It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the best book in the world if no one knows about it. Well sure, congrats, you’ve written the best book in the world but if you are hoping to make any money off it (tawdry I know), you’re going to have to start marketing it.
At the base of everything you are going to need a rock to stand on. A little lump of mud that is yours and yours alone. When my husband and I opened our first bookshop, it was a rented room. Things were going really well but then the landlord wanted to expand their own premises and required their room back. We had to really scramble to find new premises, the business was going well and we didn’t want to close. We found a tiny place and I mean tiny. At roughly eight foot by six foot it was probably record breakingly small, but it had the best view in the world. perched on the edge of a Georgian harbour I would spend the day looking out past square-rigged ships, to sea. We spent two lovely years in there and then the landlord put the rent up to silly figures and we started looking around again.
This time we decided to buy our own place. Our own scrap of mud. We’ve been here thirteen years now, twenty metres from the sea and it suits us just fine. No rent increases, no landlords needing to reclaim the ground we stand on.
Why tell you this? Well, the same is true of a digital selling place. Even if you don’t plan to sell from your website you need a place you can call home. And that’s here. Welcome.
After your website comes your social media platforms. For this series of books I’ll be using Facebook, so that I can run ads, and Instagram, because I like it. I don’t think Pinterest is right for this series. I mean Pinterest is great and powerful but its a lot of effort that could be spent elsewhere. I’m looking at twitter, but I really don’t like it, I think its great for author to author contact, but not necessarily author to reader. YouTube doesn’t work for this concept either so FB and IG. You could always follow me there?
Now, I am rubbish at this. I am really no good at going up to people and saying ‘hello‘ either face to face or online. But I’m better at it online which is where all the the FB groups I’m part of, have come to the fore. I’m fairly friendly (?) and chatty in those groups, so hopefully when I mention I have a book coming out is doesn’t feel like a hit and run posting by a total stranger. Incidentally, I’m not posting in the groups where a book on parallel realities is irrelevant. So, keeping my mouth shut on my local tourist page and on my mushroom group.
I’m also keeping my mouth shut on my bookshop page. This might seem like madness, and I may review this decision, but lots of my friends and family are there, and they would buy my book to support me. I’d rather they did that later on, once the algorithms know who my ‘real’ audience are. And if I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m writing under a pen name, for reasons that I’ll go into in another blog. It’s not a secret, just a bit of a split personality thing.
Very slowly then, I am beginning to mention this book. You’re reading this blog because of my tentative efforts. Thank you for your interest, or for at least humouring me.
Ah the joys of Bookfunnel, I have three newsletter promotions running this month. So far I have four people on my newsletter. Let’s see how many I have at the end of the month. I have nothing to give away beyond my book so I am giving away the first few chapters. At the end of the sample will be a link to pre-order the full title, and we’ll see how that goes as well. When I have a bit more time I might do a dossier on all fifty Fabergé Eggs. (Top tip, don’t pick a title with a non standard keyboard letter. Alt +0233, in case you’re wondering).
I have four/five ARC copies out there. No idea if this will come to anything. Early alpha and beta readers have said they enjoyed it. Now I’m just waiting to hear from the ARC people. Nervous. Very small number. Tricky. I could have signed up to a paid service but it’s not a field I know well and I want to spend my marketing budget carefully. Which brings me to…
Right, I haven’t started spending any money yet but I fully intend to. I’m going to run amazon ads and FB ads. The FBs will be directed towards the book, but possibly also towards building up a mailing list. I’m fully aware that I’ll pick up a lot of chaff in the Bookfunnel promotions. But this is only the first book, I may look to spend my money simply on direct sales and look towards organic mailing list growth. Beyond the initial BF kickstart.
I might start with adverts towards the newsletter with the free taster, in the hope that this will generate pre-orders. Then, when the book is available, I’ll switch over to advertising.
And of course, during all this I’m trying to write book two, in a house full of locked-down, bored, noisy teenagers.
It’s not easy.