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    « Why Narrative Family History is Best | Main | Self-Publish a Book: How We Choose a Printer »
    Tuesday
    Apr022013

    Self-Publish a Book: Thoughts on Marketing Considerations

    Today, we welcome award-winning indie sci-fi and paranormal author Roland Allnach. Roland’s short story Creep was a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee. His book, Remnant was a finalist for the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award, a 2012 Bronze Medalist in the Readers Favorite Awards and received recognition in the 2012 USA Book News Best Book Awards. His anthology Oddities & Entities was also recognized by the 2012 Readers Favorite Awards.

    We are happy to present Roland’s Thoughts on Marketing Considerations.

    Today’s publishing world has been fashioned by a number of dramatic forces over recent years.  The rise of self publishers and small publishers has led to greater numbers of published titles, and the never-ending growth of the Internet allows space for many voices.  While these changes likewise provide many opportunities for authors, they have simultaneously made it that much harder to draw the attention of the reading public.  Reaching an audience is the tricky trade of publicity, and its winding road of marketing. 

    Like many authors, I came into the world of books with no experience and no concept of how to promote my books.  After my first book, Remnant, was published, I went out to the LA Times Book Festival to do a book signing.  While there I realized just how small a fish I was, and how big the ocean in which I swam.  I left with the lesson that I had to do something to distinguish my book.

    I submitted for market level reviews to both expose the book and give it critical credibility.  I was fortunate enough with both Remnant, and my second book, Oddities & Entities, to receive a number of positive reviews.  However, even though the reviews had some built-in promotion, they served as mere blips on the radar.  I then submitted to reputable awards and, I’m happy to say, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a number of placements from several contests.  The effect, though, was indirect: while the awards served little discernible impact on my presence in the market place, I did notice they made a profound difference when talking with promotional professionals - I was giving them something they could build upon.

    Book marketing is a complimentary process - give the promotion world something to work with, and promotional efforts bear fruit.  Just as authors want to build on exposure, so too media outlets want to build on momentum rather than initiate that momentum.  Awards and positive market reviews are big steps toward fostering those opportunities.

    When it comes to actual marketing decisions, that is, where the promotional dollars are to be invested, consider options carefully.  I invested in Google Ads, given that Google has such a tremendous exposure base.  However, I came to realize that for the same money I was investing in Google Ads, I could have regular virtual book tours and/or book blitz campaigns running.  Will the Google Ads appear on more pages?  Most likely, but what impact might they have?  With a Google Ad there is a link and two very short lines of text.  With a VBT or book blitz campaign, the exposure is much more targeted.  The promotional effort has more substantial content (interviews/reviews/blog posts) and they are reaching an audience of dedicated readers actively looking for their next reading pursuit. Also, blog exposure can build as blog posts are cross linked and shared, whereas a Google Ad is a ‘static’ post. 

    Consider marketing as a combination of three elements.  First, material: the best you can write.  Second, distinction: favorable, professional reviews - and some awards - will set your book apart from the crowd.  Third, exposure: use the reviews/awards as the distinguishing characteristic of your book to provide bloggers and other media outlets something to work with in promoting your book.

    I’m not a bestselling author - yet.  Persistence, though, is the foundation of all efforts.  The road of marketing may have many twists and turns, but without the determination to follow them through, a book will never find its way into the hands of readers.

    Visit Roland’s website at www.rolandallnach.com

    Learn more about Roland on Good Reads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5181360.Roland_Allnach

    Buy Remnant or Oddities & Entities on Amazon at

    http://www.amazon.com/Roland-Allnach/e/B004KI0YA4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1364830404&sr=8-1

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