Orna posed the question “Does Paid Marketing Work For Authors?” and our Twitter followers didn’t hold back in their responses.
Each month we host a monthly Twitter Chat using #AuthorALLiChat, and discuss different self-publishing topics to help indie authors achieve their goals.
If you weren’t able to participate in this month’s Alliance of Independent Authors Twitter Chat, here’s a recap of what our Indie Authors had to say about their Paid Marketing experiences.
- No doubt that Facebook ads are the current hot favourite. They work great when you have a clear strategy defined.
- Use Facebook Ads to build your mailing list rather than to sell books.
- Setting up the Facebook ads can be quite challenging. But Mark Dawson offers a set of 3 free training videos that shows you how to use MailChimp and Facebook to “explode your mailing list”
- Authors who are members of Goodreads can choose to host giveaways.
- You can give away up to 10 physical copies of your books, but a popular response on our #AuthorALLiChat was that a 1 book promotion could be just as successful.
- Below is the Goodreads Slideshare Guide to Giveaways, and here’s the Goodreads link for setting up a new Book giveaway.
Cover Ads on Review Blogs
- Choose High Traffic Review blogs to feature Cover Ads on.
- Start your own database of Review Blogs and Advance Readers.
- BookBub is one of the more well-known advertisers for indie authors, and they send out promotional emails for books promotion to their subscribers.
- Bookbub may be the most expensive options but it tends to have the highest ROI.
And this month’s ALLi Insights features a Q&A with Bookbub hosted by Orna Ross.
- An author who distributes through BookBaby was warned that his book would be withdrawn from Kobo, Amazon and Gardeners if his book was offered as part of a free promotion.
- Restrictions like these are why many authors go direct with Amazon, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.
- An alternative to to Bookbaby is Draft2Digital (who are an ALLi Services of the Year Award Winner)
Beware the Twitter Packages!
- A couple of authors had tried these Twitter packages promising thousands of tweets, and here’s some of the responses in our #AuthorALLiChat:
- “I have tapdanced through a minefield.. and set off every one”
- “Complete waste of money”
- “Total waste of $$”
- “… got no return on any service I tested”
- The key problem with these Twitter packages is that audiences are not pre-qualified. You only have to look at their follower list to see how ineffective this promotion strategy is.
But don’t get us wrong, Twitter is an effective marketing tool, just avoid those fly-by-night Twitter promos.
Using Twitter for Book Promotion
- Popular genres do well on Twitter, where the book is well presented, has great reviews, an eye-catching cover and at a competitive price.
- Writers who expect low appeal books to sell with a few Tweets will be disappointed.
Here’s some featured articles from our Blog and an article from an ALLi Partner member.
- Recap of last month’s #AuthorALLiChat with Ian Sutherland, where we chatted about “How to use his S.H.A.R.P. strategy to build your Twitter Promotion Strategy”
- JJ Toner wrote an article for us about “How To Sell Self-Published Books on Twitter”
- From our Reaching Reader Series we covered 50 Ways To Reach Your Reader #5 : Twitter For Indie Authors
- ALLi Partner Member Laurence O’Bryan, wrote an overview article on his blog called “Twitter for Writers – More Proof that it works”
Excerpt of Laurence’s Article: There’s a lot of misinformation around about the value of Twitter for writers. Much of it is written by writers who struggle with how to use Twitter effectively. Often it’s assumed that one or two Tweets to your followers is enough and that if that approach fails, it’s because Twitter isn’t effective at selling books. That adage about workmen blaming their tools comes to mind.
One challenge we all face is to work out how to craft compelling Tweets, which inspire people to buy a book. Another is how to be consistent.
Low Cost Book Promotion Alternatives
- Independent Review Sites:
- If you’re working under a tight marketing budget you can use independent reviewers. One site that popped up in our #AuthorALLiChat was The Indie View.
- Use KDP Select:
- When you make your digital book available exclusively through KDP, you can enroll it in their Select programme.
Choose between two great promotional tools: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounting for your book while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion where readers worldwide can get your book free for a limited time. Via Amazon KDP Select
Set your Goals
No matter what marketing or promotional activity you engage in, one of the most important elements in the planning process is to identify your goals.
What are you trying to achieve? This is an essential question if you’re spending cold, hard cash for promotional activity. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you’re really just throwing your money away.
Don’t just assume that your goal is to sell more books. One of the common themes in our #AuthorALLiChat was the value of an your mailing list.
I would rather have a subscriber than a book sale. Orna Ross
When planning your promotional activity, set your goals first and then plan the best route for reaching them.
Multi platform promotion is the best option, combined with great book, cover, description and price.
Most & Least Likely to Succeed
- We took an informal poll during our #AuthorALLiChat to see what promotional activity was the most likely to succeed, and what was the most likely to be unsuccessful.
- Facebook Adverts and promoted posts featured as most likely to succeed, and PR promotion and the fly-by-night Twitter Packages didn’t fare so well.
Join our next Twitter chat
- You can join in our Twitter Chats by using hashtag: #AuthorALLiChat
- Twitter Chat facilitated via: @IndieAuthorALLI
- Participate directly on Twitter OR join in via Twubs: http://twubs.com/
- If you haven’t used Twubs before, it’s a lot more user friendly that trying to follow the conversation directly in Twitter, and it allows you to set the speed of the feed according to your preference and you can also hide any retweets.
- The Twitter Chat schedule is featured in our Calendars on the Author Advice Centre and Alliance of Independent Authors website.
What Paid Marketing has worked well for you? Let us know what promotional activity worked for you, and what strategy your tried with little success.Our #AuthorALLiChat participants reveal what Promotional Activity works for #IndieAuthors #selfpub #bookmarketing Click To Tweet