Thursday, September 8, 2011

Creative Marketing

Marketing is the bane of my existance; and I am not being overly dramatic.  Ok, maybe a little.  Isn't it enough that I write?  Now I have to be a salesman too?  I am pretty sure those skills come from two different parts of the brain, so if you excel at one you surely suck at the other.  However, there are many who have managed to find unique ways to promote themselves:

Bryan Dennis and his Indie Snippets site features 200 word excerpts from the latest indie novels and short story collections.  As of 9/7/11, his stats are as such: 198 blog followers, 2,538 Twitter followers, 17 reviews on Amazon for his book, An Epitaph for Coyote, (this is good, or better than me, because his release date was July of 2011).  I asked him about his sales, and he reports a few per week.  He said he didn’t expect much sales due to the genre (literary and satire), but is hoping his next book, Saw a Rainbow (suspense, speculative genre) will result in more sales.  In July he participated in a blog hop, giving away his book to two winners which resulted in two Amazon reviews and increased blog traffic and membership.  He plans on participating again, putting his blog to his advantage.

What Bryan has done is creative marketing.  He is providing a great service to fellow Indie colleagues by promoting their work, and is still able to market his books via non-traditional means on a site that garners a lot of traffic.

Of course, many writers have started their own book review services.  Check out my book review blogs list under the resources section – many people who run these sites are authors as well, and are able to market their own materials on their site.

Another great small press publisher, Ridan Publishing, has a blog specifically geared towards small press and Indie publishers,  Robin Sullivan hosts lectures and provides guidance to hopefuls like me; all which I am sure has boosted the book sales of her nine authors.  As of 9/6/2011, Robin has 265 blog followers and 238 Twitter followers.  I haven’t found the stats of her book sales, but I’m sure they are great.

A few days ago, Mark Coker (Founder of Smashwords), tweeted this link:  Melissa Conway’s The Indie-Author Laments video, no doubt produced a lot of buzz.  She has three books released plus four more written under a pen name.  Her blog has 18 followers and 234 follow her on Twitter.  She also has a newly created a website where Indie Authors can exchange unbiased reviews.  Right now, there are at least 25 books listed on the site.

Each of these authors/publishers have gone beyond the traditional e-book marketing methods, creating their own niche to attract an audience, all of them brilliant ideas or simply a case of hard work.  So the question is, what do the rest of us do?  Or more importantly to me, what do I do?  One idea that comes to mind is to create a self-publishing event that follows right on the heels of NaNoWriMo.  This could occur over a 3 – 4 month span of time where followers take their newly written novels (created during NaNoWriMo or otherwise), and as a group follow a step by step process through the self publishing nightmare.  As a creator of the possible website, forums, etc., I would get some ‘discoverability’ (as Robin Sullivan would put it), but oh man – that is a lot of work.

Keeping that idea on the back-burner, I will stick with sending out my review requests for now, hoping to gain enough momentum to generate higher sales.

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