10. Google AdSence Advertising
Ever see those little ads on the sides of your gmail account advertising anything from Mortgage Insurance to Free Copy-Editing? Well, I took twenty-five dollars and made a Google AdSence ad just to see if it might drum up interest. The nice thing about Google (or not so nice depending on your Big Brother view of it) is they read people's email and tailor ads to fit potential clients. The bad new is that many people don't pay attention to those ads. I know I don't.
The Result - I'm pretty sure nothing. In my opinion not worth the money.
9. Blog Begging or "Can you please review my title?"
Every marketing book from here to Kingdom Come says you need reviews. You must get reviews for your book or it will languish and die faster than the plant in my office at work (seriously, I have a black thumb). However, getting reviews is difficult, nay, nearly impossible. I spent hours sending out query emails to book bloggers for weeks on end. I'd say that 90% of the people ignored me. The bonus, I did get a few reviews and connected with some bloggers, but most blogs either won't read self-published or are swamped up to their pretty little eyeballs and cannot possibly take another book.
The Result - Too much time and energy for only a few reviews.
8. Begging fans to review your book.
Once my random emails to book bloggers stopped working, I turned to my fan base. I made sure to put a request for reviews at the back of my book. I put a plea or two out on Facebook. I made sure to email everyone who wrote me on my sequel notification list (we'll get to that in a minute) and requested reviews. The upside was many responded and did so. The downside was some still ignored me.
The Result - Totally worth it because it require little energy or time. You may not get many reviews, but every little bit helps. The downside is you may feel a little bit like a pest, but you really have to get over that in today's business.
I have tried two giveaways so far: one for signed copies of my book and one for a free amazon gift card. Both upped my twitter and facebook action and drew people to my blog. Both were pretty easy as I used Rafflecopter and that makes it exceedingly simple. The Amazon gift card raffle corresponded with the release of my new novelette in the hopes of drawing new people from Twitter to my site with the tag #free. Unfortunately there's about a million tweets a day with the tag #free.
The Result - The blog traffic was nice, but each giveaway was expensive and only had about 30-50 entries a piece, most of which were already fans. I may try this again, but I hear the bigger the item, the more traffic you get. Maybe I'll try it with a fifty dollar gift card or a Kindle paper white. Spending that kind of money is risky, though. You may not get a return on your investment.
6. Facebook Ads
Facebook offered me fifty dollars in free advertising a couple months back, and I am a sucker for free. At first I tried a straight-forward ad, something like "Katie French's book The Breeders, a Young Adult Dystopian yada yada yada." Nothing happened. No one clicked on it. The money just sat there. So I decided I'd try to be funny (not easy, but I have been known to make people laugh from time to time). I created this ad. "Nine of out ten dentists agree that liking my Author page helps fight gingivitis." Then I sent that puppy out. The amazing thing was people clicked on it. A LOT. I got about one hundred new likes with that fifty dollars. Now the question is, how did that relate to sales? That's the hard part; I'm not sure. No one can say that any of those people have bought my title. But, the good news is, they hear from me a lot and the more they hear, the more likely they are to buy.
The Result - I liked this strategy so much I'm trying it again. Funny ad is a must. If you can't be funny, I don't think it is worth it.
Okay so there you have it. Tune in on Friday for the next five marketing strategies that are a must in self-promotion. So, what works for you? Leave your comments below.
Book Marketing Part Two
Book Marketing Part Three
Book Marketing Part Four