Almost a year of selling “I Know You Like a Murder”. I’m no marketing expert by any means. But I googled and read books & articles and experimented. And thought I’d share the results so you can learn from them.
In my last post for patrons I gave my most successful marketing tactic. But there’s another strategy that makes those tactics possible in the first place, a strategy that I first learned from Ksenia Anske.
But first, let me tell you what marketing I tried, and I’ll also speculate as to why it helped or didn’t (although I could be off in my guesses):
- Facebook/Twitter ads: I think for these to be successful, you have to actually know how to use them. Take a class or something. I tried a bit of money in both without learning how to use them first, so I got 0 sales.
- Blog Tour: I hired a recommended successful blog tour company. Got hundreds of posts from book bloggers across the web. And got few sales. I think because my book was too niche, and it may have been more successful if it was a more widely read genre.
- Book reviewers: I love book reviewers. Their service to the book community – readers and authors alike – is so appreciated and so valued. I sent books out (upon request, don’t just send them haphazardly) and received positive & negative reviews. Both positive and negative reviews are so important, because honest reviews are important. While I did not see tangible results, reviews in general are a book’s lifeline, so indirectly I am sure these pushed interested readers into buying readers (and let’s be honest, into non-buying readers if the book wasn’t for them, that’s important too. No one wants to waste time reading a book that isn’t for them.)
- Book booths at area events: This has been one of my more successful, when I’m at the right place with the right people.
- Preorders: Lots of posts about launch and lots of hype about finally publishing. This was very successful for a first-time author learning the ropes.
- Book launch party: This was my most successful event so far. I sold in one day the same I’d sold through the entire preorder season.
But these aren’t strategies. These are just tools.
Can you spot the difference? What’s the difference between the items in that list that made the first half less successful than the last half?
You. Readers. Fans. Fans of my writing, or even just fans of my existence (I think they’d rather be called friends, but ya know…)
The book launch party was a success because of you. The crime scene tape idea came from one of you. Your fanart inspired and brought about the collectors cards.
Online preorders were a success because of you. Seriously, I calculated and most strangers’ purchases have come from your excitement. So what if the author is excited about their own work, I want to know if somebody else is, right? (I exaggerate, because an author’s excitement also sells btw.) Your attendance, your facebook likes, comments, shares, posts, your purchases – those drove sales more than any work I put in.
Your voice makes a difference to my creative career. So thank you. Thank you for celebrating with me and being with me in this journey.
In your creative pursuits, don’t discount the excitement of those around you. Count it a privilege and an honor, because not every artist gets that. And count it more valuable than anything you can purchase, because you can’t purchase enthusiasm and that’s what sells.
Sure, I learned a lot from studying Lady Gaga’s marketing (become a patron to read more about Lady Gaga marketing). But no matter what, remember it still all starts with you.