Writing Tips and Hints

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Thing or Two About Book Marketing
Some of you may know these things, but for those of you who don’t, I have a few tips that may help you sell more books. One simple way to get your book in front of more people is to create a Facebook page with your book cover as the profile picture. (Do this for each and every book.) When you do this, and when you reference the Facebook page as a “book” in your account information, your book cover will automatically show up on every person’s wall (those who likes your page) under his or her books or interests (unless they have these settings set to private). Many authors put their own photo in the profile picture and in doing so, they are losing out on what could be a great way to make their book more visible. 

World Literacy CafĂ© also has a great page “liking” / sharing program that will help you gather more likes, as you also help other authors by liking their pages too. The site asks you to "like" all the authors on their list, but you may want to choose only authors or genres you truly do like, since their book (or face) will show up on your wall. When you accumulate 30 or more “likes” for your book page, you will be able to edit your settings and create a simple URL that people can remember, like this one: www.facebook.com/carolmccormick.themissingpiece (rather than the alphabet soup that was there before). The benefit to this is that you can add this simple URL to the inside of your eBook, postcards, websites, goodreads, or other places where your books and bios are listed.  Add your website or blog link to the inside of your book after the title page. This way, readers can go straight to your site for more information. Add book cover images that link to your website to the back matter.

Goodreads seems to be the Facebook version of social media for readers, so it would be in your best interest to learn more about it. And since it’s geared toward those who love books and reading, this is a great way to give your books exposure and mingle with your audience.

Twitter is very busy for me, so I’m still trying to figure it out. The comments move fast and I don’t know why I see tweets from people who are not on my list. It seems as though you miss a lot, if you are not on it often. I do know that #hashtags are important to reach specific groups of people. I use #Christian, #ebooks and #amreading a lot.

I’ve also been interviewed on the Christian Bookshelf Reviews blog and Melanie is amazing. She’s on top of everything: reading books, writing reviews, hosting giveaways, and multitasking the media, to help authors get their information out. Blogs like Self-Publishing Success Stories are also great sources of inspiration and information for newbies like me.

I’m a huge fan of the KDP Select program to get books off the ground, although there is a stipulation that your book must be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. Two months before I committed to the program, I had a fair number of eBook sales, but I decided to give it a try anyway. In the KDP Select program Prime Membership readers can borrow your books for free, but you still get paid for them, depending on the going rate for that particular month. At this time it's a couple of dollars per book (it fluctuates each month depending on how many people are enrolled in the program). I “unpublished” my books from Barnes and Noble and then scheduled a few free giveaways throughout a two month period.

During that time, approximately 24,000 of my two eBooks were downloaded, and The Missing Piece rose to #9 in the entire Kindle store (on the free bestseller list, which includes both fiction AND non-fiction) by the evening of the 2nd day. (I still have three days left on this eBook that I haven’t used yet.) As soon as my books went off the free list and onto the paid list, my sales immediately began to soar. After a few days, my novel The Missing Piece (Inspirational Love Story) shot up to #5 on the Religious and Religious Romance bestseller lists, and remained on the top 100 bestseller list in that category for six weeks. It also fluctuated between the #1 and #3 spots on the 90 Day New Releases List for about two weeks. After the free giveaway of my children’s non-fiction eBook, Your Special Gift (A Preteen Primer to the Facts of Life) shot up to #1 on the children’s religious list, #1 Religious Christianity, and #12 Children’s Non-fiction. I was so excited that I took screen shots!

Was worth it for me to join KDP Select? Definitely! So there you have it. Please feel free to join my site. It would be great to hear from you.

Posted by Carol McCormick at 6:25 PM