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Marketing: What works? What doesn’t?

Do you ever wonder why some books become bestsellers while others can barely be given away? Why some businesses succeed and others fail? How does a blog post or a YouTube video manage to go viral? Is it a matter of luck or is there some magic formula for success?

Thanks to the hosts for this marketing blog hop: Arlee BirdYolanda ReneeJeremy Hawkins, and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click on any of their blogs for all the links.

I’ve asked myself the answers to these questions all the time! I’ve done a lot of observing on book launches and marketing strategies for both traditional and Indie books to see what works.

You could seriously drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to follow all the marketing advice out there, thinking that’s what will bring success.

I’ve watched traditional publishers throw thousands into a lead book title to see it completely flop and vice versa.

I’ve seen Indie authors do everything they can from blog tours, to ads, to giveaways and their book never really takes off and vice versa.

Observed truths:

1. Word of mouth is the best marketing, and we can’t control that.
2. The best marketing is more content, in my case, more books.
3. All the marketing in the world won’t sell a book that readers aren’t looking for.
4. If you have a book readers want, then most marketing will work.
5. There is no magic formula.
6. There is no magic formula.
7. There is no magic formula.

My strategies:

1. Write the next book.
2. Connect with readers. (This is much easier to do when fans seek you out, not the other way around.)
3. Build my email list. (Slowly but surely.)
4. Offer free or loss leader books. (You can download Vanishing Point, the prequel to my spy series for free.)
5. Brainstorm creative more long lasting ideas for the launch of the first book in my new series this spring. For example: a free short story with an excerpt.

Last thoughts:

I’m looking forward to what everyone else has to say, but I’ll be honest. I’ve become more of a cynic when it comes to marketing. That’s why my biggest motto will be to focus on the aspects of my writing and publishing that I can control.

Do you agree, disagree with my observations?

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