Marketing, yeah well whatever.

It’s all well and good having written a book, what about selling it? Not wanting to talk dirty or anything, but seriously people, you’ve poured a lot of time into the who literary process, so it wouldn’t hurt to get a few bob back.

After all, a couple of weeks back I talked about how much it cost to produce this book. (So how much money is there in this book writing job anyway)

 

https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/so-how-much-money-is-there-is-this-book-writing-job-anyway/

 

So how do you do it?

 

Well frankly I don’t think a lot of Indie author’s actually do any marketing. There was a fascinating article in the Guardian about the Self-Publishing boom.

 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/13/self-publishing-boom-lifts-sales-18m-titles-300m

 

It made the fascinating comment “18m self-published titles purchased, worth £59m,”

By my reckoning this means the average self-published book nets £3.27.
Even if 6m of the self-published titles are free this means the average purchased on brings in £4.91.

That means that an awful lot of books aren’t hitting double figures in their sales figures. I suspect that this figure probably gives us the number of supportive family and friends self-publishing authors have. Granny will buy a copy come what may, even if she has to buy a kindle first to read it on.

 

And the rest of us; how is our marketing going? A lot depends on genre. Talking to a friend who works in a library, they might lend out five SF books in a month as opposed to thirty thrillers in a day. So choose your genre with care!

 

So where do we market? At the moment ‘on-line’ is everything. Personally I don’t rate twitter. All you end up with is a crowd of authors screaming ‘Buy my book’ at each other. I do have some hard figures. Due to a statistical fluke my first book, “Swords for a  Dead Lady”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swords-Dead-Lady-Jim-Webster-ebook/dp/B006C4C8OO

 

was picked up and massively tweeted. About ten Americans (by their pictures they’re the sort of lady whom some might have described as ‘underwear models’) all tweeted that you buy it. If you clicked on their tweet and purchased it, they’d have got a payment from their Amazon retailer account. I totalled up their combined followers, it was well over 100,000.

In that week I sold one book in the US.

 

Facebook? It can help, especially if your friends spread the word by sharing your links. I’ve had quite a lot of fun giving the planet of Tsarina a Facebook page.

 

Goodreads? Yes, you’ll see sales and you’ll actually get a lot of support, but you’ll have to become part of the community. You’ll have to spend time, interact with people, chat, and just join in. Just spamming them and moving on is going to get you nowhere.

 

The real world? Well frankly my best sales have come after my local paper mentioned the book and my local radio station did an interview. It was as if it made me ‘real’ and gave me credibility. The problem is that to get this level of credibility you really need a paperback to flourish and that will be more expense.  E-books might be gaining market share, but for many people, until you’ve got a book they can hit somebody with; you’re not a proper writer.

 

So I’ve got my new marketing plan. Buy my book or my new sales manager will be round for a frank and open exchange of views.

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14 thoughts on “Marketing, yeah well whatever.

  1. The Story Reading Ape June 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    Some thoughts from author Jim Webster and and his new Marketing Manager 😀

  2. Jack Eason June 27, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply

    My books only ever appear as eBooks, with one exception, and are only available on Amazon. Why Amazon? Because they have the largest share of the eBook market. As for marketing, I use my blog here on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Stumbleupon (all US based companies you will note).

    It’s interesting Jim, you say “In that week I sold one book in the US.” In my case, while my own books sell in their thousands in the US, I’m lucky if I manage to sell five in a month here in the UK. When it comes to genres, by far my most succesful sales have been in ‘adventure’ and ‘science fiction’. When it comes to reading eBooks, the Americans leave we brits well behind…

    • jwebster2 June 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm Reply

      I’ve just never made any impression on the US market. I can well believe that SF is bigger over there, you’ve got such a tradition of great SF writers.
      The sheer size of the US market means that it’s going to be ‘THE’ market to try and sell e-books in and I just wish I could somehow break into it.
      Justice 4.1 (http://www.amazon.com/Justice-4-1-Tsarina-Sector-Webster-ebook/dp/B00IPTBEQW/ ) is even written using American spelling!

  3. Jack Eason June 27, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    More on marketing and genre choice…

  4. simonhepworth59 June 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm Reply

    A good article and I agree wholeheartedly. However, have you considered Print On Demand? CreateSpace isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it does make it feasible to print very small numbers and build from there.

    I’ve just written a non-fiction book (Striking Through Clouds, the war diary of a bomber squadron) which has sold 14 Kindle and over 100 paperbacks in two months. It’s niche and aimed at friends and relatives of squadron members but I was surprised how strong the demand is for print compared with e-books.

    • jwebster2 June 27, 2014 at 6:12 pm Reply

      PoD is something I think every author should bear in mind, even if it’s just to buy twenty or thirty to sell locally and be seen as a ‘writer’

      With non-fiction I can well imagine that you’ll see a totally different ratio of paper to electronic, and as you say, you’ve targeted at a specific niche. It will be interesting to see how the numbers look after a couple of years.

      • simonhepworth59 June 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm

        Probably not a lot different if the truth be told…

  5. […] Marketing, yeah well whatever.. […]

  6. M T McGuire June 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply

    I sell way more paperbacks, out of my handbag or through local publicity than anything else. Even my local Waterstone’s, or at least, one of them, stocks my books. However, unfortunately, the handful of independent bookshops I’ve tried have not been overtly encouraging. Except one, who were lovely. I’m going to send them an AI sheet and some more info. I’m sure that if a few of them start to stock it I will move some more books. It will be interesting to see how that goes as I work down my list.

    Cheers

    MTM

    • jwebster2 June 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm Reply

      I picked up your habit of carrying paperbacks with me, it struck me as a nice idea.
      I’m going to have to wander into our local Waterstone’s and see if they want to stock the book.
      We’re short of independent booksellers round here I’m afraid 😦

      • M T McGuire June 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm

        Waterstones – the one in the Arc in Bury (we have two) have shown more interest than 4 out of 5 independent book shops so far! 😉

      • jwebster2 June 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

        What people forget is that some independent book shops close because they’re just poorly run small businesses. I’ve seen some which might really be ‘tat and tea’ shops which might sell the occasional book. (Thinking about it, that might be a better business model in a world dominated by Amazon)

      • M T McGuire June 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

        McOther reckons it’s a simple case of the areas they’re in. In the posh places they want ‘proper literature’ the kind of stuff that wins the Mann Booker. In the more blue collar areas they like a book well written but what they really want is a good story.

      • jwebster2 June 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

        I can see that, interestingly enough I think Waterstones is our local ‘blue collar’ bookshop which fits in with McOther’s thoughts

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