Happy New Year!
It’s the first Wednesday of the month, in fact, of the new year, so it’s Insecure Writers Support Group again. Thank you to all who make this gathering happen, especially our hosts this month: Tyrean Martinson, The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Rachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane.
The question posed for our consideration this time is: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
Frankly, that’s not my problem. The plan for publishing, and therefore writing and editing the books, has been in place for ages. It gets amended as and when something drastic happens, like pulling a book off publication and rewriting it.
Scheduling my marketing
No, my problem is marketing. My question for myself is: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your marketing?
My marketing plans are sketchy, and the tried and tested methods I’ve been using for years have been thrown into disarray because of Goodreads’ ill-advised (to my mind), nationalistic withdrawal of Goodreads Giveaways for the world’s readers with effect from 9th January. (I currently have giveaways running for each Princelings book, but none of them are open to US readers, sorry)
Goodreads Book Giveaway
The Princelings of the East
by Jemima Pett
Giveaway ends January 29, 2018.
See the giveaway details
In one way this is a good thing. It forces me to reassess what I do to put my books in front of readers, to entice them to take a look.
I have been using the received wisdom (and the Smashwords and IWSG guides) that authors build their platform by creating a presence on the interwebs, showing what interesting, talented, middle-of-the-road, trustworthy, exciting, literary, cookie, people they are. The adjective depends on who you are and what you want your readers to like about you. I don’t think I’m succeeding very well at creating this image of Jemima Pett as an author to be read, but I think I’ve been doing reasonably at putting myself about out there in a sensible way.
The blog – well, here you are. I could have more dynamic posts. I’m working on it, trust me.
Other people’s blogs – I’ve been working on that. I’ve decided, after guesting with Solveig Warner and Sally Cronin‘s blogs, that flash fiction presents me better than trying to do clever posts about reading and writing, which I did with The Story Reading Ape last year. So The Ape is going to get unique flash fiction posts this year, with the help of my marvellous cover illustrator, Danielle English.
Facebook & Twitter – I’ve done the basics, I share things to them, I probably don’t engage with people enough, but I think I’ve allowed enough time to devote to them.
Goodreads – I post my reviews, which lost of people like. I’m a moderator on the Great Middle Grade Reads group, so I hope people get the impression of me as a nice friendly person. Whether they know I write books is another thing. Maybe they do. We talk books a lot. I enjoy it. With other groups I belong to, I rarely have time to hang out there. I want to spend more, but… there’s writing and editing to do.
With the change of Goodreads policies towards the US, though, I wonder whether the rest of the world will move on. I need to spend more time addressing audiences in other parts of the world, especially the UK. That’s where my stories are based, and I don’t plan on changing that. I need to be in groups that are more UK biased. The Goodreads UK Kindle Group is one, but I found it difficult to settle into when I first joined. Maybe I should try harder.
I am doing some advertising at present – click-through ads on Goodreads (I suspect more of my books are looked at as a result of giveaways). Amazon.com also offers click-through advertising, but the US isn’t my primary audience, so I don’t want to spend money if it doesn’t get me in front of Brits, Aussies, and others. I did a giveaway with The Kindle Book Review, and features with BookGoodies in December. I think they were worthwhile, but it needs more time to tell.
Maybe I should look at alternatives, though.
Alternatives to try this new year
Librarything is a group somewhat like Goodreads, and I’ve been a member for years. I know I don’t use it as it should be used. There are plenty of possibilities to build awareness if I put some effort in. I think I should do that and drop some of the time spent on Goodreads.
Other things entered my consciousness in the last few weeks before the new year, thanks to people like Lindsay Buroker, M T McGuire, and someone else. They have started using things called BookFunnel, mybookcave, and Draft2Digital. I need to make time to find out what these are, and how they can help me find new readers.
After all, with the launch of the Princelings of the North on 30th January, I will have eight books out in the Princelings of the East series. Once I’ve rereleased my scifi books The Perihelix and edited Curved Space to Corsair, it will be back to writing books 9 and 10 (the last) of the Princelings books. Those won’t come out in this new year, but probably 2019 and 2021. There are three more books (including at least one collection) in the pipeline that I need to write to fill in the gaps.
But I need to get to a different audience. I have a lot of research to do if I’m going to get my marketing sorted out. But if I don’t, then why am I publishing my books?
New year, new me. Time for changes.
Resolutions for the new year seem doomed to be broken. I’d better make this new year the one where I change that.
If you have a great way of marketing your books, let me know in the comments.
17 thoughts on “#IWSG | New Year, new marketing plan”
Good luck with your marketing! I read earlier on Raimey Gallant’s blog that there are four P’s to marketing — maybe something there will spark new ideas?
Yes, Product, Price, Place and Promotion. I’ve seen other versions, but those were the ones I learnt in the 90s 🙂 I’ve been seeing lots of new places recently, though – the trouble working out which are worth working on!
Happy new year, milady!
I have no clue how to market books so I’ll be checking back at the comments on your post for words of wisdom 🙂
By the way, I really like your covers and the consistent look across all of them. Kudos to you and your cover designer.
Happy New Year – Ellen
Thank you! I’ll tell Dani 🙂 It’s taken a long time for me to really let her go on these – and it shows in the new one, which I think is brilliant!
Happy to host you on my blog, Jemima, and you’ve given me some good leads with this post. I will be into marketing big time by March with a new book. Thanks!
Thanks, Noelle! I’ll email you 😉
I also really need to sit down and think about my marketing, but gosh, I just can’t seem to sit down and focus on that now. I really should, though. :-/
It’s hard to find time to think when there are so many things that need to be done. The first question is, do they need to be done NOW or will an hour be soon enough?
Thanks for visiting, Misha 🙂
Thanks for the post. I have yet to publish anything, so I have yet to market anything, but I try to keep a close eye on what others are doing and how it does or doesn’t work out for them, so I’ll be interested to hear more from you on the marketing front. Happy writing to you, and happy 2018!
One of the things to remember is that building your author platform starts way before you publish your book. So I reckon you’ve already started 🙂
Good luck with marketing. It isa finicky beast that constantly changes once we think we have it figured out. I’ve been focusing lately on getting reviews for my books. Having a friend who knows how to do personal assistant stuff and book blogging stuff helps.
I saw a post that the Story Reading Ape reposted this week which recommended a service called BookRazor to help you find the right sort of reviewer for your book. Your friend probably does that for you 🙂
Oh-oh. Looks like most of us are in the same boat. You know that I struggle with marketing, and manage less well than you do. My trouble with social media is that while I’m pretty good at the social part, I tend to be too reticent about the writing part, so word doesn’t necessarily get out. Still, I’m guessing the only reason I have any sales is from GR connections (no ads–I’ve yet to spend any money on advertising) and people who follow my blog. I agree with you that the flash fiction is a good way to attract attention, but I’ve decided to try more talk about writing and fewer reviews this year. We’ll see.
I’m thinking that the outreach you do with the blogging–guest posts, hosting, etc–is probably your best marketing tool, short of a hugely expensive ad campaign (yeah, not happening). That’s what I’m going to work on, along with being more involved with the cozy mystery groups on GR.
When you find that magic bullet, I know you’ll share 😀
of course… but you know there is no magic bullet, right?
Aw, come in! I want a magic bullet! 😀
Wishing you success with your marketing and don’t forget to send me the ARC copy to read for my book review of your book.
Hope you have a dynamite launch and all the best for 2018.
Huge thanks for the reminder, Pat – I sent off to someone else, too :O I am very grateful for you and lots of other people (including most of those here today) for the support you give me, over and over again!
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