By Misty M Beller @MistyMBeller
Elva Cobb Martin, President, ACFW-SC Chapter www.elvamartin.com
Advertising has been a sweet spot for me, both paid and unpaid. There are so many great opportunities. So over the next few weeks, let’s talk through the possibilities!
Before we jump in, I’m reminded of two critical things to consider when deciding which advertising routes to use.
- Identify the low-hanging fruits and go after them. In other words, pick the marketing methods and tasks that best fit with your available resources and comfort zone, then accomplish them first. As you develop your efforts, you can branch out to other tasks.
- A basic rule of ebook pricing is: The lower the price, the higher quantity of books you’ll sell.I’m not saying you should lower the price of all your books so they’ll sell more copies (although there is a time and place for that strategy on specific books). I am saying you need to be aware of this rule as you’re marketing, and set your expectations accordingly. And don’t worry that lowering the price will lower your total income. The higher sales quantities when you’re aggressively advertising almost always make up for lower royalties per unit.So as we talk about advertising methods and you develop your strategy, regular or sale pricing should be a huge part of that strategy. In fact, some of the best paid advertising services will only accept books that are substantially discounted from their regular price.
So let’s get started!
Notice I didn’t call this “Free.” An important rule an entrepreneur must learn is that our time is a limited resource, and just as valuable as money. When you are planning a strategy, take into account how much time and money you have available for marketing, and create your plan accordingly.
Unpaid advertising can take a variety of different forms:
- Posting to Facebook groups: The general idea is to join Facebook Reader Groups (not Author groups) and post creative memes or your book cover art to point readers to your book’s sale page. Memes can be made many different ways. Canva.com and picmonkey.com are two popular sites to make them, and Powerpoint can also be an easy tool if you’re familiar with it. As for reader groups, here is a small list of popular groups, but there are so many more! You can find them by doing a search in Facebook for “.99 books,” “free books,” or your genre (western, romance, etc.), then post to the groups that come up. If you write for the Christian market (as I do), there are so many great groups!
- Readers Group
- Books to love
- Authors, Bloggers, Writers, Readers, and Books
- Goodreads reader groups: The concept here is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than posting to Facebook reader groups. Goodreads members don’t like being spammed by hit-and-run authors. They want authors to participate in discussions and interact regarding other books as well as their own. Goodreads readers can become diehard fans, but you must prove that you’re first a lover of reading, who happens to also love writing.
- Sites devoted to readers: There are hundreds, if not thousands out there that fall into this category. ACFW’s Fiction Finder is a great one. These type of sites do not require you to pay to post your book, but usually have to be manually uploaded by the author (or author’s agent). Some sites have more traffic than others, and often there are hundreds of other books on the site. The main resource you’re spending here is time, but finding and posting to these sites can be done in bits and pieces as you have a few minutes. You can find these sites by doing a Google search on several different keywords. “Post ebooks for sale.” “Christian romance books.” “Book clubs.” Or whatever combination of keywords fits your search.
Okay, that’s it for today. We’ve just barely touched the tip of the iceberg, so stop by next Tuesday as we finish up unpaid advertising and move on to the big’un…paid advertising! (Did anyone say Bookbub?)
Until then, what reader sites have you found to be successful? Have you made a great meme that brought in sales? Leave a comment to share your best practices!
Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is author of the bestselling novels The Lady and the Mountain Man and The Lady and the Mountain Doctor.
Misty was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. About ten years ago, she made a career change from farm life into the business world, where she now works as a Senior Manager and Director of Process & Training. Her husband and two daughters are gifts from God, keeping her both grounded and crazy.