If you are an Indie writer struggling to make sense of the Brave New World of the novelist then you soon find that some people help and others don't!
As I wade through the swamps of 'Buy this package we guarantee will sell your novel.' and into the thorny thickets of self-help I have found that there is a lot of sensible common-sense provide by www.indiesunlimited. Definitely a place Indies should spend time at reading all those helpful articles.
Another useful site, although they do sell you things if they can, is Book Marketing Tools - find them at www.bookmarketingtools.com. They have a newsletter which drops valuable advice into your inbox. I have much to learn and am discovering how much more I have to learn every time there is a new email from them.
Here's a sample of their advice on building e-mail lists.
Use a Paid Method – Using Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Twitter, etc to push targeted traffic to your offer. I have used FB Influence to help me learn all about Facebook marketing.
Organic – This is all about writing content on your website or blog that is based on the wants of searchers online. Does someone in your target reader group search for “Free Mystery eBooks”, then why not write a post about your free mystery eBook giveaway when you run your next promotion? Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool to get more ideas.
Social – Not only have we been active on Google Plus, but we have had amazing results on Twitter as well, so make sure, when you are trying to drive traffic, you pick the one or two places that will help you the most. Not sure which to pick? Pick one and try it, then analyze a month or two later to see if you should continue or not.
New Media Collaboration – You might have noticed I said, New Media Collaboration. What I mean by this is, why not partner up with one or two other writers in the same genre and start your own YouTube, Itunes or Google HOA show? Instead of having to learn all this technology solo, work together and not only will you learn it, it will be with others that you can brainstorm on making something worth engaging on. Don’t be afraid to collaborate in 2015!
The offer you create is the gateway for someone moving into your sales funnel. Without something to offer them, you are banking on the idea that just because you built a platform and have a subscribe button, people will want to give you their email address. That’s a wrong and faulty assumption. It doesn’t work that way.
A good offer will have the following principle and components present:
The offer is exclusive – I didn't say the offer was unique, because let’s face it, everything has been created before… but the offer must be exclusively given to people via your mailing list. Therefore, the books you sell on amazon should not be the offer. The free list you have on a blog post is not the offer. Anything that is available publicly is not the offer. You make it exclusive, by making it exclusive.
The offer is interesting – You need to make the offer something that isn't just interesting to you, but interesting to the consumer, the readers you are trying to connect with. You should have a clear idea of the biggest pain that your readers have and the real need that they want. Fiction readers might not have a pain you can observe, so you have to ask. Why do people read my fiction book? Escape… freedom… getting lost. Create an offer that helps them to escape!
As a fiction author, maybe you can share a secret chapter in your book that you write just for your mailing list. Maybe you provide the private details about the creation of your story that your readers are dying to know. You can also create a short novella as a prequel or with the back story for your main books. It must be what they want, not what you think they want.
For non-fiction authors, giving someone a checklist, a resource guide or collating information for your readers is always valuable. If you don’t know what the offer should be, then ask your readers and if you don’t have readers, go back to last week’s social media post and find some.
The offer is simple – Rather than making a 50-page guide on something that your readers will never get through, why not give them something that is easy to digest that still hold value in their minds, that they can read in 1 hour. Give them a clear story about your story, so they connect with you.
The offer must be real – When marketing your offer, you want to be sure that you are not making promises about the offer that are hyped up just as a marketing gimmick. The Ultimate Author Checklist that we create is pretty, well, ultimate and it gives you what you need to know to market your book. If we billed it any other way and it didn't deliver, people would not stick around.
Interesting stuff. Is this really what a novelist must do to sell books? Don't writers write?
How on earth do you find the time to do all this?
I do not know, nor do I have the answers. But for some people this has worked. I am trying to find out what will work for me and my Writer's Choice colleagues. It seems to me this might well be part of the new world for novelists.