My first Insecure Writers Support Group post of 2016 wraps around my Goodreads Giveaway for the Traveler in Black and White. I was hunting for a place to post the giveaway on the blog, and I thought, well, it’s part of my marketing plan for the books, so I could work it into a marketing post. Let’s get the Giveaway out of the way first.
It’s the fourth book in the Princelings of the East series, but a prequel. It stands alone, being the adventures of Lord Mariusz down the time tunnel when it first appeared – but it’s a spoiler for book 1, when Princelings Fred and George independently conclude that’s what’s causing the Great Energy Drain. But now, I’ve spoiled it for you anyway! So enter the Giveaway; entries close at the end of January.
Making a plan
The giveaway is for a copy of the paperback which I brought out last summer; my plan was that all the Princelings books should be available in paperback, and I needed them to be accessible to independent retailers in the UK (where I’m based). So I brought them out with Blurb, and they look really nice. The ‘plan’ was to take them to the local independent booksellers and see if they’d take them. I haven’t done that yet. The Giveaway is to raise their profile – one a month since September. It seems to me that marketing books is really difficult, takes a huge amount of effort, unless you are lucky enough to be picked up by one of the big concerns for promotion, and I guess (based on my book rankings) most people reading this are struggling along, selling a few ebooks a month, or giving lots away free. Spending $30 in a promotion is a lot of money for free book ‘sales’. If you’re not in a popular genre for ebooks (like YA romance – is that a tautology these days?), you may not cover your costs. There are so many people promoting your ebooks that the tweets, posts and other social media approaches feel like wallpaper.
But you have to decide what to do, and do it.
Not doing anything is an option.
I’m doing nothing to promote my non-fiction book, White Water Landings, and it’s selling steadily. Not only selling, but selling at a price well above my fiction ebooks. It’s mainly because it is easy to place in its genre(s) and has multi-niche appeal. It’s #237 in Aviation, #450 in Adventure & Pioneers on AmazonUK, and #320 in Aviation History on Amazon.com. But I did have a sort of plan to do some promotion for it, and to get it into bookstores, and I didn’t do that last year, either. All I need to do is write out my plan for what I’m going to do, when, and carry it out. Emailing the right person at the bookstores (and for this book, at airplane museums and the like), visiting them with books, and taking it from there.
I planned to do a blog tour for Princelings of the East new paperbacks last year, and I did. It wasn’t very successful, mainly because although the tour organisers I went with had done some very successful tours with others in my general genre, the blogs involved were too busy to take mine, on the whole. Far too many of the blogs that took it had followers in double figures or lower. But I did get some new reviews for the books from the tour, which made it worthwhile. I also made some new blogging friends, which is always worthwhile! This year I haven’t decided what, if anything, to do, other than finish the other giveaways, which take us to the end of March. Actually, I think the best thing I can do is finish the series, which involves two more books, and I worked out last year I can’t finish book 7 without writing, at least drafting, book 8. Well, that’s a plan!
My plan for the release of The Perihelix, the first in the new Viridian System series scifi books, got derailed by editing issues last year. The great thing about having a plan is that you can reschedule it. So the plan continues, with new dates, and revised thoughts on promotions. Let me get that out and reschedule everything. I’ll feel much better when I’ve done that, and then I can sit down and enjoy finalising the fourth draft!
There, I feel better already.
Good luck with your plans for 2016. Just remember to carry them out!