Friday, July 5, 2013

ASK PZM: July 2013 book marketing

 

Q:  How can I evaluate which of my book marketing efforts are worthwhile?
This is a very good question and one that has no definite answer.  In fact, the answer is probably different for every author.
But let’s look at some things to consider:
 

Goodreads giveaway: 


At the moment you must give away physical books, which is a reason in itself to use Amazon’s CreateSpace to produce a paperback of your Kindle ebook.
The important metric here for purposes of getting exposure for your book’s title is how many people have added the book to their “to read” shelf.


While I cannot measure if any person who signed up to get my books for free then went out and bought the books, I can tell that those books for which I have had giveaways have many more readers putting the books on their “to read” shelf than those books that have not had giveaways. 


Kindle Select free download days:


If you have had a decent number of downloads (and that number is dependent on your type of book, the number of free days, etc.), have you seen a bounce in your book’s sales a few days after the book went off the free list?
And if you have other books, especially ones in the same series, have you seen a bounce in the sales of those books?
Lowering the price of a book for a special $.99 sale:
Did you sell more books at the lower price?  Then when the book returned to its higher price, did you continue to sell more books than you had originally sold at that price?

Paying for ads on various book sites:


This option seems considerably harder to evaluate.  At the moment I am trying out two different services, but there is really no way to tell whether they are having any effect.  As the investment is not huge, I feel it is worth trying.    
In conclusion, it is not just about the financial investment.  These evaluations are also about the time constraints on your writing time.  While you want people to know about and buy your books, you also want time to write them.

And did I mention the time for blogging, social media participation, Facebook groups, etc.?



Q.  What do you think of posting unpublished work on sites such as Wattpad?

Previously I had posted excerpts from two published works on Wattpad.  But now I am using the site as a way to motivate myself to write new chapters of my work-in-progress dystopian thriller THE MOTHER SIEGE.

Of course, I am also hoping to pick up fans who will be interested in reading the entire book when I finish.  And it is way too early to tell if this strategy will work.


Click here to read chapter 1 of THE MOTHER SIEGE on Wattpad – and take a look around the site.
(And if you wonder why I decided to write such a story – read the explanation at http://www.phylliszimblermiller.com/the-mother-siege/ )
Then consider whether this site might be a good place to experiment with a story that you are currently writing.




Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON.  You can see all her books at www.ZimblerMillerbooks.com and find her on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/pzmiller
She also writes about book-related topics at her author website at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com















TWEETABLES

"Thoughts on publishing on Wattpadt" (click to Tweet)



31 comments :

  1. Yes, always a struggle to know which method is effective, and I'm the world's worst at keeping records of those who have bought my books!

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    1. I'm not able to at the local level either, Carol. So I understand. Thanks for visiting. Hope your weekend's the best.

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  2. I'm not in control of my pricing or anything, but my publisher has done (and is currently doing) giveaways on Goodreads.
    I've heard others talk about Wattpad and that it's also work as it's a social site. Not sure I'd have time for anything more online. You can keep us posted as time passes, because I am curious.

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    1. Of course you don't have time for anything else! Lordy, Alex, nobody works as hard for yourself and everyone else like you do! I'm sure Phyllis will keep up posted. She's also all about helping others.

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  3. I've never heard of Wattpad, so I'm going to check it out! I do post excerpts of my WIPs on a couple of my writing blogs.

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    1. So glad Phyllis's post was helpful, Laurel. I haven't checked out Wattpad yet myself. Better get to it. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. Thanks, Joylene, for posting these PZM insights. And thanks, Phyllis, for your willingness to continue to share!

    We, too, have experimented with a number of these strategies to increase our visibility and our sales. We like the statistical reporting tools that Goodreads Giveaways provide, especially the "to-read" reports. But since our ventures in this direction have only been in recent weeks, we can't yet gauge how many of those have converted into actual hard sales.

    We've also tried the KDP giveaway, and that definitely generated downloads, and maybe some peripheral sales for other books, but we wouldn't call those runaways.

    Clearly, all these efforts -- together with social media promotion and branding -- *do* all subtract from writing time, but we believe this has become part of the writing game, and it's something an author simply has to factor into the whole enterprise.

    Again, thanks for continuing to share these wonderful insights and professional observations!

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    1. I'm still waiting for my publisher to let me know what they're doing. They did enter my latest book in the IPPY Awards, and that helped a lot. Thanks Kym~!

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  5. Phyllis, thanks so much for the tips. I appreciate your insight. Joylene, thank you for being a gracious hostess.

    Happy weekend! :)

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  6. Hey Joylene,

    My goodness, Phyllis sure has lots of info to share. Look, I'm not going to pretend that any of this makes sense to me and my last two brain cells. However, I do understand this can be valuable info for writers, published and aspiring. That's why I shall take the liberty of sharing your posting, Joylene.

    Three thirty in the morning...I'm outta' here.....

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  7. Worthy advice, thanks for sharing. I have to say I've recently ended a GoodReads giveaway of "Ahoy Gum Drop". While not as many folks entered the contest as I'd hoped (only several hundred), I have already received a whopping and fantastic five star review from one winner. If this will help to generate sales...? Only time will tell, I suppose.

    Great post, gals! Hope you're both Feeling Nosey today, heh heh.

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    1. Thanks, Nosey. Congratulations on your success with Goodreads. That's encouraging to hear.

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  8. I've heard a lot of positive things about Wattpad, and about writers who have picked up tons of followers through Wattpad.
    It's worth checking out. Think I must do that. But where on earth is there time for yet another social networking site?
    Writer In Transit

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    1. I'm glad you found Phyllis' post helpful, Michelle. Thanks for visiting.

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  9. Great info! I'd never heard of Wattpad and thank you very kindly for sharing this avenue.

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    1. You're very welcome, Kittie! Have a super week.

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  10. Marketing is tough. I think the days when free books boosted sales are almost gone. There's a glut of free books. Goodreads is very useful, but I haven't done giveaways because I don't have physical copies. Wattpad...too much work required there to build up an audience, almost as bad as promoting books on my Amazon store. But like you said, it's good for distribution. Banner ads are good for visibility, but drive very few sales. I had success with my 99-cent sales, so that's where I would put myself behind. What I'm really interested in is blog tours, but haven't done one yet.

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    1. I'm glad for your success with your 99 cent sales. It's a hard business we've chosen to adopt. But really, what chose do we have? We're writers. Thanks, Nigel.

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  11. Joylene, just wanted you to know you've been missed!

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    1. Alex, you really are a very special person. Thanks! Phyllis and I will be back on Aug 5th.

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  12. Just swinging by to say 'hi'! Hope all is good with you and yours :)

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. Hope all is well with you too.

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  13. As always, Phyllis offers a lot of interesting things to think about. Since I'm not into the marketing end of things yet I still have time to do the thinking. :)

    July slipped away in a figurative fog and I can't believe August is nearly here. We're immersed in the moves of two of our family and summer seems to be lost in househunting, packing, fixing, selling, etc., for them. So I'm scrambling to keep any kind of writing schedule and haven't been doing much blog reading. I almost missed this one!

    Hope summer's going well for you.

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    1. I know what you mean, Carol. I hope the kids' move goes smoothly. Thank, eh!

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  14. This is really interesting to know! Thanks for sharing.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  15. An excellent post, as ever, Joylene, and I'm so pleased you love Ted Hughes.

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