hope, people will just buy it to shut me up...or I alienate everyone entirely.
Scott Adams (creator of "Dilbert") said a precursor toward greatness is in alienating everyone entirely.
 

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Get your name out there.  Join multiple message boards, and participate in discussions that have nothing to do with your book.  Get to know people.  Make a book trailer and put it on Youtube, then embed the hell out of it.  Start a blog.  Like other authors on Facebook, and participate in discussions with their readers.  It's important, though, not to constantly be hawking your book, because that's a turn-off.  Just keep your links quietly in the background, talk about them when the subject comes up.  It's a fine between spamming and marketing, I'd say.
 
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Give up your day job. Spend every waking hour posting here, there, everywhere. Buy ads until you are completely broke. Suck up to other writers until they de-friend you. Print up thousands of flyers and drop them over a major metropolitan area from a helicopter. Don't write much--after all you've got a book, so market, market, sell. Follow Konrath and Victorine around and hang on every word they blog. Do a blog and recycle what every other blogger is spouting. Make up 12 fake Facebook identities and start raving and reviewing your own book. Put more sex in your books. Put more violence in. After you become homeless write and publish your memoirs. Attend book signings and hand out promotional flyers on your book. Using grafitti, paint the title and URL on freeway overpasses. Make your book FREE then brag about how many copies you have "sold." Expose yourself.

Or, you can simply write a good book and cover, run them up the flagpole, then sit back and see if anyone salutes.
 

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Your perspective is all wrong. It is not "pimping". You should not be pushing anything onto anyone. Selling starts before you even begin putting the book together. Did you research your target market and write the book for them? Did you design your cover with your target market in mind? Did you title the book with your target market in mind?
 

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MikeAngel said:
Give up your day job. Spend evey waking hour posting here, there, everywhere. Buy ads until you are completely broke. Suck up to other writers until they de-friend you. Print up thousands of flyers and drop them over a major metropolitan area from a helicopter. Don't write much--after all you've got a book, so market, market, sell. Follow Konrath and Victorine around and hang on every word they blog. Do a blog and recycle what every other blogger is spouting. Make up 12 fake Facebook identities and start raving and reviewing your own book. Put more sex in your books. Put more violence in. After you become homeless write and publish your memoirs. Attend book signings and hand out promotional flyers on your book. Using grafitti, paint the title and URL on freeway overpasses. Make your book FREE then brag about how many copies you have "sold." Expose yourself.

Or, you can simply write a good book and cover, run them up the flagpole, then sit back and see if anyone salutes.
OMG I love you Mike Angel.
 

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Z.D. Robinson said:
There's a fine line between pimping your book and annoying the crap out of your friends. I believe I've probably crossed the line towards the latter over the last two weeks. At a certain point, or at least I hope, people will just buy it to shut me up...or I alienate everyone entirely.
Therein lies the fine line. I think Facebook people react more to constant "spamming" than Twitter, probably because of the drive-by nature of move-on, ignore. Bloggng takes a lot of time and so what if you get ten comments? That's not ten sales. I need inspiration.
 

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I'm finding that I've exhausted my own social networks... all my friends either have my book or aren't interested.  All of their friends who want it already have it.  On Twitter, I have 41 followers... 30 or so of them authors.  Now, my Facebook fan page for the book is doing fairly well, picking up likes/members, and that's useful when I have something that's actually interesting to say about the book rather than just asking people to buy.  But it's not necessarily translating into sales yet.  As far as reviews, well, I have a fair number, only two from people I know IRL, and all but a few unsolicited.  Those few that were solicited, I had sent out free ARC's to a few reviewers.

At this point, I'm on the verge of turning to advertising, now that Book 2 is nearly ready for release.  I'm going to try and get some word of mouth going about the release date, and make Book 1 free on Smashwords premium catalog in the hopes that it might get pricematched at Amazon.  Having Book 1 free, and Book 2 at full price, I'm hoping to get some crossover sales from the free downloads.  Add to that some advertising at a couple of high-ish profile sites, and maybe I'll attract some notice.

But as everyone says, if you write the best book you can, get yourself a great cover, then the best you can do from there is hope that the combination of luck and building a presence for yourself kick in to generate readership. As indies, we need to look at the long view, and build momentum slowly.  It'll come!  At least, that's what I'm hoping for myself!
 

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I haven't done it, but I imagine rather than waste money on adverts at release date, if that was what you were thinking of doing, is to gift say 100 of your books via Amazon to your email list of friends and contacts with instruction of how they could download kindle to computer. It will ensure an initial jump in rank and hopefully gain traction as it becomes visible to kindle readers. This would work better if you were in the UK. I doubt gifting them free on smashwords through a coupon will have much effect on sales although it would push you up the rankings. It's a little like what the record companies used to do, to try and make the charts.

I can appreciate that sales would soon dip if no one bought it after that and it would depend on how good your book was to progress further.

Another way is to send coupons or PDFS for your book to review sites many months before release date on Amazon. Konrath sends his out to over 200 sites and he says that works for him in gaining traction on release date.
 

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Mike Dennis said:
Mike Angel's advice notwithstanding, I'm not sure just writing a good book and running it up the flagpole is all there is to it.

There have been numerous authors on KindleBoards who say they have done exactly that and no more, and have sold thousands of books within a very, very short time. But you know what? I don't believe it. I don't think anyone can start from zero and get their book noticed, talked about, then sold in great numbers while doing nothing to promote it. What's pulling that book up out of the crowd? What's causing those first few hundred people to buy it? How do they know to even look at it? Or look FOR it?

Luck? Doubtful. Luck visits everyone sooner or later in more or less equal doses, so in its aftermath, what separates the cream is personal effort. Go on the social networks, develop a website, go on the blogs, leave comments, get reviews, don't spam...that's the standard advice. Also, be patient. That's part of the mantra. "It's a marathon, not a sprint" is advised usually by those who put their first book up in January and are now selling 20,000 copies a month. Kind of looks like they did a little sprinting, doesn't it? Not much patience required there.

I am pretty sure, though, that the very successful authors aren't telling us everything. Not that I can blame them, of course.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that until someone reveals some kind of "black op" promotional secret (if such a thing exists at all), no one can offer a prescribed method for success in indie publishing.
There are millions of people searching Amazon every day. ~20% of searches are brand new to the system. New books can be discovered frequently. Word of mouth is the best marketing plan.
 

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Decon said:
I haven't done it, but I imagine rather than waste money on adverts at release date, if that was what you were thinking of doing, is to gift say 100 of your books via Amazon to your email list of friends and contacts with instruction of how they could download kindle to computer. It will ensure an initial jump in rank and hopefully gain traction as it becomes visible to kindle readers. This would work better if you were in the UK. I doubt gifting them free on smashwords through a coupon will have much effect on sales although it would push you up the rankings. It's a little like what the record companies used to do, to try and make the charts.

I can appreciate that sales would soon dip if no one bought it after that and it would depend on how good your book was to progress further.
I am all for gifting books through Amazon, as many people prefer to receive their freebies that way. But giving a hundred at once in the hope of jumping very high in the sales ranking smells a little like gaming the system to me... which, you know, I see the appeal, as every little bit helps, but it's not the route for me. When I gift through Amazon, it's usually only 20 or so books spread over 2 or 3 days. Then again, tricking Amazon into pricematching by making your work free on Smashwords is seen by some as a little shady, too... and I'm hoping to succeed in that department soon.

As far as the Smashwords coupon thing, true, SW coupons generally don't generate a lot of buzz... they need to be used sparingly, and need a high-profile promotion for any real effect, from what I've seen. However, making the list price $0 on SW, whilst in the premium catalog, is the only way I know to even have a chance of getting pricematched to free on Amazon... which, if you have a new book being released around that time, can be a huge boon to your sales numbers of the non-free book. So I've heard... haven't experienced the phenomenon as of yet. And advertising your free book, in conjunction with your paid book, gets the word out there a little further, which might get you noticed by one of the VERY high profile blogs/free book notifier sites, which then will get you free advertising/mentions there, which could then snowball.

Again... lot of mights, coulds, maybes, and luck involved there. But others have done it, so it's most definitely not impossible. And with a good book, a good blurb, and a good cover, if you get high enough in the rankings, there's every possibility you'll stay there without much effort from that point on. There are a LOT of people who buy based simply on the Amazon bestseller rankings.
 

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MikeAngel said:
Give up your day job. Spend evey waking hour posting here, there, everywhere. Buy ads until you are completely broke. Suck up to other writers until they de-friend you. Print up thousands of flyers and drop them over a major metropolitan area from a helicopter. Don't write much--after all you've got a book, so market, market, sell. Follow Konrath and Victorine around and hang on every word they blog. Do a blog and recycle what every other blogger is spouting. Make up 12 fake Facebook identities and start raving and reviewing your own book. Put more sex in your books. Put more violence in. After you become homeless write and publish your memoirs. Attend book signings and hand out promotional flyers on your book. Using grafitti, paint the title and URL on freeway overpasses. Make your book FREE then brag about how many copies you have "sold." Expose yourself.

Or, you can simply write a good book and cover, run them up the flagpole, then sit back and see if anyone salutes.
Best response I've read :)
 
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This is what I've learned afters spending days upon days of searching the internet for that answer--You have to write, write and do more writing... Of course in a popular genre. And you have to keep it hot, you know? This means, putting the book out and then quickly getting out a novella or something that's part of the series, if you're writing a series. If it's a stand alone, then you have to get something out that leads to the next book you're publishing. Oh, and make it GOOD. Like, show you know your stuff--that way, readers will continually seek you out.

And alas--I believe that IS the secret to some of our peers here in Kindleboards success! I just wish I would've discovered this 3 years ago! Now our books gets buried so quickly... that's what I worry about the most. Maybe that's what the free books give you--visibility. I think in 2 to 3 years ago, visibility put a lot of the million dollar authors on the map.

 

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MikeAngel said:
paint the title and URL on freeway overpasses.
Like this?


You'd think with thousands of drivers passing this sign every day, half the state would have bought my book by now. Hmmm. Maybe they all think it's just an ordinary road sign. I wonder if anyone would get upset if I added a url?

I've found my activity on forums dealing with things like repairing old boats or tweaking a diesel engine, where I make no mention whatsoever to my book or writing, but simply join in discussions relevant to boat repairs and doing non-manufacturer approved mods to my car have generated hits to my blog and a rise in sales. If your book deals with horses and would appeal to that niche, be active on equestrian groups. If it's a cozy with knitting, likewise, join in on knitting forums. And so on. As for you paranormal and erotica writers... I'm sure there's some places out there that others of similar interest converge.

The one rule I follow: outside this forum I never mention writing or my book, but I make sure there are enough interesting topics to draw people into my blog, which, the majority of the time focuses on documenting boat repairs and engine work. There's info on the book prominently displayed, but it isn't the subject of the post. For example: http://cegrundler.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/a-tale-of-two-bearings/

That's what works for me, but I join in the forums for actual discussions on hunting down an obscure part or whatever I'm working on at the time. Oh yeah, and that 'good book' thing is probably a good idea as well.
 

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Elijah Joon said:
Scott Adams (creator of "Dilbert") said a precursor toward greatness is in alienating everyone entirely.
This is probably true, plus it helps to be dead. If you die, you attract a lot of attention. If you can get people to start rumors about you that say you are dead, perhaps that would help. :D :D
Seriously, I can't speak to being super popular or an expert on marketing. I do everything I can every day to promote my work without getting in too many faces, but everyone has a personal limit... some greater than others.
We must go with our own personal thoughts on how much is too much when it comes to promoting. If promoting on line, be sure to read the posting rules and try to follow them. This may not make you rich and famous, but it will gain respect for you if nothing else.
I would say that perseverance is necessary to successful marketing. Just keep on keeping on.
 
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