Jurista 110These are the best and worst of times for authors. We can publish and promote our own books, and there are almost endless ways to go about doing so. The problem is, most promotional methods either don’t work well (or sometimes at all), or they need to be done in just the right way to be effective. How is an aspiring author supposed to know what’s worth trying and what’s a total waste of time? How about we find out the answer together?

Here’s the concept: With your help, I’ll compile lists in this blog entry of the different promoting options now available that people have found do and don’t work. Then I’ll set up a poll at Survey Monkey that people can use to rank the approaches of those that do, in order of their personal success using them.

By the time we’re done, we should have some useful data about which tools and approaches are mostly likely to work for those that try them. If people provide enough input, I’ll follow up with an individual blog entry on each of the top approaches describing what you need to do to make it work.

There are two ways for you to participate:

1. Use the comment box to answer this question: “In my experience, the three things I’ve done that have most successfully resulted in sales are…”

2. Read the lists that I’m generating below, based on your feedback, and then suggest additions to the list, as well as moving items between lists if you disagree with where you see them.

Promotional Tools that Directly Generate Sales

  • BookBub promotion
  • EReader News Today promotion
  • Butterfly Book Promotion (See Lucinda’s comment below)
  • [other promotion sites?]
  • [any advertising venues?]
  • Free and discount sale days [need details on how to maximize effect]
  • Word of mouth (in all its forms)
  • Having multiple titles available for sale, especially in a series
  • Releasing new work often enough to gain, and keep, a following
  • Offering free short stories, prequels, anthologies, etc. with links to books
  • Building an eBrochure with descriptions and links to books
  • Offering free first book so readers can get acquainted
  • Write for Kindle Worlds (thanks, Adan)
  • Cross-marketing with other blogging authors (reviews, interviews)
  • Be in sales mode all the time

Best Ongoing Promotional Efforts

  • Contacting reviewers directly to boost review count (2 votes)
  • Blog Tours
  • Blogging regularly
  • Networking with other authors
  • GoodReads giveaway/ads
  • Social Media (which ones? Twitter/FaceBook/Pinterest/other?)
  • Listing your books at any site other than GoodReads?
  • Particular features of your author site?
  • Email newsletter?
  • Personal appearances? (readings/signings/book clubs)
  • Back matter in your books (e.g., links to your other books)

Maybe List

  • Gorilla, Booksends, Storycartel book promotion sites (JM at ISAG reports lots of downloads, but not many sales at each – have others had better luck?)
  • RS at ISAG suggests these book promotion sites: book zio, read cheaply, digetal book today, book sends,indie book of the day..people reads…genre pulse, book readers heaven and OHFB; he only discounts, doesn’t do free offers
  • SP at ISG recommends the following free promo sites: bookgoodies, Ereader News Today, and bkknights on Fiverr

Don’t Bother List

  • Twitter (unless you take it seriously and do it well)
  • Paying for Tweets, inclusion in email newsletters other than BookBub, ERT, or ?

Have you joined The Lafayette Campaign? 

Read sample chapters here


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