How-To Discussion of Promoting and Marketing Novels and Written Works

Discussion in 'Writing' started by juzzza, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. GordyGordy

    GordyGordy The new guy.

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    I've not heard of paid reviews before. Sounds like an odd setup. People have suggested I send free copies to reviewers, is that what you mean?

    I think I'd rather get bad reviews. The beauty of self publishing is you can go back, change and fix the book and it's online the next day. Surely that's better in the long run.

    Saying that, I ask my friends to read and review my book in the hope it would move up higher, but that seems to have backfired as one of them did review it but only after reading one chapter. I'm learning I guess.
     
  2. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    I have not received any reviews on Amazon. At this point a negative review would be great for at least that means that SOMEONE read the damm thing. haha But yeah I have submitted more than enough requests to fiction reader bloggers to review my book for free. Months later so far no takers. That is why I went the paid reviewer route because I figured that meant my book would get reviewed within this lifetime. It was not some sinister act I did because I wanted a guaranteed 5 star review as more than enough people on the internet insist that I did.

    Not to mention the reviews I got were not that glowingly positive. Each one points out that I am an amateur author with room for improvement. But points were made about the book that could only have been done if they actually read the entire thing that would be no different to what the more legitimate reviewers would do.
     
  3. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    I respectfully, but totally disagree that this is a plus for anyone, least of all the consumers. If I buy a book, I commit to spending usually many hours reading it and I expect it to be a finished product. I would be deeply aggrieved if I got to the end and found out the author was still treating it like a work in progress.

    Very, very few books warrant a second reading, and that is always because they were so good the first time that I want to experience the same thing again. It is not because I want to give an inexperienced author a second chance at something they didn't get right first time.

    (Now obviously this is okay if we're just talking about the odd typo...But I'm not getting the impression that is the case)
     
  4. GordyGordy

    GordyGordy The new guy.

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    I think the dream is to be a full time published author.

    As much as I think my book is awesome, it's been read by others who liked it, it's been proof read. I am realistic in thinking that if nobody else liked it then I would need to change it. If I can't write a decent book at all then it's been fun and I'll do something else.
     
  5. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    I don't look at a self-pubed work as a WIP but I see nothing wrong with fixing grammar mistakes or little things like that. If some one puts up a work and then heavily modifies it, that's a different area all together.

    As for sending review copies, that's encouraged and cheap to do. As for paying for reviews, that's just a little shady.
     
  6. AARoque

    AARoque www.unityparadigm.com

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    Marketing in conferences and conventions

    In regards to promoting and self marketing, one thing I tried out recently was to attend a conference that was in the same domain as the story line I'm working on. I recently attended a Star Wars conference in Orlando (Star Wars Celebration) and I printed out some promotional business cards with the website and a sketch of one of my characters.

    So I took 2 different approaches , quantity versus quality.

    For Quantity, I stood by the entrance and gave out the cards as people were coming in an mentioned a quick one liner "indie sci-fi story, check it out". Most people took the promo, some people asked what it was about, and a small number of people completely ignored me (boy, that was humbling).

    For Quality, I approached some people who were either reading some books already or were interested in comics or novels. That was great because I got to engage in some conversations regarding the plot and receive some feedback.

    Then, when I was done, I got to enjoy the conference myself which was outstanding.

    Has anyone tried something similar? If so, what was your experience?
     
  7. GordyGordy

    GordyGordy The new guy.

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    Hypothetically, what if I got a lot of reviews like "Love the book, but chapters 3-4 are too long and boring". So I thought, hmm... I'll make those a bit shorter and more snappy.

    Would you think that was a bad idea?

    (Please bare in mind that I am new at this.)
     
  8. GordyGordy

    GordyGordy The new guy.

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    I like the conference business card idea. I'll look into it. Seems like promotion is less about the book and more about just plain old getting people to read it.
     
  9. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    But what about the people like me that have already sent previous requests to get my book reviewed for free but has yet to receive an OK from any of them that they will give it a fair chance? How can that be my fault that I am forced to go the paid review route?

    In hindsight I am now aware that paid reviews are frowned upon with the status quo readership. But I still contend that I thought the review fee was just simply a guarantee that it will be reviewed within a reasonable time frame and to have the review permanently posted on their website. Even if I can get a book blogger to review my book for free, I am sure they will only reiterate the positives and negatives that my paid reviews did.
     
  10. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    Yes, I think that would be a bad idea. That means you should have sent the book to 'beta' readers before publication. You need to try and make sure you're putting out the best product you can the first time (with minor tweaks). Re-writing chapters to me seems that book wasn't ready for prime time.

    That is my opinion, of course, and you're more than welcome to re-write those chapters. Just make sure when you put out a new version you have something in your copyright that tells people which version they've bought.
     
  11. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    More and more bloggers and other people are getting inundated with requests to read/review my book. The best way is to send out a large email (stating this is a mass email) looking for those interested in reading and possible reviewing your book. Don't just send the book unless asked. Make sure you have something written up about the book, about you, etc. Standard press package. Those interested will get back to you. This is also something you'd like to do, preferable, 4-6 months prior to the book coming out. People are more likely to read/review something that not available to the public yet.

    Include in that same email you can ask for people interested in interviewing you for their blog (a blog tour). This is another way to get exposure without people having to read your book. Just make sure you're targeting correctly. Don't be sending your Sword and Sorcery book to a Paranormal Romance site.
     
  12. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    Business cards and flyers are a great way to get people interested. So are pins, buttons, any little freebies that people can just grab and go. The return will usually be small, but you're getting your name out there.

    Me, I have a bumper sticker on my truck for jrmurdock.com :) I've had a lot of traffic (not sure if it's because of that) but I have been stopped by people that have been to the site to check it out and they just wanted to say hello.

    There are lots of little ways to get your name out there and they all pay in the long run. The biggest thing is to just stick with it and keep trying different thins on top of what you're already doing.

    AND WRITE ANOTHER BOOK!

    Nothing brings in more readers than having more than one book available. People are usually reluctant to try out an author with 'a' book and would rather see someone with a proven track record for keeping at it.

    With that said, keep at it!
     
  13. GordyGordy

    GordyGordy The new guy.

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    Fingers crossed I won't have to change a letter. I'm just trying to be prepared for anything.
     
  14. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Right, I think the mistake I did was that I did not request reviews until the day my book was available on Amazon. But yeah I only sent my paperback or PDF E-book file to people that said they MIGHT review it but with no guarantee since it is a free service anyway. After months with no response I succumbed to getting paid reviews under the pretense that it only meant that they would find a reviewer to review my book within a reasonable time frame of a month or two.

    Maybe I should have been more patient about it, but its already September and still no word. But I have been told by some people that maybe there is no response from these people since my work is a spoof of fiction/fantasy. So maybe the fantasy/fiction bloggers I sent my manuscript to do not consider my work serious enough for them to waste their time to do a review. If this is the case, what do I do then? As you said, I can't send it to fiction bloggers that specialize in reviewing paranormal romances that's for sure.
     
  15. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    Starchaser: Best thing to do now is write the next book in the series or write another book. Try to do it right the second time around to help it find an audience.

    You could also record the audio version of the book and put it up on a site like podiobooks.com for free (yes, give it away) and that might draw people in to purchase a print copy or an e-edition.

    Either way, your options now consist of putting past mistakes behind you and moving forward.
     
  16. AARoque

    AARoque www.unityparadigm.com

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    Love the bumper sticker idea. I would even wonder if you were to place some major advertising decal on your car, it would be even better.
     
  17. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Amen to that brutha. My personal goal is to write the fiction/fantasy series that I have never heard or read before, without any concern if it is commercially acceptable. So far so good in that department. My only regret is that I did not realize that getting a paid review would be met with such negativity and somehow me being blacklisted as a sinister slimeball in some of these forums.
     
  18. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    I've seen authors literally shove promo items into folks hands. I would then find those same promo items in various trash cans around the con. Doesn't work.

    Me? I sit behind the table for the most part and let my display (a professional display is SO important) do the selling. Offer a bowl of chocolates. Biz cards. Book markers. Postcards. Have a video running on the I-pad and of course show a spread of books. Oh, and a banner. Vistaprint can get you both a banner and stand for just under a hundred bucks. Just make sure your banner looks very good (get a graphics artist).

    Kerry
     
  19. A. Lynn

    A. Lynn Was: "Virangelus"

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    Vistaprint is great. That being said, not every template is a right fit for your work. Also, I've seen two artists show up with the same banner (awkward!) , which for some reason inclines prospects to take you less seriously.

    Fortunately, Vista Print also allows you to submit a custom job, but make sure you hire a professional designer if you go that route. Hey, you've spent this long on a book, so why not give it a professional intro as well?
     
  20. Carlyle Clark

    Carlyle Clark Registered User

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    There is one professional reviewer that reviews Indie books, however, you must follow the guidelines and the book must look professional or they won't review it. And no, you don't have to be from the Midwest.

    http://www.midwestbookreview.com/