I read (most of) a book called Kindle Cash by Michael Masters last night, which is, as you might suspect, on marketing your indie book on Kindle. Except it wasn’t, really, it was about using Google analytics to put your book high on the search engine’s results. As it is directed at non-fiction writers, much of it didn’t pertain to me, but since my husband is also going to indie route with his non-fiction book, I read it anyway.
I do agree with his premise in principle – get a marketing plan in place that will move along without you. Obviously this is the ideal, and the whole reason behind multi-level marketing companies. His marketing plan is to delve deeply into the SEO world of Google, research keywords, analyze the hits on certain keywords, analyze the placement competition of websites using those keywords, and title your book/blog/website (and write your book/blog/website) geared to those keywords.
Interesting stuff if you can figure it out, and I have no doubt that it works for the “how to” genre of book. (My husband’s book is not a how-to, and he is not a the kind of guy likely to do all this internet research, but he could pay someone to do it!) But for fiction, it is useless. Nobody Googles for fiction, unless it’s an author they know of already. And I have to point out that the author makes a snarky comment or two on the John Locke book and his use of social media – but Locke is selling fiction (with the except of HIS how-to book, but he’s already got a following, having published a dozen or so novels). I don’t think taking a swipe at someone who is also trying to help new indie authors is a classy thing, especially when you’re talking about apples and oranges.
Anyway, one thing Masters says that I do agree with is that the cover is more important than many, many kinds of marketing recommended by the “experts.” I buy a LOT of books (the reason I got a Kindle in the first place). I am a very visual person. If I click on a book and the cover is unappealing, amateurish, full of heaving bosoms, or otherwise turns me off, I don’t buy the book. I never really thought about it before until I decided to go the indie route, but the first thing I told my husband was that the cover was key. And since I’m a complete idiot when it comes to Photoshop, I knew right away that I was subbing that out to a professional!
Masters suggests, actually, that you have three covers, and upload the book with two, then replace the one that sells worse with the 3rd and see how it goes. I’m not sure about that, at least in my first genre of adventure/thriller. There are certain standards in that genre for cover and title, and I have bought enough of them to know. In the romance I’m writing, I’m afraid I’m going to have to dip a toe in heaving bosom territory, and that makes me… well, very afraid. But I am creating a product, not just stroking my own ego, and I really want you or someone you know to read and enjoy the book, so I want to market it in a way that gets it into your hands.
On another note, I changed templates on my website yesterday, and like it a lot better. I joined Twitter, and still feel like an idiot doing something called tweeting, not to mention that it’s not really suited to my personality (I like words to be fully spelled out and grammar, for one thing!). But I’m going to try to figure it out and work it in a way that I can live with and that doesn’t take multiple hours a day. I got my Facebook author page up and sent out invites to friends, and got 27 likes pretty fast, which is cool – I have a VERY private Facebook page personally, and keep my “friends” list pretty small, (only those who actually converse with me).
I took the day off from writing the NaNo novel, which is always a good break. I’m still on track to finish around the 27th with this first draft, and it’s going well so far. I’ll get back to it today and cross the 70,000 word mark. Love those numbers that end in 0 and 5!