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Posts Tagged ‘promotion’

Happy Thursday! Snow is gone, sun is actually shining right now. And my husband’s 5 month old kitten is full on toddler mode. LOL

So, something happens to me on Twitter. Talking with other authors, publishers, and friends, it happens to them a lot. And it’s those annoying automated direct messages we get whenever we follow someone new.

I’m about to be blunt. To me, those things are the literary equivalent of an unsolicited dick pic!

Look, we know you’ve got a book out. Or do covers. Or have a blog. We took the five seconds to scan your brief description. But to then send me something that’s little more than ‘BUY MY BOOK!!!’ is annoying. Really? You’re so lazy that you can’t say hello like a real person? You’re too busy to bother connecting with your readers?

You’re so full of yourself that you honestly think I’m going to buy a book when you’ve done nothing more than shove the link at me? Before I’ve had time to say hello to you?

In this age of social media, the key to selling books isn’t to scream about it all day long. It’s not a used car lot where you’ve got to wheel and deal and try to constantly put the product in front of readers. We get it. You wrote a book. You’re proud of your accomplishment. It’s up for sale.

But I want that buy link shoved in my face about as much as I want to see your anatomy. Which I don’t.

Give me the chance to learn who you are. Say hello, ask how my day’s going. Have an actual conversation with me. You’re a writer! Words are your thing! Use them!

Develop a real connection with potential readers instead of spamming them.

BB

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Hey everyone!

I’m snowed in today. LOL. Seattle got a rare blanket of white last night. Hubby made it to work, but getting from our neighborhood to a main road was interesting. If there’s no pressing need for me to go anywhere, I’m waiting for it to melt. Power is still on, meaning we have heat and internet. Yeah!

There’s a cold hard fact to being an author that most people don’t realize. Even most writers don’t have a clue until they put a book up for sale or sign with a publisher. And that there’s absolutely NO direct path to success and sales.

You’re going to be bombarded with ads claiming to know the ‘secret’ to getting good sales. Treat it like you would any other spam and get rid of it. Plain and simple, they want to make you spend big bucks to see little or no lasting success. Unless you count them growing richer as they suck you into the process.

Being an author is tough. It’s work. 99% of us are NOT ‘special snowflakes’ that get their every whim catered to because they make money left and right. You have to be willing to face that fact. Want a lasting career? Don’t be a jerk, stop pretending you know everything, and do the work. Roll up your sleeves, dig a trench, and keep trying.

At one point, I was looking at a career in performing arts. My degree’s actually in technical theater, specifically props and stage management. We’ve all grown up with the stories about how hard it is to become a star in Hollywood. Thing is, it’s JUST as hard to get to the level of Stephen King as an author. I know that. And I’m willing to do the work to get myself there. I believe in my writing. I stay positive. I work with people instead of demanding I be given special treatment.

Get over yourself. Stop imagining that you should be shielded from the reality of the job you claim you want, and get to work. Put in the time to make a solid foundation to your work. Try new things to promote that are free before investing thousands of dollars in a promotion that has no guarantees of getting you enough sales to recoup the investment.

Don’t just sit back and expect money to come pouring in because you wrote a book. Because that’s simply just not how it works.

BB

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Good morning everyone!

I hope all is well with each of you. The weekend was a bust for me, in that I didn’t write one bit. Unless you consider scattered posts on FB. And even those were few and far between.

Every now and then, each author will hit walls. You’ll either lose your motivation to write, or will to promote. You’ll get discouraged, and see lack of sales as an indication that you should just give up. After all, why write if you can’t even give your books away for free and get readers?

When you hit that wall, ask yourself a simple question: do I write because I want to be rich and famous? Or do I write because I love it?

If you’re only writing because you think you’ll get fame and fortune, then stop. The odds of that happening in less than ten years, or at all, are high. And no one’s going to read your book just because you think the should.

We can’t force people to buy our books. Even if we think they’re worth reading. We can’t throw fits like children and demand they either buy it and review it or else. It’s as useless as holding our breath would be. Eventually, you pass out and don’t get your way.

So, what do you do when you hit that wall? That’s up to you. You can give up, sure.

Or you can shake off the feeling, take a walk, soak in a bubble bath, and think on the next scene or a new promotional opportunity.

Because authors do that to break down the wall.

On another note…..

If you live near Seattle, or are coming into town for Emerald City Comicon, be sure to find me on Saturday the 28th! I’m going to be out in the crowd and will have a few books, some postcards, and business cards (both author and COO) with me. Oldest is supposed to do the lettering on the shirt soon, but I’ll be wearing a bright green crewneck shirt with ‘Published Author Cosplay’ across the front! Be sure to say hi if you spot me!

BB

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Good morning! The solstice was yesterday, the sun’s warmth will be returning soon, and I’ve got two kids awaiting Thursday morning. Me? I’m thinking Muse is going to have a fun time with piles of paper and boxes.

I’m not big on twitter, but I do get on there once or twice a day. It’s a great tool for authors to connect with readers, but only if you do it right. Unfortunately, my message box and newsfeed are flooded every day with writers who are sabotaging their own sales.

Simply put, stop screaming about your book non-stop and start talking to people.

I see it all the time. I get followed, and I follow them back. Next thing I know, I get a direct message from them about how I should buy their book. Guess what? I never have. Same goes with the people who schedule tweets that are nothing but sales pitches for their book.

Why? Because I detest high pressure sales tactics. Because, as a reader, I want to know more about the author than them shoving the link to their book in my face every 15 minutes. I want a connection, that spark of humanity that makes me go, ‘hey, I can relate to that!’, to share something with them beyond the story they wrote.

Seriously, stop talking non-stop about your book. It’s going to alienate readers, not increase sales. Take the time to say hello, wait for them to decide to buy your book. Bide your time. Be patient. Be kind. Be polite. But, please, for all you or I consider holy, stop the high pressure screaming of ‘buy my book’. It’s not working. It’s annoying. It puts readers off. The constant push is making you look like a literary used car salesman!

BB

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Good morning!

I’m up! I’m awake! I’m rested and caffeinated! That is a recipe for a very productive day.

The giveaway for ‘Fin’s Magic’ officially ended last night. Overall, I call it a success. The book was downloaded quite a bit, and hit best seller lists on Amazon in both the U.S. and overseas. It actually climbed as high as #5 in Spain, and #4 in Germany!

In other words, I came very close to being able to say my book was #1 somewhere in the world.

Yes, it was free. And I know that overseas rankings work a little differently than U.S. ones. A book can be in the top 100 from a single sale.

Still, I was close. So close that I realized how much I wanted that top slot.

There’s 5 more weeks of sales and freebies coming. This coming weekend (10/24-10/26), “Permafrost” will be free. Who knows? Maybe that one will give me that magic number.

Putting a book on sale or free is not for everyone. Some will think it’s giving money away. I see it differently. Being that I’m still waiting to be found by readers, it gives me the chance to put my titles into the hands of someone who wouldn’t have taken a risk on me if they’d had to spend money. It’s someone reading my book who would’ve passed before.

Let’s face it, we all can be cheapskates on occasion. Readers are no different. They want a bargain. They want to feel their money is well spent. If they can get one book of mine for free, who’s to say they won’t like my voice. And go search my name on Amazon. Now, they’re thinking of buying a book instead of getting it for free.

Just like postcards and bookmarks, free and sales are promotions. They put your book into the hands of the readers. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.

BB

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It’s a Sunday night, and I’m relaxing. About to go dive into Arwenna’s world and do some more work on book three, and final, book of The Raven Chronicles. We’re on vacation, you see. While the bulk of our traveling is now done, we’re taking all next week to do small things local to us. And for me to write.

Given that my alarm clock is beyond off (it’s actually unplugged), and tomorrow’s schedule’s pretty fluid, I chose to make my weekly post tonight just so I’d remember to do it and share the link like I normally do.

Today, I’m going to give you the secret. The one thing that will make you a successful author. Are you ready?

Promote your book.

It takes time to be a household name. No one is going to know KateMarie Collins from anyone else unless I promote. It’s not up to my publisher. It’s up to ME to make my name and books known to the world.

I’m going to be blunt right now, because it needs to be said. If you think any of this, you’ve got the wrong mindset:

1. My publisher will do all the promoting/marketing of my book

2. All I have to do is put it up for sale and I’ll sell thousands overnight

3. The hard part’s over once you get a contract. Everything else is their job, not yours.

4. There’s a magic trick to promoting that no one will share.

5. People wouldn’t lie to me and say they bought my book and not do it!

6. I’m going to make millions and retire to a cabin in the Rockies six months after it releases.

7. Other authors aren’t worth reading, or talking to, because they’re ‘stealing’ my sales.

8. Being rude, arrogant, demanding, a jackass, or screaming obscenities at my publisher is perfectly acceptable behavior. Just because I’m a new author doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to be a diva. My book’s going to make them rich, so they should learn to cowtow to my whims early on.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FORMULA! THE ONLY WAY TO SELL BOOKS IS TO PROMOTE THEM!!!

Even then, it TAKES TIME. I’ve been published now for just about 2 1/2 years. I’ve got 8 titles out. And I promote. During our travels, I leave business cards and personalized postcards for my books in hotel rooms. I spend time on FB and Twitter. I write this blog. I let people know what I do for a living. I’ve been known to slip in postcards into the folder at restaurants when we pay the bill! Or chat up a cashier someplace and give one to them. I’ve gotten good reviews. But I’m still averaging single digit sales each month. Why? Because people don’t recognize my name yet. They have no connection to KateMarie Collins as an author. They don’t know that ‘Daughter of Hauk’ is the first book of a trilogy. Or that ‘Fin’s Magic’ is both fantasy and romance. That ‘Mark of the Successor’ is the story of a girl who wanted nothing more than to escape one prison, only to find herself a pawn.

I don’t have the right to play diva yet. I am not my publisher’s best selling author. I am not going to be able to contribute substantially to the household bills in the next four months. Possibly even the next four years. 

So, I say this to you all. Either grow up, stop whining, and do the work to get what you want, or put the pen down. This is not a get rich quick business. It does not tolerate temper tantrums from people who are ‘certain’ their book is selling like mad two days after it releases. And it will chew you up and spit you out if you aren’t willing to pay your dues and put the work in.

BB

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Morning, everyone!

It’s a slow start in my house, but that’s fine. If anything, it helps my concentration. When all you have in the background is the sound of your fingers on the keyboard, the washing machine doing its’ thing, and the cats playing while you sip your coffee and figure out the day, it’s nice.

Then I get working on a story, or work, and the stereo comes on. Gotta have a soundtrack to my life. LOL.

So, something’s been on my mind for a few weeks now. I want to talk about responsibility today. I’m talking about what your job as an author really is. It goes far beyond writing one or more books. Here’s what the list contains, as I see it.

Writing

Editing

Public image

Marketing

As an author,I’m responsible for all of this. It’s being able to see what suggestions are valid during the editing process over throwing a fit if one word is changed. It’s being in control of my image as a author, and what information about my life I share with readers. Do you want to be seen as approachable? Likeable? Positive? Then that’s what you have to project everywhere. Online, in person, in emails. 

Reputation is everything to a writer. One bad post on FB where you lament how horrid sales were is going to bite you in the backside. Because your image takes a huge hit, and the public remembers. That reader who was following you and thinking about buying your new novel? Yeah, they’re going to remember your snarky moment and pass.

I’ve been fortunate in that a handful of new authors have come to me for advice. That’s a weird feeling, since I’ve only been published for two years! But they do that, because they see me as a success story. Why? Because I’m positive. Always looking forward, not back. Sales were bad last month? Sure, it’s possible. But why dwell on it? Why browbeat the very people who support you (your readers) for not buying more copies? 

The last on that list is marketing. Every author, from the unpublished hopeful to J.K. Rowling, has a responsibility to market their books. It is not solely the responsibility of their publisher. That’s like expecting the grocery store cashier to follow you home and unload the bags for you. 

Publishers have hundreds if not thousands of titles and authors they have to deal with. It’s not just about you and your book. Sure, your book might be the best one in their House. But until you have the draw – and sales – to rival Stephen King, don’t expect to have things handed to you on a silver platter. You’ve got 500 other writers with the same expectations, hopes, dreams, and faith in their titles around you. Throwing a hissy fit because you think it’s their job to get you reviews instead of doing it yourself is just wrong.

Letting everyone in on a not so secret part of the industry here. On average, it takes five years for an unknown/new author to go from publication/release of their first book to being ‘found’ by their readers.

5 Years.

And, in that time, the two most important things a writer can do to improve those odds is to develop that positive public face, and market the Hades out of their titles. Write, keep writing, write every day. Release more books. Spend ten minutes on FB, twenty on Twitter, write a blog, email newspapers/media outlets, check with local stores and find out if they’ll carry your book.

You simply will not get huge sales out the gate if no one knows your name or that you’re an author. Each and every sale you get for the first five years will be hard fought, and feel like a small victory. But slowly, over time, you’ll start to see the increase each month in sales. Maybe you’ll go from averaging only one or two sales a month to four or five. It’ll be there, though. 

Don’t give up. Never surrender. But stay positive and keep marketing. Because that, my friends, will earn you a solid readership base that will make for a lasting career.

BB

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