Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A brief synopsis of must use marketing opportunities for authors.

Today's post is more of a checklist for our own use than anything, but other newbie indies might find it useful.

Here's our list of major marketing outlets we hope to exploit for our forthcoming novel:

·         Our own blog - you're on it. Hello!

·         Our twitter feed

·         Our facebook page

·         Our goodreads profile

·         LinkedIn

·         The Kindle Boards

·         The many book reviewers (preferably the free kind)

·         Blog tours

·         Word of mouth

·         Google+

·         Foursquare

·         Instagram

·         Tumblr


·         Flikr

·         Youtube

·         Banner and ad exchange

·         Postal flyers to friends and family

·         Local media

·         National Media if we can swing it

·         Word of mouth

·         Amazon tags

·         Amazon likes

·         The use of an ISBN / Nielsen book data

·         Our DeviantArt profile

·         A giveaway

·         Facebook ads (if you want to waste money!)

·         AdSense ads (again, expensive)

·         MySpace (shockingly, still in use)

· (there is a free 'ebook' category)

·         DMOZ listing

·         Google Business Listings

·         Thompsons free directory

·         QR code use to lead back to Amazon sales page.

·         Text notifications (via twitter - useful for non-tweeps)

We missing anything obvious? Let us know.


  1. wow that's a hell of a list. We use Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn (well, we're on it) we've sent bookmarks to enthusiastic people in America & Australia to hand out (no sales) put an ad in each of our cars & our sister's car (no sales) given out bookmarks to family, family's colleagues (1 sale) put an ad in the post office window, (no sales) set up FB fan page for the book, made an uber cool book trailer for YouTube (still yet to make back the £15 we spent on images) we have our own blog, have guested on a blog, an ezine and got a section in the Members News section of Writing Magazine and have still only sold to a few of the people we interact with on Facebook & Twitter.

  2. Clearly there is no magic bullet - We can't make people buy our stuff, but we can give it as much exposure as is humanly possible. It's better to do one thing properly than a hundred badly in terms of brand building, but every iron in the fire has a chance to get hot.

    Selling books is about getting that critical mass to go viral. Once you've got the ball rolling it'll hurtle down the hill as word spreads, as long as your product is good enough to start with.

    Bookmarks are nice, but overdone. People chuck them easily as they have sod all intrinsic value. Try signing them - people keep signed stuff. Cars don't do much - have you ever bought a book because a car told you to? Fair enough if you've stuck a vistaprint magnet on the side of something parked in a city centre, but it probably won't do much more than break even on it's cost.

    Post offices again are small beer - local support is lovely, but it's the kindle reading public you need to reach, and they aren't the sort of people you'd find in a post office. YouTube has better potential, but unless someone looks stupid or it's otherwise catchy it won't go viral without a huge push.

    Blogs are solid - people that read book blogs tend to buy books. The problem in author blogs is you'll probably end up selling only to other authors, and that will gain very little. The same goes for writing mags - they are for writers, not readers. I realise most writers read prolifically, but it's not a big enough group to get you the critical mass.
    There's also a danger in using other authors that good reviews look like it is a case of 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' and the risk of negative reviews if someone is jealous or doesn't like you increases.

  3. all the bookmarks are signed on the back, but we probably not bother making more of them.
    We don't get a lot of hits on our blog, if we have a guest it usually goes up to 40ish, general day is between three and fifteen. But again, the subscribers are our FB & Twitter friends who buy our stuff anyway. But you're right, there is no magic bullet and we know that indie authors rarely sell over 100 books anyway. Word of mouth is generally thought to be the best method. But it doesn't help if nobody's talking.

  4. Word of mouth isn't entirely out of reach - part of it is getting free copies to reviewers to build a buzz. Send requests out to them (using all the free ones, e.g. Alle from twitter on our list does them via her blog

    Send out professional press release style requests, offer a choice of formats and some will way yes. Then their visitors become your visitors. Plus the reviews help with amazon metrics.
    For you guys I'd put one of your three short stories up seperately for free permenantly to build readership (just one, then you can still charge 99c for the collection). All you've got to do is copy paste one, price it then get amazon to match smashwords when you put it free et voila - free exposure.

  5. You could also try putting your work in collections with other authors stuff - and thus snaffle their readers by cross promoting each other. Goodreads might be a handy place to find willing participants on this.