Hey all. Today I'm going to talk about advertising again. Why? Because it seems to be a spot where a lot of really awesome writers aren't really all that awesome.
I suspect part of that is we spend so much time in our heads we can't really conceive of what it takes to connect to the outside world. And frankly, most of us would really rather not. I spent a larger amount of time in the company of other human beings on Saturday than usual and it kind of squeeb'd* me out.
Part of it is, of course, the fact that society frowns on talking about yourself and your accomplishments. Especially if you're a woman. Totally stupid, but it's engrained, so we're stuck with it.
Maybe some of it is that we all went into this expecting to be picked up by a traditional publisher who would advertise and market for us. (At least that's the fairy story we were told. I suspect the reality falls way short of the tale.) So, if someday a traditional publisher is going to market for us, why bother learning those skills that we really would rather not learn anyway. Right?
Whatever the reasoning, we have a problem. We want our books to be out there in the marketplace where people can read them and, hopefully, make us a little money, too.
So, you want your book to be read, but you don't have a publisher backing you and helping (or not) get the word out. Well, advertise everywhere you can get an ad in for one thing. Yeah, I know the budget's limited. Hell, I'm the posterchild for limited budget right now. But there are ways. $10-$40 ways. You just have to look for them. Try them out and see how they work for you. Go here and see how some things worked for me. As always, remember YMMV (your mileage may vary).
What else can you do? Tweet. Get a zippy line and a link up there a couple times a day - morning and evening if you can, but mix it up so you're not hitting the same followers every time. Make sure you send at least two non-marketing tweets for every one marketing tweet - because if you're all marketing and nothing interesting, people will ignore you. And tweet to pimp other people's books. Share the love around and some of it will come back to you.
Oh, and for petesakes, use those hashtags. If you're tweeting about a suspense novel, make sure you put #suspense. Or #mystery or #romance. Sometimes people are following those tags looking for a new novel in the genre of their choice. But they won't see you if you don't hashtag it.
And speaking of not seeing you, utilize Amazon's keywords to the best of your ability. You have seven words or phrases. (OR PHRASES.) So, if you wrote a sweet romance with cats, make the keyword 'sweet romance with cats' - so people who are looking for that particular thing can find you. But I'll try to get more into that on another day, because I could write a whole post each just on hashtags and keywords and tweets.
Now here we are at the bottom of the post and I didn't even get to what prompted me to write this today - my search for ways to sell to non-Kindle people. I'll write something up and hit that on Wednesday. Promise.
Any questions? Anything to add?
*squeeb - to make or be uncomfortable, nervous, etc. "I'm feeling squeebie today." "He squeeb'd me out so bad I had to run away and hide."