Blog Post #7 (Launch Week)

I’ve vacillated between writing a deeper dive of the Superstars Writing Seminar from last week and talking about marketing a book once it’s out. After some deliberation, I’ve decided that marketing wins. Marketing always wins.

So for you indie writers out there, or maybe even first time published authors at a traditional house: you’ve written your first book, now what?

Well, now it’s time to get some advance reviews, prime the sales pump with Facebook and Amazon ads, and come up with a bunch of hilarious tweets and ‘grams to wow the world with your imagination. So did I do any of that? Eh, some. I wish I did more, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

For example, I didn’t know how long it took for Amazon ads to catch on and take off. Frankly, I’m still not sure. I read a book by Brian Meeks on how to price and position, but the average bid has increased significantly since he wrote his book. So what now? Option one is to throw my hands up in despair, which is tempting, but not particularly effective. Option two is to dig in and try new things.

I’m not sure how effective Facebook ads are, but marketing has a cumulative effect. It’s not like everyone is going to see an ad one time and buy your product, regardless of how great it is (you know, like my book: Ghost Bully). Facebook allows you to target your ad, to your audience, worldwide. There’s value to that, and I just need to figure out how to mine it. My ‘one click down’ lesson so far has been to make sure to link the appropriate Amazon site to the country (e.g., to Canada, to the UK … you get where I’m going with this).

I thought it would be cool to make a ‘band poster’ to advertise the book in places where people wait around in line for great food (like the Soup Peddler or Moonlight Bakery) and in coffee shops … wherever you’d see a band poster. Surprisingly, that’s been pretty effective … moreso than the Facebook ads so far.

So the net of all this is, I’m not sure what will work, and what won’t work. I’ve done my homework on how to position everything above. Read tips and tricks for ad optimization, spend, etc.… even floated up my own ideas. It’s only been a week since the book has officially been out, so we’ll see.

My main takeaway so far is that I need to keep writing everyday, regardless of what happens. That second book is going to be ready by next year at the same time. When I have nervous energy, I can go do something about it (hang posters, write a blog post, draft my version of a hilarious tweet … whatever). Ultimately, the work will speak for itself, but in the meantime, I need to endeavor to get it in as many hands (and minds) as possible.

If you enjoyed Ghost Bully, you can help too. Put up a review on Amazon or Goodreads, print out the poster from the Street Team tab and hang it up at your favorite place that has a bulletin board, or just tell a friend.