Hello to all the Story Empire readers, P. H. Solomon here. With the first day of November and the Thanksgiving season, the main holiday buying season is upon us so I’m sharing a few of my latest marketing tools and tips. Read on for a glimpse at some of my latest marketing tools I use, especially for marketing “wide” (meaning beyond Amazon if you’re published elsewhere).
Newsletters and marketing seem to be a bit of a challenge for me. I never seem to get the knack of a good newsletter, at least to my mind. So writing a newsletter is always something of a bother, especially when I don’t feel I get my money’s worth out of more expensive services. However, I’ve been using a new service for my email marketing for the last couple of months and I believe I’m getting a lot more out of the experience.
Author Reach is an emailing service specifically for authors. One of the problems with using a one-size fits all email service is that you get lumped in with all the lower ranking marketers so your reputation is hurt right off the bat. However, with Author Reach their reputation is not hampered by all the professional, large marketers so that’s one benefit of using them.
Another benefit is pricing. Author Reach is cheaper per thousand subscribers than other services. That’s been a bit of a help to me on my slim budget these days.
Author Reach has also had a personal touch for me since their clientele is still smaller than other services. I’ve had personal help from the owners and the support staff in a variety of ways that I’ll share below with the rest of the services I’ve had.
This email hosting service has also done a lot to help me grow my list and get noticed. I can create lead pages for free books. I’ve already been a part of a fantasy marketing week. I’m also part of a group of writers who discuss how to market better over email . From my lead pages, I even had an opt-in via Facebook messaging that uses a bot to send to my subscribers there. I’ve been able to cross-promote with other authors and that has been a boon.
I feel like I have more control of my list and get a better open and click rate than I did previously with my other service. I’m still getting used to the service and they are growing with more tools arriving regularly. But with this service, there are author specific needs that are met at a pretty good price. Author Reach is a mass mailer service as well as an author marketing community.
For those authors who are wide – meaning they are self-published or traditionally published on more retail sites than Amazon, here are a few little nuggets of interest I’m now trying out.
Marketing to Kobo & Nook: these are two interesting forums for Kobo and Nook users where authors can do some direct marketing. I already make use of the promotions available through Kobo with some fairly good success. But these are two new resources I can use – and yes, these sites are still active!
- Nobooko.com – this is a site mixed with both Kobo and Nook users. You can register to use the site, then activate your registration, post a “Hello” message and then post in the author thread with one title every 24 hours. It’s a great way to reach Kobo and Nook users directly.
- Nookboards.com – I wondered how active this site still was but I checked on it and found that there are recent posts on the forum. I’m registered and posting my titles there for readers to discover.
As mentioned, via Kobo you can use their Promotion tab on your Dashboard. If you don’t see the tab, just email support and ask for them to turn it on and you’ll be able to apply to be part of promotions – many of them just shave 10% off you royalty for the time of the promotion. Others deduct the cost of coupons or promotions (yes, a few go out on BookBub ads, but more on that in a moment). Other promotions – the more visibile ones, do cost some money up-front. I’ve found the added service very useful since I’ve published directly on Kobo this year. Just a few days ago, two of my books were in the top 100 on Kobo in their genre categories.
BookBub Ads – these were initially panned by most authors. However, I’ve been using them to get some extra sales on Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple iBooks. I’ve even discovered a few ways to seriously track my clicks with affiliate links. I’ve found my spend is not too high while I’ve worked on my conversion rates to pretty good effect. Just don’t use the built-in visual creative (I make my own with PowerPoint, see this link for more help on using it). Check out The Self-Publishing Formula video on YouTube for more information about using BookBub Ads.
Another way I’m accessing these alternate markets is through Goodreads Ads. This is a little use advertising venue that most authors consider ineffective or just don’t even know about. I keep my spend low which limits the number of clicks I can have in a day, but advertising all my titles to specific retailers creates a few extra sales as well as a larger number of people adding my books to their shelves on Goodreads. Here are a few posts that explain it in detail:
For those published widely, there are some tools out there to gain access to alternate markets for Kobo and Nook readers. The trick is to use them effectively. Additionally, there is a burgeoning mass-mailing service out there geared toward authors that’s very helpful – take a look to see if you find it helpful. I hope everyone finds these tips helpful as you market – always check out the paid marketing and understand what you’re getting into before using them. Oh, and I’m not paid for suggesting any of these sources and I don’t support them. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.