Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marketing is part of writing, too!

Find what works for you!

     We love to write but once the books are done, how do we let the readers know they can find it? The internet has so many places for readers that it'll make your head spin, so we have to find a few that work for you and add other sites as you go. Marketing is time consuming and cuts into writing time. How do you choose which are the best sites to start with? Where do readers go for new authors and books? Should you pay someone else to do your marketing for you? Advertising is expensive but there are many sites that don't charge an arm and a leg to put up your cover and I've found a few that I'll share with you before I'm done here.
     As you read, if you've found a few sites, we hope you share those in the comments here so others can grab them. I'll also post them on my website link for author tips. Here are a few things I figured out as I wrote and some I wished I'd known when I started. I hope they help you.
     Before you post that your book is 'Now Available' get a few things in place first so that you gather a following to promo your books to:
  • Start a website - there are many places that allow you to start free and webs.com is a good place to begin. Be sure to add ways for readers to join or follow your site.
  • Start a blog - whether you like blogger or wordpress, just do it! Add ways for readers to follow your blog then post items of interest to keep them coming back, be it author interviews, writing articles, posts about your books, etc. Readers are thirsty for new books and info!
  • Start your FaceBook author page and also start a page for each book - yes, FB allows this. Just check on 'starting a page' and then you choose what type of page and there is where you choose a 'book' page.
  • Start your page at GoodReads.com - later you can upload each book with a blurb so readers can find you. This website gets 1,000s of hits daily and millions of hits per month! Don't overlook GoodReads!
  • Start your Twitter account - gather followers before your book is out and get interest going about it.
  • Start a newsletter - There is Constant Contacts, Mail Chimp or your own newsletter. Constant Contacts fees add up in a hurry and I had to stop them when my fees were $40/mo!! Mail Chimp is $10 and doesn't increase until you get to 500 subscribers. They don't charge for pic storage like Constant Contacts does. Learn how to post the subscriber links on your website, blog, FB, GoodReads, etc!

     Once you've gathered a following, send messages out that you'd like to get a blog tour scheduled. Authors love helping other authors and you'll be surprised how many will respond and get you scheduled on their blog so be sure you're connected everywhere with authors in your genre.
     Here are a few more free places you can join for promo:
  • Freado.com - get the first few pages of your book up or the first chapter and set up the auto tweets for this. Readers will help move your book up the charts at Freado as they stop in to read but again, you need to promo and tweet that your chapter is there to read. Include your site links there as well.
  •  CoffeeTimeRomance.com - Karen will set up a free author corner for you so you can post to readers and chat with them.

     Here are a few inexpensive sites for advertising:
  • AnAvidReadersHaven.com - I co-own this site with Louise James. Check out advertising tab; our blog also does author interviews.
  • DeepInTheHeart.com - run by Renee Vincent - she's got a very nice site here.
  • AdultFanFiction.net - this site has 1,000s of readers and it's not all adult stories. Many readers click on the banner ads here so do take a moment to check out their ad page and info!!
  • ManicReaders.com - they have a variety of promo packages as well as author packages.
  • AuthorsDen.com - this site is free but they have paid packages that reach further and more readers.


     I hope these pointers help many of you get a good start to promoing your books. Feel free to leave more site links in the comments and additional pointers for everyone to grab.
     Check into finding yourself a good editor. There are many links for editors but you may want to try one who's been recommended to you. If you're using friends, family or beta readers, those are good but remember...they don't want to hurt your feelings so may not be as honest with you as they need to be. Thank you all for stopping in and I hope I've helped at least a few of you!

Need motivating?
My book might help, too!