What Works – Online Marketing Symposium
Hosted by Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, Jeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Do you ever wonder why some books become bestsellers while others can barely be given away? Why some businesses succeed and others fail? How does a blog post or a YouTube video manage to go viral? Is it a matter of luck or is there some magic formula for success?
Well, now maybe we can latch on to some of the secrets and tricks that make success happen or what we might want to avoid. Authors are sharing their stories of success (or not so successful experiences) in this blogging event that will help us learn.
I've been trying all kinds of things to reach marketing success with my books. If you're like me, you've probably read a lot of books on the matter. One of my favorites is, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, by John Kremer. It provides a lot of great ideas.
I'd say there have been two things that have really helped. The first is social networking sites. Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and JacketFlap are all good places to be. (The latter is really good for children's authors.) The key is to develop relationships with people on these sites. Other writers and friends can be so supportive in helping you get the word out about your books and telling you about other places you can market.
The second, which is really important when you release a book, is a book tour. I've seen a lot of them on Blogger, and it's great how bloggers support other writers in helping to get the word out about cover reveals and book releases. In case you don't know what a book tour is, it's an online event, where bloggers feature an author and the author's new book. Usually it's done in the form of an interview. Prior to the post, the featured author answers a bunch of questions related to the book and talks about what it's like being an author. A picture of the book is provided along with a compelling blurb. There's also an author bio and information on how readers can connect with the author and buy the book. This is really helpful, in that it reaches more people than if the author was doing it alone. The key to this, is careful planning - contacting bloggers who are willing to help, and scheduling tour dates so it's not overwhelming (one place a day is good). I've seen a lot of author/bloggers put out sign up lists, asking blog followers if they'd be interested in helping with cover reveals and tours. That's a good way to get help.
If you're not into organizing things on your own, or you don't have a lot of followers (which was my case five years ago), you can pay to have a book tour. Since I am a children's author, I used World of Ink network. It was a great experience! They set up the blog visits and provided the interview questions. They also did a lot to publicize the event. Through that event, I actually gained blog followers - some are still my friends today (like Susanne Drazic). They also make book trailers, which are really nice to have up on your website. Here's one they did for me:
Those are my two tips. I hope they were useful. Do you have any marketing tips that have worked for you?