As many of you know, because you’re following me on various places around the internet, I’ve been writing in one form or another for most of my 40 years. It started waaaay back in elementary school and eventually turned into a full-fledged part-time career.
My first “published” novel was crap. I had a fun time writing it, but I had no idea what I was doing. When I got slammed with horrible reviews, I knew I needed help, so I found help within writer’s groups and with writer friends. I didn’t consider myself a real writer. Not even close.
The Lucky Series sold to Wild Child Publishing and I can honestly say working with Marci and my awesome editor has helped me become a better writer. The group of writers there are supportive and wonderful to work and network with as well. The first two books have sold well, but Romantic Suspense is a hard genre to break into for unknown authors. But at the very least, selling these books helped me to feel more like a writer than before.
The next sale I made was Wild and Wicked to Tease Publishing featuring Mason Storm and Veronica Chance. It was my first try at writing a novella, which eventually turned into three of them, but the company closed. Now I’m working on an anthology of all three coming out soon from Freya’s Bower, sister company of Wild Child. Okay, maybe I am a writer after all.
My next sale will be glossed over for various reasons.
The sale after that one is under a pen name. If you want to know more, you’ll have to send me an email or message. lol
Now, we move on to the Tiva Boon dyad. If you don’t know the story behind Tiva getting publishing here’s a good starting point – CLICK ME! It was the second story I finished writing back in the early 2000s (seriously), but only recently found its proper home at Crushing Hearts. Yet another awesome small pub with rock star authors and a kick ass marketing and creative team.
Well, I had this book finished before Hunger Games, Twilight, and all the other YA Books of late. I made the mistake of thinking the violence in Tiva’s world was too much for the young adult crowd. Spoiler alert (highlight to read- she slashes a guy from stomach to throat at the age of 16.- (end spoiler) Apparently, it’s not so violent anymore. So, when I got the rights back for the second time, I decided to try Upper YA/New Adult as a sub category within the SciFi-Fantasy. It worked, I found the right placement for Tiva and with the response and sale I’m seeing now, I really do feel like a writer now.
No, it’s not about the money, though it has helped, it’s the fact that complete strangers, in different countries, are reading my books. With the recent explosion of the YA/NA genre, and the added bonus of older adult women devouring the genre, I’ve found myself in a very interesting spot. The “SaleWhichWillNotBeNamedButYouCanProbablyFigureOut” has been selling, on it’s own, simply because it’s also a Science Fiction novel. Lucky’s Charm and Lucky’s Break are also selling with little advertising from me right now (I’m gearing up for another sale, stay tuned). I’m getting real reviews from people who love it and hate all my books! Okay, no one has said they hated anything yet, but I have a couple 1 Stars on Goodeads and 2 Stars on Amazon. To me, that’s just another indication that I’m a “real writer” now.
I’m not on the USA or NY Times Bestseller’s list. I haven’t hit #1 in any Amazon category lists, yet, and I’m a long way away from making the kind of money I’d need to make to quit working my day job, but I’m a writer. I’ll always write. I guess I’ve always been a writer, but now it feels like it, too.
I have a great mix of people reading my blog. Some of you are authors, musicians, artists, models, others are fellow pop culture geeks, readers, friends, family…you get the idea.
This post is probably more for authors, but anyone who uses the internet to advertise can probably pick up a tip or two.
As you know, I’ve been promoting a few books hardcore the last couple of months on Facebook. I don’t have a large budget, so this should be helpful to people in similar circumstance.
Here’s what I used, how it works, and the results I got.
Facebook –Events, Ads, and Groups:
Hosting an Event on Facebook is a great way to make new friends, promote your brand, and even make some sales depending on what you have to offer.
Two weeks before my latest book release, I set up an Event Party. I invited lots of friends and family, and ask my fellow publishing house authors and author friends to help me spread the word. 172 people, half of which I didn’t know prior, clicked to “Join the Event”. For my first ever event, I thought I did rather well.
One week before the book release, I had a daily giveaway via donated ebooks from author friends. This helped to generate buzz and readers invited other readers. Awesome!
On the day of the Event, I had a 4 hour window of giveaways, with a new prize every half hour, and promoted my grand prize drawing. Anyone who wanted the grand prize was asked to leave their purchase code for the book in the comments! I was skeptical about doing this, but it generated more sales that I ever imagined! The party was a lot of fun, I sold books, and gained new readers. Win-Win!
During the Event Day and several days after I ran two different Facebook promotion. One was a sponsored ad and the other boosted specific posts I had on my Author page to gain visibility among my followers.
The minimum magic budget seems to be $5 per day for me. The good thing about Facebook is that you can set daily and lifetime limits so you won’t go over a certain amount. Facebook will also bill you at a specific dollar point if you ask them to. Learning Facebook ads can take some time, but there are help sections, videos on the internet, and friends out there who can help you, but it’s best to learn the basics it on your own first. The main thing to know is you can BID for Impressions, Engagements, and Clicks.
Impressions are usually by the thousand and are basically a fly by advertisement, it will show up 1000 times on a web page. This helps you show up more, but not necessarily get the attention you want.
Engagements are when people like, comment, or share the post.
Clicks are for when people physically click the link you have in the ad, which usually takes you to another webpage where someone can buy your product.
Each product and ad are different. Getting clicks is more expensive but so far in my experience more effective, but on occasion I do change it up to get it in front of different people. You can change the add constantly, switching from Impression to Engagements to Clicks and back. You can also keep track of this on your own with trackable url links. I use smart url. It will show you the number of time each link you set up is clicked. I highly recommend it to help keep track of any promos you do.
Lastly, posting in Facebook Groups can be helpful, too, if done right. The key is to find promotion or advertising groups for your products. There are many out there and most are open to everyone.
Facebook puts all your groups in a list with the most recently accessed ones up top. If you are posting multiple posts, pay attention to this list. Start on the bottom and work your way up.
When you get to each group, READ THE ABOUT SECTION FIRST! Make sure they allow promotions and advertising. Some groups are just for networking and not promotion. Next, scroll down a for a few seconds to make sure you haven’t posted recently. If you spam groups multiple times a day for days in a row they may kick you out. They are trying to help all authors and don’t want any one person clogging up the groups with multiple posts.
Above and beyond the promotions listed above on Facebook, you also have your personal profile and Fan Page to help you promote with no additional costs. Branching out beyond Facebook to Twitter, Google+, and other social media outlets may be right for you, too, and if you’re just getting started, check out my helpful guide here: http://www.jennnixon.com/facebook-twitter-pinterest-oh-my-socia/
Hope this helps a bit and remember to pay it forward.