My #Book #Marketing Secret by #Indie #Author Nicholas Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

I made this on Quozio.com

My marketing strategy is really simple. In fact, it can be summed up as follows:

  • Be real,
  • be fun,
  • be helpful.

If you do that, people will buy your books simply because they will like you and will want to support you. In other words, “if people like what you’re saying, they’ll like what you’re selling.”

I have read many marketing guides, but have come to realize that it all boils down to how people perceive you. In marketing speech, your brand.

Having a consistent author brand is liberating. It allows you to publish pretty much anything you like, irrespective of genre. People will read your books because you have written them – and they trust you to offer them a good time.

That’s great. How about some real tips now?

The other day, a visitor to my blog asked me for some marketing advice. She has published dozens of work, but they encompassed anything from poetry to Bible studies. She had had little luck promoting these, as her marketing efforts spread too thin to be effective.

After taking a look at her social media and her work, I suggested she used her blog as her main point of reference. She has a lot working for her there:

  • She has an engaging, fun style of writing that makes people leave comments.
  • She promptly responds to said comments, which is the best way to be real.
  • She offers interesting and helpful information.
  • Finally, she offer freebies, and uses those to get people’s email addresses. So, she can keep in touch with visitors.

In other words, she is already following my real-fun-helpful advice and has built what is, effectively, a great shop front. Now, all she needs is bring more people in.

The first thing I noticed working against her, is post frequency. Her latest post was last week, but before that she had posted in late October. And before that? In August.

One needs to post at least once a week for a blog to be an effective means of brand-building. Even simple reblogs help, although fresh material always carries more punch.

Second, she needed to connect her posts to the rest of her social presence. The first step is to announce her posts across her social media whenever she publishes something. This can be set up to happen automatically. But that’s just the beginning.

One also needs to repost your posts on a regular basis. For example, post on Google+ backlinks to your blog every week – heck, every day if you can! Choose a different post each time, and backlink to it. Google will immediately push your blog up in searches, thus generating easy (and free) visibility.

I’m stressing Google+ here because of the way Google allows its content to influence its search results. I’ve noticed that I might need to post a link on Facebook ten times to achieve the increase in visibility a single time on G+ guarantees.

You can also schedule automatic tweets to do the same thing, using a service like SocialOomph.

(WordPress give you this facility once for every post through Publicize – TSRA).

Whenever I promote an older post, I immediately notice the uptick in visits. Posts that nobody would read, suddenly receive comments and reblogs – and bring in new visitors. This is an easy way to make your content work for you.

All this will bring more people in. It’s is then up to you to provide them with fun and helpful content, and to interact in a real manner. This will help boost your brand, and, indirectly, sell your books.

And that will work?

You’re probably wondering just how effective this can possibly be. Well, let me offer an example. You may remember that the other day, I hosted a Facebook party for an hour. The organizer had told me to use that hour to promote my books. Instead, I invited my friends and asked them to talk about their books.

It took some convincing, as they did not want to steal my moment on the spotlight, but they did. This was followed by a fascinating discussion on the present and future of publishing. The hour flew by, and I still had not uttered a single word about me. The poor organizer kept sending me private messages: “You now have 45′ to discuss your books.” “30 minutes left!” “Ten minutes!”

Five minutes before my hour was up, I posted a couple of links with a simple “if you want to find out about me or my work, here’s the links” kind of message.

The next morning I saw that I had sold eight copies, without even trying!

So, my marketing secret is simple: don’t sell your books – sell yourself. And the best way to do that is (repeat after me):

  • Be real,
  • be fun,
  • be helpful.

Fine print

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThere is just one caveat with all that: I start with being real because humans have a remarkably sensitive bull#$ meter, honed to perfection by eons of practice. So, don’t pretend to want to help, then ignore people who ask you for your advice. Don’t even bother if you don’t like the idea of connecting with people.

Being fun and helpful is great even if you don’t sell books. They will make you new friends, and that’s even more precious. Plus, it does wonders for your karma! 🙂

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

From anicaaah.tumblr.com

To celebrate the new year, read my children’s book, Runaway Smile, online for FREE!

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104 thoughts on “My #Book #Marketing Secret by #Indie #Author Nicholas Rossis

  1. The Google+ information was new to me – I haven’t paid much attention to Google+, though I have an account. I went, created an account, joined a couple of writers’ groups, found no one ever posted, haven’t been back (too many things on the to do list which actually work).

    I shall trot off and see what you mean – I’m getting close to publication, and discoverability is close to the top of that list now.

    Thanks!

    Alicia

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The old ones are the best ones eh? My parents worked in trade, and I worked with them on Saturdays. My dad always said, we aren’t selling food, we’re selling ourselves. So we always had a smile for everyone, asked how they were (and their families), remembered important things they’d told us, laughed, and joked, so that we were a fun place to visit. No-one minded queuing because there was always the family act to watch while they waited. It was a good lesson in many ways and it’s so easy to apply the same theory to our internet presence.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is a very reassuring read because it is my strategy – although I’m not quite as articulate about it as that. Marketing is applied charm. You have to make the product the best you can but if you’re genuine and honourable in your behaviour towards people then, if they’re teetering on the brink of buying that might be enought to galvanise them into purchasing. That said, lots of people follow my blog but nobody has signed up to my email list in years. It’s still the family and friends affair it was when I started. I intend to draw everyone’s attention to it in a blog post soon though.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Marketing is applied charm” – I love this!

      Newsletters can be tricky. As a rule, people avoid subscribing to a newsletter list because it eats up their time, and they don’t know how frequently you will email them. Also, they’re afraid of you sharing their addresses.

      I haven’t got a newsletter list per se, but send out maybe up to half a dozen emails annually to people who have commented on my blog. These contain freebies, and are meant to thank people for engaging with me. That’s probably why they seem to be quite popular. Engagement rate is around 60%, or twice the average, and usually no more than one person unsubscribes each time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It never occurred to me to use subscribers to my blog. The open rate for my current list is 35% which isn’t great but they’re mostly friends and family and I suspect three quarters of my e-mails fail to reach them. I should set up a separate list for them. At the moment I’ve offered a choice on the signup page of everything (once a month, tops) or just the books. So they can choose and hopefully I will then be able to apply them to the right list.

        Cheers

        MTM

        Liked by 2 people

        • MT, I got a newsletter subscription a week or so ago made up of blog subscribers. It was unsolicited because no, I don’t spend my days wondering where I can buy some gimmicky fashion item when I can walk around in holey leggings and second hand sweatshirts found in a car park. But, it did say, more than once and nicely, if you don’t want this, you can hit unsubscribe or send me an email telling me to push off and I’ll delete you, which I thought was fair enough.

          I think I’d commented on this specific blog once! so if you do use your blog commenters/followers I’d probably start with regular readers/commenters. Depends what your newsletter says that isn’t on your blog.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I wear gimmicky fashion items that look as if they’ve been found second hand in a car park after about a week in my wardrobe. Thank you, though. That is reassuring to know.

            The list I intended to use was going to be those who have commented so yes, I think if I put it all on MailChimp and explain that they can unsubscribe it should be OK. 😉

            Newsletter would probably be a simple update when a new book is released and the odd update in advance of radio appearances etc as well as Easter Eggs. I’m working on an audio version of Unlucky Dip read by me (after several requests). It will be far too crap quality for me to sell but I am sure some folks will enjoy it as a freebie.

            Thanks for the reassurance though.

            Cheers

            MTM

            Liked by 1 person

  4. REALLY great post Nick! I think I’m already following most of your advice, but ‘could do better’! For example, I never promote old posts on Google+. It just never occurrs to me. Interestingly, somebody reblogged one of my old posts today, and its getting loads of interest, which illustrates your point perfectly! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on geraldineevansbooks and commented:
    Remember that friend you decided not to keep in touch with any more? The one who was selfish, thoughtless and up their own arse? Remember that person when you write your next blog post and do your best not to copy their example. With thanks to Nicholas Rossis and Chris, thestoryreading ape for the advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting post, Nicholas. I suppose you would find the parallel in unequal friendships, where one person is all ‘Me!, Me!, Me!’. Who wants to be friends with such people? Reblogging and sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly right! People seem to think that relationships are, somehow, different online than in person. The golden rule is, act the same in both situations. Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t in person. What’s rude in one situation isn’t any less annoying in the other.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree wholeheartedly. I have found the online community of authors to be among the kindest groups of people I know. It feels great to pay it forward and back. I think authors, myself included, get caught up in our sales numbers. It becomes easy to forget that a few people who truly appreciate your work may be worth more than a lot of people buying it.
    Thanks for the honest and insightful article.
    Michelle

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Michelle! I, for one, do get caught up in all that number silliness. Instead, we need to focus on the things that matter, like forming real relationships with real people. It’s not even about the work, it’s about the joy of connecting with like-minded individuals and making friends 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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