Tag Archives: advertising

Marketing Non-fiction – the Dark Chasm

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There is a ton of information out there by indie authors, for indie authors, on marketing fiction. Blogs, books, Facebook groups, you name it. But dare to venture into the world of indie non-fiction, and you are suddenly lost in the dark. Don’t believe me? Google it. (Or Bing it. Or Duck-Duck-Go it. You get the picture.)  And if your book is at all controversial (think politics or religion), then forget about it. Even places that do routinely feature at least some non-fiction will turn you down because they don’t want to rock the boat. I get that, but it’s frustrating.

Here are the options and routes I’ve discovered so far in this journey. (To clarify, I’m finding promo sites for my husband’s book on the 2012 election, which is, apparently, as shocking and polarizing as saying that I was abducted by aliens. Actually, more so. People write about getting abducted by aliens all the time!) Okay, back to the marketing.

BookBub, which is fabulous for a lot of types of fiction, will not take controversial material. Now, this is an educated guess on my part due to several factors, because they never tell anyone they turn down the reasons for their rejection. But another, similar site, does, and that was their explanation. Also, BookBub only has “General Non-fiction” rather than Current Events or Politics, so the fit may not be that great for their subscribers anyway. You can always try it – you don’t pay until they accept you – but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Book Gorilla. This is the site/service that’s similar to BookBub. They are currently reading the book to decide whether or not to take it. I have paid (and paid for a spotlight feature), but they will return my money if they decide not to promo the book. They’ve been very easy to work with and clear in their explanation and apologies, so no hard feelings. Again, the explanation was that they don’t present things to their subscribers that are controversial/polarizing. (Which brings up a point… Shouldn’t we all be able to see the cover of a book in a list of books and not feel personally affronted if it disagrees with our own worldview? I mean, it’s just a photo, right? Sometimes… Well, never mind.)

EBook Booster. They took the ad and ran with it. Now, whether all 45+ of the sites they post to will run it, I don’t know. But there was no hesitancy on their part to take it. I suspect they just take anything that isn’t heavy erotica, but I’m not sure about that. So far, so good, anyway.

FreeBooksy. I have placed the ad request and paid. They take a day or two to get back to you, usually, so I’m not sure if they’ll run it or not. I’ve had success with my novels on this sight, and they do have a Non-Fiction genre, so fingers crossed. UPDATE: We’re good to go!

BlogAd consolidators. I have just discovered this, and am going to get on it after I receive banner ads of the correct size from my graphic artist. What I finally did in desperation was type “advertise conservative sites” in the search engine. This one came up, and it has links to a lot of great sites for my husband’s book, so I’ll be placing ads. It’s expensive, but it seems that most things having to do with non-fiction are. You can break down your search into just about any type of blog/topic, and then select the ones you want to advertise on. The prices vary hugely – advertising on Perez Hilton’s celebrity gossip site starts at $1442 for a little ad. Towleroad starts at $2200. But Legal Insurrection is $30, Kindle Buffet is $21, and This Ain’t Hell But You Can See It From Here is $10. (In other words, all price points for ALL TYPES of blogs!) This is probably the easiest way to hit your target audience with non-fiction.

Guest posting. One of the things about non-fiction is that it seems that people are a lot more competitive. Most novelists in the indie world see their fellow novelists, even in the same genre, as co-adventurers. But boy, in non-fiction, all bets are off! I guess if you write non-fiction, you are pretty sure you’re right, and you want people to buy YOUR book on your topic, and no one else’s. However, it is still possible to find some amenable souls with whom to exchange articles/blog posts, if you’re diligent and nice and complimentary and not too competitive. (For instance, if your book is called The One and Only Houdini, you might not want to approach another author/blogger whose book is called The Definitive Guide to Houdini. Just sayin’.) The worst someone can say is no, and if you offer space in your blog/Facebook/Twitter in exchange, they may just go for it.

Tweeting services. I’m on the fence about this one, because book tweeting services are geared towards fiction, so I don’t know that you are getting the most bang for your buck. However, the couple we’ve used have been willing to discount their price because of that very thing, so it may be worth a shot. The better plan might be to find someone with a similar following to yours (and this is a lot more broad, perhaps, than with blogging), and again, offer to cross-promote with them.

Giveaways. We are planning a Rafflecopter giveaway for WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost… Again. Rafflecopter is super easy to use, and if you have a good giveaway, it’s a great way to boost your Facebook Likes, your Twitter followers, and your mailing list. You can give people who enter the chance to get more entries by Liking you on FB, retweeting the giveaway, or answering a question, plus you get their info in a csv file and can add them to your mailing list. Then ask your followers to retweet the giveaway, too. If it’s a good one, they will. I recently did one for my novel Solomon’s Throne, which has a ton of travel to cool locations in it. I made a “travel pack” with a great, packable hat, a cool bag, a hot/cold water bottle, some lip balm, and two signed books from the Quinn series. It was valued at over $150, and I got a lot of entries, plus the winner was so excited that she was tweeting about it all over the place, giving me more exposure. (And that $150 is a tax write-off!)

Book blasts. I haven’t tried this yet for WTF?, but I’m going to, because this has been a huge thing for my sci-fi trilogy. When I combined a book blast with a giveaway worth over $175 (an Ixeos survival pack that included a Northface backpack, a pocket atlas, a tee shirt, and a bunch of other ‘survival’ items plus signed books), we had over 9,000 entries! So I’m going to approach my usual book blast gals, Book Nerd Tours, and see if they’re open. I’ve also used I Am a Reader for book blasts, so I’ll try them, too. If neither want to try it, I’ll keep searching!

Mailing lists. I think this is probably very effective for non-fiction, especially if you write multiple books on your topic. I don’t love mailing lists — I just did my first newsletter of 2013 recently! — but if people are interested enough to sign up, go for it! Just keep it content oriented, not simply an ad for your book. A lot of the people who’ve signed up will have already read it. They want new stuff!

Blog/website/landing page. A lot of non-fiction books have landing pages. My husband’s is www.TokyoRove.com. It’s a good idea, and content should be updated frequently. Same goes for your blog and website. Non-fiction readers, particularly of current events, are voracious in their appetite for news and ideas. Give it to them! Be the place they go when they want to know the latest.

Keywords. This is a biggie for non-fiction. You get 7 keywords for your Kindle listing (numbers vary for other publishing outlets). You need to update these frequently, based on what is trending in your genre and on your topic. If you’re compared in a review to a best-selling author, put that author’s name in your keywords for awhile, so people searching for them will also find you. If a topic is trending that pertains to your book, put that in your keywords. Update MONTHLY to stay on top of trends and capture all the searches you can.

That’s all I’ve got so far! It is definitely harder to market non-fiction online than it is fiction, although it’s a lot easier to market it in person. Go to conventions and get a booth, offer to speak on your topic, approach local radio to be a guest, offer your book to groups at a discount. Be creative and proactive. After all, you’re an expert! There are a million (actually more like a billion!) books out there, and you have to get yours in front of your target audience. Build a tribe and all that…

Have more ideas? Let me know! And soon!!

Yep, I’m a bestseller! (What???) And you can find all my books on Amazon!

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Filed under Marketing, Self publishing

Marketing & Promo Sites

BookBub www.bookbub.com
email list by genre price varies
NOTES: can’t be free w/in 3 mos, 10+ reviews, 4* min
Book Nerd Tours www.booknerdtours.com
Blog tours, blast, reviews price varies
NOTES: 30-45 days out
Book Tweeting Service www.booktweetingservice.com
Book tweeting starts $29/1 day to $125
Indie Book Promo www.indiebookpromo.com
side banners, free day $25-50
promo, “cheap reads”
under $2.99 promo
Christian eBooks Today www.christianebookstoday.com/advertising
banner, feature, solcial $10 and up
media, author page, read
& review
Book Blast Promotions http://bookblastpromotions.blogspot.com/p/tour-blast-pricing.html
(I Am a Reader Not a Writer)
book tours, blasts, reviews varies – $90 and up
NOTES: GREAT for adding
to Twitter and FB following
Jitterbug PR http://www.jitterbug-pr.com/blog-tours/packages/
Blog tours varies by length
NOTE: Also does PR by the hour
Digital Book Today http://digitalbooktoday.com/join-our-team/
week book display $30 and up
week book feature
social media blast
“great reads”
guest interview
guest blog ost
Free day promo
New book release list
Promo sale price book
eReader News Today http://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-kindle-books/
Bargain Kindle Books 25% of earnings
NOTE: 10 reviews, 4* min, less than 99c
Kindle Books & Tips http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/for-authors/advertising-information/
featured book featured = $75
free book free = free on request
NOTE: 8 reviews, 4* and up, only bk 1 in a series
AuthorsdB www.authorsdb.com
author database free
Book Basset http://www.bookbasset.com/authors/submissions/featured-author/
Featured Author $15
NOTES: up to 5 books, @ least 1 free
paid have to be less than $2.99
only 1x per 30 days
World Lit Café www.worldlitcafe.com
social media blast $20 and up
Author feature
New Release launch
Gaining review
Kindle Fire Department http://fireapps.blogspot.com/p/app-developers-authors.html
Feature $50
Kindle Boards http://www.kboards.com/blog-ads/
spotlight post $50 (3+ reviews)
Book Discovery $15 (Family friendly)
Full Banner $40/ day
Featured Book $35/ day
Free book promo free (min 4*, 20 reviews)
Bargain book promo $20
Shelf Unbound Magazine www.shelfmediagroup.com
1/4 page ad $350 for 2 (recent deal)
Book Gorilla http://www.bookgorilla.com/advertise
email blast by genre $30-100
starred book extra $100 by approval
NOTES: Max price $3.99
FreeBooksy http://www.freebooksy.com/for-the-authors/
Feature $50 Feature
Feature Plus $100 Feature Plus
Daily Free Books http://www.dailyfreebooks.com/promote-your-kindle-book.html
Book of the Day (US) $17/day
Banner (US) $7.50/7 days
Listing highlight (US) $7.50/year
Banner Forum (UK) Sat-Fri $13.50/7 days
Banner Forum(UK) Wed-Tues $13.50/7 days
Banner Free (UK) $7.50/7 days
Free book of the day (UK) $17/day
Listing highlight (UK) $7.50/year
Free Digital Reads http://freedigitalreads.com/author-submissions/
free promo free
NOTES: must be 4-5* rated, free in both US and UK
5-7 day notice
eBook Booster www.ebookbooster.com
submit free bk to 50+ sites $45
Pixel of Ink http://www.pixelofink.com/sfkb/
Free promo day free
NOTE: Not currently taking paid guaranteed ads
Kindle Mojo www.kindlemojo.com/kindle-services/
Twitterblitz (free days) $35/day
List on blog free
Prime Tweets $35
Indie Book of the Day http://indiebookoftheday.com/authors/bargain-bookshelf-promo/
Bargain bookshelf, bargain $50 for 1 book, $40/ea for
scout listing, promo, 2 or more
dedicated post, social
media boost
eReader Utopia www.ereaderutopia.com/index.php/author-corner
feature deal (2.99 or less) $15
basic (random) free
guaranteed post $5
NOTE: submit book(s) to data base, them submit deal,
steal or new release
eBook Lister www.ebooklister.net/page.php?p+19
Daily Focus eBook $15
Top 5 “bargain ebooks” $10/day
Top 10 “bargain ebooks” $5/day
Submit free or bargain free
NOTES: 1x per 30 days
Book Goodies www.bookgoodies.com/get-featured/
1 week in 1 category $25
2 weeks in 1 category $40
1 week Home page $45
2 weeks Home page $65
Book Goodies Kids www.bookgoodieskids.com/contact-us/
listing, interview, reviews
Author Marketing Club www.authormarketingclub.com/members/advertise/
Featured book of the day $35
Featured sponsor less than $1/day
NOTE: doesn’t have to be free; not sure length of
sponsorship commitment
YA Promo Central www.yapromocentral.com/submit-to-yapc/
free days free
gold $50
silver $35
bronze $25
guest post $10
release day promos $8
book blurb $8
feature excerpt $8
sidebar ads $15/mo
eBook Impresario www.ebookimpresario.com/advertise/
free book listing $10
Bargain book listing $20
NOTES: 10 reviews, 4* or more, $2.99 or less, only
1x per 30 days
Book Daily www.bookdaily.com/authorresource/blog/post/1325647
Emerging Authors $50
The Cheap Ebook www.thecheapebook.com/authors/
99c deal post free
deal post over 99c $15/3 days
Romance Recipes Blog http://romancerecipes.wordpress.com/contact-me/
About book + recipe free
Bargain eBook Hunter www.bargainebookhunter.com/guaranteed-free-placement-form/
free promo guaranteed $10/title
bargain guaranteed $10/title
free no guarantee free
NOTES: 3 days notice for bargain, 1 week for free,
 books 99c to $5, accepts nonfiction over 100 pages
Pixelscroll www.pixelscroll.com/feature-your-product/
free promo no guarantee free
99c promo no guarantee free
bargain promo no guar. free
free guaranteed $10/title
99c guaranteed $10/title
bargain guaranteed $10/title
NOTES: 1 week notice free, 3 days bargain
Kindle Book Review www.thekindlebookreview.net/advertise-here/
Twitterlicious $40
Hot new release 440
Monthly sponsor $40
banner $149
ebook video jacket $149
freebie alert $5 or free
tweet pkg add-on $10
Blog Ads Book Community web.blogads.com/advertise/book_hive
Bookmooch $70+
Sci-fi bloggers $19+
LA Observed $15+  (also nonfiction)
The Millions $10+
The Book Smugglers $40+   (YA, scifi, fantasy)
Digital Novelists $10+
Smut Book Club $10+ (rom, YA, new adult)
BookTrib $45+
Literary Kicks $30+
Mommy Says Read $10+
Parnormal Cravings $9+
Cuddlebuggery Book Blog $10+ (YA)
Fangs for Fantasy $20+
Anna Reads $9+  (YA)
Reading Teen $10+  (YA)
Good Books & Good Wine $10+   (YA)
Me, My Shelf and I $9+   (YA, family friendly)
Chapter by Chapter $9+  (YA)
NOTES: many more than I’ve listed!

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Filed under Publishing, Self publishing

Marketing, Promotion and Life’s Other Mysteries

calvin1 hobbes intelligent life

I am the first to admit that I am not a marketing guru. In fact, up til last July, I was perfectly content to be completely unknown. But then I published my first book, the necessity of self-promotion became apparent. Obviously, people can’t buy my books without knowing those books exist. Thus began my crash course in marketing.

I am a reasonably fast learner and a hard worker, but the art of marketing is just that. An art. Were it a science, I’d have it down by now, but no… just when I think I have things figured out, I realize I don’t. Here are some examples:

  • During my final free days with Amazon for my first book, Solomon’s Throne, I placed ads with Bargain Ebook Hunter and Pixelscroll. I paid for featured ads of one day each. I also did an ad with FreeBooksy. I had done the first two before, and had pretty decent free days, but I’d never done FreeBooksy before. That’s important, because it seems to be the only thing that was different than any other free day promotion. But I had almost four times the downloads! 7909 in TWO days. For some genres that would be considered low, but for action adventure, which is a teeny tiny piece of the genre pie, it was huge. Obviously, I have elevated FreeBooksy to the top tier of advertising. But that’s for FREE books… Which doesn’t actually make me any money, right?
  • I am currently participating in two blog tours, as I said in my last post. (Well, one starts the 20th, but they’re doing some Twitter blasts about the free giveaways now. Here’s one link to enter.) I have gotten a lot of new Likes on my Facebook page, but so far no sales of IXEOS, which is what the tours are highlighting. Now, if people actually see my posts on Facebook (you have to specifically make a selection to see all posts), it is certainly possible that they will decide they like what I have to say enough to check out the book and/or this blog. I enjoy both the blog and Facebook, so that’s totally fine with me — I love the whole relationship aspect of being an author. But the tours aren’t free, so I do have to look at both exposure and sales when analyzing the effectiveness of the dollars spent. So far, I’d say an A for exposure, but an Incomplete on sales. (There have only been 3 posts so far, with MANY more to come over the next several weeks, so I’m withholding judgment for the moment.)
  • The weekend I was traveling to Uganda, starting 2/16 and going through 2/17 or early 2/18, I sold over 125 copies of Solomon’s Throne.  I normally sell an average of 20 a day — sometimes 16, sometimes 25, but I average 20 of that book right now. Sales are climbing, but slowly, 5-10% a month. So what happened in the middle of February? I have no idea! I had done the Kindle Book Review HOT DEAL the two days following my free days (those had been 2/12 and 2/13). But that ended Friday. I had virtually no sales, no even my normal 20, during those two days. But then, over the weekend, it exploded and kept going, although not to that big an extent all month. That made February my biggest month to date, beating December by over 10%. But why?

You see the quandary. I will probably try the Kindle Book Review again soon with IXEOS under their HOT NEW RELEASE package and see what happens. If those sales had happened while that ad was running, I’d say that was surely the catalyst… But they didn’t, so it’s not cut and dried. At $40 a pop, it’s not a lot for a big boost in sales… But it is a lot if that had nothing to do with it. And at this point, I honestly don’t know.

This coming week, I’ll have both blog tours going, plus I have two free promo days for IXEOS on Tuesday and Wednesday (please go over to Amazon and pick it up!). I’ve got an ad running all week on The Cheap EBook, both days on FreeBooksy, and one day on Pixelscroll. Monday and Thursday (and then the following Tuesday)  I will have social media blasts from the Book Tweeting Service. Saturday I have an ad with Ebook Impresario, and all the following week, I have an ad on The Cheap. After that, I go out of town for Easter… (Maybe going out of town is what does it?!)

I’ll let you know how it goes. Obviously, by layering all these things for the launch, I won’t be able to pinpoint any one venue as the most helpful, unless one particular day just goes crazy. But I think layering for a new launch to get exposure is a good approach, one I couldn’t afford when I launched my other books. (I launched three books in four months!) Especially since I make things hard on myself by switching genres all the time, I am having to continually reach new readers — basically start over.

If you have any tips, please let me know! And stay tuned for the continuing saga… Will we unravel the mystery, or only become more deeply mired? That is the question!

 

 

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Filed under Self publishing, Writing