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April 30th, 2011, 07:16 AM #496
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a marketing thought...
Since I've been competing in the FF contests, I've been enjoying myself quite a lot. It gave me an idea for marketing.
1. contact your local school and offer to hold a FF contest for their students, winner gets a signed book. (will work better if you can also get a book store involved that will offer a voucher to the winner). Such a contest can also be announced during a talk to the kids if you're prepared to do that... talking to kids can be challenging if you're not a public speaker and if you're not prepared to have a few of them ignore you, mock you... whatever kids do nowadays.
2. Contest is announced in the school newsletter (with links to your website and so on), also try to get it in the local newspaper (they like good news stories about local authors usually)
3. Read a lot of stories (it's not as bad as it sounds), choose a winner, present the book to the winner at the book store where you can do some signings, take photos (maybe another newspaper article)....
Pros: Exposure, good word of mouth since you're donating your time, you could possibly change some young kids life...
Cons: Costs time, a book, work...
I just went through this process at my old Highschool (without the book store as the one in my home town just closed down ) but just thoguht I'd offer it out there. I gained a few twitter followers, website clicks and a couple of book sales (did this at the local library)...
Thought I'd add it to the post...
April 30th, 2011, 12:32 PM #497
I have pro editors in my family, and a graphic designer...the book was almost in book form with a cover and everything when my mother passed away. She left me just enough to try to make a difference in my life, by publishing my book. Then I didn't realize what people think of the self published. Here I go thinking again, I thought I was being smart with the small amount she left me. But it is hard down here on the bottom, but I don't intend to give up that easily. I am a fighter, and I have friends in 5 different countries now...that has to help me some how. Still waiting for my 1st quarter sales, but I don't think that I am doing to badly. Hope you are fighting right along with me!
April 30th, 2011, 06:18 PM #498
Definitive food for thought all round.
Thanks for the school insight, MLSawyer, and a great idea.
My problem is I live in Japan, so getting a captive audience that actually reads English fluently enough to tackle a novel is a tough call!
May 2nd, 2011, 12:10 PM #499
great idea MLSawyer. My HS bought my book for their library, but I never thought of a contest there!
May 11th, 2011, 12:20 PM #500
Amazon Kindle, Free Book Avalanche
Imagine my surprise when I took a look at my Amazon download figures this morning and saw 892 downloads overnight (and mounting quickly; it could easily run into the thousands today).
Riches? Nope. They were all free... a big let-down... kind of.
I've had a free download special running on Smashwords for awhile, and beginning at 10:00pm last night, Amazon began matching the freebie specials that independent authors have established with other vendors.
Rather than getting grumbly about it, I'm trying to see the upside: This will mean a large multiple of extra readers and therefore more buzz and more reviews. Some will no doubt be negative, but some will be positive.
Anyway, to all you other indies: Give this approach some thought. I've kind of stumbled into it, but it feels right.
"It doesn't matter what you say, just spell my name right."
May 11th, 2011, 05:48 PM #501
Well done, Window Bar - and I do believe giving stuff out for free is beneficial in the long run; kind of a karma thing. Great idea!
May 11th, 2011, 08:06 PM #502
May 12th, 2011, 11:10 AM #503
Right now, I'm just happy for this bit of temporary energy: 4100 in the last 34 hours. The regret, of course, is that my next title is probably 6 months away, so the boost is somewhat ephemeral.
Your point, then, is well-taken. It's a mistake to go gratis anywhere unless there's a specific purpose to be achieved; the best, of course, is if one has other titles in cyberland.
May 13th, 2011, 02:05 PM #504
It's the cost of working with companies like Amazon that doesn't get talked about much. On the bright side -- readers! On the down side, the percentage effect will probably be fairly small, at least to start.
May 14th, 2011, 02:51 AM #505
(Of course while I'm on their freebie list, 35% of free ain't much).
The "cost" of large corporations is not to the author, it's to small retailers such as our marvelous hometown bookstore.
May 14th, 2011, 10:17 AM #506
Well, what's kind of interesting is that a lot of the small retailers are doing very well right now, acting as kind of a combo of community arts center bookstore and online shippers. Your local bookstore might want to look into what some of the independents across the country are doing right now. Amazon used to own online retailing and of course they had 90% of the e-book market initially. But now we have a much wider range of online bookselling and Amazon's share of e-book markets has dropped to about 60%. The tablet computers are overtaking specialized e-readers. But Amazon is developing a Kindle tablet, which makes sense.
Amazon has definitely given a big boost to small presses and self-publishers. But it extracts very firm and often exclusive conditions because small presses and self-publishers have little leverage. That's not the worst thing in the world, but it's important for self-publishers especially to really read the terms of the contract and understand what Amazon is allowed to do in the deal.
Another interesting development that may be occurring -- Borders in the States is in bankruptcy, and it may be planning to get rid of its category sections in fiction, creating just one large general fiction section. This may have an effect on promotional efforts for authors, and it may effect small SFF presses, shutting them completely out of the chain. But then again, if Borders gets bought up or just fully goes under, it may not matter.
May 14th, 2011, 04:55 PM #507
May 14th, 2011, 05:14 PM #508
Exactly, hippokrene. But interesting food for thought here from KatG and Window Bar... cheers.
May 14th, 2011, 10:44 PM #509
Self-publishing is a different way of working and involves different sorts of business deals, so an author who is self-publishing needs to understand those business deals he's making.
May 15th, 2011, 12:29 PM #510
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