Deciding how to spend your marketing dollars on your indie book is tough. After paying for an editor and book cover, now you have to decide how much to spend on marketing. You’re already in the hole, and you wonder if your book will ever earn enough to recoup what you already have in it. So how much more money do you spend on marketing, and will it make a difference in sales?
Well then, it’s time for some free marketing, right?
Unfortunately, nothing in life is free (Somebody famous said that I’m sure). The majority of the free marketing sites I’ve run across require you to give your book away for free to join. Most of them want you to have your book free on Amazon. Basically, you have to be in KDP Select to really take advantage of these opportunities. So it’s more like: If you want something for free, don’t write a book. Yes, these sites are free for the reader but lost revenue for you.
The philosophy is that you need to get your name out there in order to build a following and eventually sell books. Another philosophy I’ve heard is to price your book higher so that readers feel it has value and will buy it. So like every other aspect of writing, there is no one path to success in marketing.
I’ve had my books on Amazon and Kobo and recently entered a few giveaways on Goodreads and Instafreebie (I also did an Amazon ad campaign). I’ve been giving away book one of my series for several months to build readership. I’ve given away about 600 copies of The Order of the Wolf. I’ve also sponsored a Blog tour for my series and a book blitz for my new book release.
The net result of my efforts is three new book ratings/reviews on Goodreads, one on Amazon, and one on a review website. I have sold a few copies of The Eastern Factor that just released, but not enough to get excited about.
My take away from all this is that people are more than willing to download a free book. In fact, I think a lot of people are grabbing all the free e-books they can get their hands on. Whether they read them is another matter. I’ve actually heard people brag about how many books they have on their e-reader—more than they’ll read in their lifetime. If they read your book, they have to like it in order to rate it or buy the next book. Finding readers to take your book isn’t so hard when you’re giving it away, but finding the right readers that will want to read more is the key.
Takeaway number two: I need to do more with ARC reviews and pre-order sales. Much of the marketing is targeted for this period vs. after the release.
Another takeaway is that I need to have my giveaways on Amazon to harness the power of, well, Amazon. I’ve resisted KDP Select for awhile, but I recognize that it is the best marketing platform to use when you’re trying to get established. So this week I’m taking my books down from other sites and switching my series over to KDP Select and I am going to use their marketing features going forward. Well, at least for the next 90 days.
I’ll admit, I’m a slow processor. I have to mull over a problem for a while before deciding which way to go. My wife says I’m hard-headed and will argue with a wall (I am not!), but I do eventually work out a path forward. Let’s see where this one leads.