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Does Your Way of Promoting work?

Anyone fancy swapping thoughts about success or failure in our marketing and promotion methods? I've been there, seen it, done it across the spectrum; blogging, guest posting, forum participation, free adds, press releases, giveaways, Facebook, Twitter . . . Results? Awful. Maybe I have to accept my stuff just doesn't appeal!


  • I can't offer any thoughts as I'm primarily a travel writer who dabbles in fiction, but bumping this up in case any of our novelists missed it. :)
  • Okay. Thanks, Claudia.
  • It can be hard to know what works. If sales go up after a blog post is that a result of the post - or because something you did a few days previously is now producing results?

    Would your sales have been lower still without your promotion efforts?

    Maybe you're being too hard on yourself and what you think of as awful sales figures are actually pretty good for self published work. (I'm assuming you've self published as you're the one doing the press releases and giveaways)

    My free short story collection has helped http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Drop-Drink-Patsy-Collins-ebook/dp/B009RX5MGS/ref=la_B004O08LRQ_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400398802&sr=1-1
    That contains sample chapters of my novels. I know somepeople have bought a book after reading it. Even getting people to download a freebie requires promotion though as there are lots of free ebooks available. (The publisher of a lot of my short stories produced the collection as a promotional tool, but there's nothing to stop you doing one yourself)
  • It's everybody's holy grail Gerry. If something works it gets so swamped by voices it no longer works. A viral you tube clip might do it. PM has made a start on this by runnung round in circles in ever stranger ways. Her bee emulation sequence was effective, but I would like to see her chased by Italian waiters in mankinis a la Benny Hill.
  • No there's a plan!
  • Thanks for your thoughts, Phots Moll & ana s. Food for thought.
  • Who is your target reader and what attempts have you made to reach them?

    I've recommended this book before:


    The book assumes you know who you've written your book for. If you only have a vague idea, your marketing will be vague.
  • Promotion, eh?


    Well, I've done the cyperspace rounds - and I'm not convinced there's a great deal of benefit to shouting into the computer: LOOK AT MY BOOK!

    What a writer needs is a physical presence and a physical product for a physical audience. Of that, I'm certain.

    My long-term plan is to visit schools and libraries.

    I have books for children, so my plan there is to use my teaching experience and to structure my visit so that it falls into two parts: the first will be discussing with children how to make writing 'good'; the second will be reading extracts from my books to whet their appetites. I will take in a pile of books which will be available for purchase and will give out laminated bookmarks bearing the bookcovers and details. I have also decided that as I self-publish, I am going to include an extract from another book at the end of each book.

    I have two short story collections for adults and the third is almost ready. To promote these, I am going to give readings in the library in an informal setting where refreshments are provided - and again, I will give out bookmarks showing the bookcovers from the short story collections, plus have books for sale.

    I will end both sessions with a few funny poems taken from my collections of humorous verse.

    I have also thought about selling at car boot sales and school summer fairs.

    I have come to the conclusion that this is a business more than anything. As such, I am working on remodelling my head into a business one... which isn't easy when every week contains a day named Scattyday, nor when I bear the burden of the title Bimbecile (Bimbo - hubby's term; Imbecile - mine).
  • Now that's a plan!

    Selling at car boots etc is more, I think, about networking - you just never know who will pass by. Having leaflets with your info on is a must - covering your services.

    I am never without my business cards and I'm always handing them out - you just never know who might need me in a moment of crisis...
  • A greengrocer might who's having trouble with his potato's.
  • LOL!

    Seriously...you just never know who might be working towards having something published. People don't randomly knock on doors looking for writers and proofreaders...do they?!

  • True - and they don't have to be writers. Look at all the leaflets that come through the door/takeaway menus which have mistakes. They could all benefit from a once over by you.
  • BB, please target all businesses that use the word omelette.
  • Something else I've just done is to ask the local library committee if they would be happy to buy a set of my books and suggested that they could have a 'Local Author' area. I know there are a few other writers around and about who would also like their books featured. They discussed it at the meeting on Monday and are happy to do that.
  • That's great, TN. I think my library has a local author stopping by this month.

    There's a lot of food for thought here.
  • That's a good idea, TN.
  • That is a good idea.

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