So you can read my books

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW WAYS TO MARKET YOUR eBOOK_Insecure Writers Support Group post

It has never been easier to publish your book.  It has never been harder to get people to buy it. 

Sounds like the beginning to A TALE OF TWO CITIES doesn't it?

If you try what everyone else is trying, you will get what they are getting: meager results.

Jessica Bell is doing a BOOK TOUR on the FIRST WEDNESDAY of this month --

going head to head with Alex's INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP

She tried an Amazon Gift Card giveaway for a riddle tied to her new book WHITE LADY

1.) SHE IS TRYING TO CREATE BUZZ for her new book.

Jessica is literally a world traveler, hosts writing seminars, and has been a blog presence for a long time.  She already (as of this writing) two 5 star reviews on Amazon.

But for those of us lesser mortals who cannot globe trot or attend/host writer seminars, what can we do?

FACEBOOK charges if you want to get past 10% of your followers to get your book posts.  Ouch.

TWITTER is a place where everyone is screaming BUY ME and no one is buying others' books.

LINKED IN and GOODREADS are unreliable sources what with misleading and snarky reviews.


Wendy Tyler Ryan helped boost sales for my books with her evocative book trailers.  

But with her recent ill health and inability to make more, my sales have taken a hit.

If you can make your own, take a stab at it.  I am cyber-challenged so that way is out for me.

People love YouTube.  

I am considering making my own YouTube channel for the book trailers I already have.  Look into it.  What have you got to lose?



If you have a series of books, 

permanently sell the first book in the series for 99 cents and the rest at either $1.99 or $2.99.

People look at FREE and think your prose is worthless.  

People usually take you at the value at which you place yourself and your work.

Encourage them to take a chance on your work with 99 cents and price the rest of your work at a level that they will feel more likely to buy several of your books at once after they liked your first one.


There are numerous blogs, websites, newsletters, and social media pages that specifically review and promote e-books. 

The influence of these reviewers affects a lot of ebook buyers. 

Below is a list of several well-known blogs and websites with large traffic:

Ereader News Today:
Kindle Nation:
Pixel of Ink:
Inspired Reads:
Kindle Reader: 

 Getting your e-book mentioned on these websites can help generate a lot of downloads.

You can write to the administrators of these e-book blogs and request a feature of your book.

Some sites give free listings while others will feature your book for a fee.

For instance, Kindle Nation offers author sponsorship opportunities to promote your book for $99 to $400.

A fee may not make sense for you in these harsh economic times, and I am with you there.



Having an audiobook makes you easier to find!

There are over 100,000 books on Audible. There are millions of books on Amazon.

I can’t think of an easier way to break your book out of the crowd than to turn it into an audiobook.

It’s a lot easier to stand out from the crowd if you’re in a small crowd.


 There are millions of people in the world who hate reading, but love listening.  Be there for them!

  ACX lets you produce the audiobook for free, provided you split the revenue with the narrator 50/50.

ACX isn't as great an opportunity as it once was, but it opens your book to a wide range of book lovers who wouldn't know of you otherwise.



  1. Good roundup of what does and doesn't work. (And Jessica is appearing all month - she's visiting my blog on October 13.) Having a sale on one of your books, with it listed at those sites, really helps as well.

  2. Hurricane Crimes was mentioned on a few of those sites, but when it was free. Ha! I didn't have a choice about doing free days because back then my publisher signed up for the KDP Select. Not anymore, though. These are great tips! One of these days i will make trailer. :D

  3. I'm featuring Jessica on Oct.6th, with a few questions I asked. It's a launch post, not an interview. She's a blogger I like to support, because I like her writing.

    When a writer I like asks for support, I'm there. I'm not a big book blogger, but I get a lot of international countries looking at my posts. Every little bit of exposure helps.

    You didn't mention two advantages you have, Roland, great cover art and many titles available in audio and ebook. A backlist is good to have.

  4. Alex:
    Are month-long book tours doing what they once did? I wonder. I've been told that many stay away from the blogs that month, knowing what they will find.

    I am at a loss as to what will work nowadays. :-(

    R. Mac:
    My bills won't let me give up my day and night job!

    Wendy Tyler Ryan made such great ones for me that I hate to follow them with the lackluster ones I could create!

    I wish you the highest of sales!

    I like Jessica's writing as well. And yes, every bit of exposure helps as Gypsy Rose Lee once said!

    You're right: Leonora Roy has done some wonderful covers for me. They blow me away every time I see them. I do have a nice backlist and the audiobooks sputter and spurt in sales. I just have to catch the right eye! :-)

    Thank you for being my friend!

  5. This is a fabulous reference post, Roland. It's so important to understand all of the options out there. It's also important to realize that what works for one writer, may not work for the next. A group of authors who write food related mysteries might successfully promote via a group blog focusing on recipes. But I'm not sure the average writer would see the same success. I think the real key with blog tours is to try to and hit a different audience with each stop. If with every blog you're reaching the same audience, then what's the point?

    VR Barkowski

  6. I thought about the contest, but couldn't come up with a description. Cool way to promote a book though, and it will be interesting to see what the great minds come up with.

  7. VR:
    Thanks! Alex wrote that he had an overabundance of how to write posts but few on how to market.

    Sadly, all the blogs I know and visit are basically writer blogs. I am afraid that month long book tours are us preaching to the choir!

    Like you said: if each stop reaches the same audience, soon our friends will tire of hearing of our book! Ouch!

    I need Neil Gaiman to listen to one of my audiobooks and talk of it on his blog! Hey, I can dream, right" :-)

  8. Donna:
    Nor could I. I fear these tried and true tactics are yielding lower and lower results. Have a great mid-week!

  9. Hi Roland .. you've tried many things ..and I'm sorry to read of Wendy's illness - not easy for you either.

    You're always offering us tricks and tips - and as far as I can see - it is to keep going and never stop ...

    Too many people testing the waters with their books ... cheers Hilary

  10. Hilary:
    A thousand new ebooks published a month -- hard to stand out in that crowd!!

    I pray that Wendy continues to improve.

    I think I will be the best kept secret on the net -- me and my books! As my recent bout with cancer taught me: there are much worse fates!

    Thanks for being my friend, Roland

  11. I like your very to the point facts of what works and what doesn't. Great summary on marketing.

  12. Hi, Roland,

    Thanks for your advice.... And offer to help. Still thinking about my next move. I haven't send out a new round of queries in about a month. I hope to get out a few more this week. Just to see. At least the last few rejections were helpful and PERSONAL. Time will tell.

    I like the idea of audio books. One of my designer clients is blind and she has been pestering me to put my books on audible so she can experience them. Something I hope to look into soon....

  13. Hi Roland,

    Thanks for mentioning my book :)

    I don't expect anything to happen with this book tour other than get my name and cover all over the place. It's good for "visibility" and that is just as important as sales nowadays.

    I know all my friends will just ignore all these posts. I knew that from the very beginning. But just having them there, means I have more of a chance to be found by people who don't know me. And perhaps something I offer may interest them.

    Also, I am not a globe-trotter. I just live in Greece and every single promotion I do, I do from my desk through the Internet, or "my own back yard." Which is very hard. Because as you can imagine, there aren't many people in Greece who read English novels. :-)

    Hope all is well with you.


  14. Jessica:
    And I hope your sales are high! :-)

    Traveling from Australia to Greece is certainly more globe trotting than many of us will do! Of course, Denise Covey is the true world traveler with her many trips that I envy for the sights ... but not for the inconveniences of air travel!

    I envy you the several writers' workshops you've done on the isle of Ithaca, mythic home of Homer's Odysseus. Best of luck with the one this year with literary agent, Katherine Sands, and self-publishing expert, Debbie Young!

    Let me know if you would want my input on self-publishing. If you client has a smart phone, I would gladly send her my audiobook of DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE: mystery, intrigue, and adventure in 1895 Egypt. Best of luck with your dreams.

    I'm so very glad you got something useful out of my post. :-)