Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reaching Readers and Enticing Buyers on the Cheap

Photo by mcfields Copyright: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/
My favorite real estate agent told me the smell of freshly baked cookies would help sell my house. And, to prove it, she set up an open house and baked cookies. The house sold that day for the full asking price.

I wish there was a magic way to sell books.

One of the most difficult parts of indie publishing is selling books. As authors, we'd all like to be writing, not marketing. But, if we don't do it, who will?

What I've learned the hard way about publishing is that the profit margin is so slim you have to pick marketing methods that are not costly. I've placed ads in magazines and newspapers, but I don't recommend that approach. Too expensive. One way to get into the newspaper is to write an article instead of an ad. In the writers group I belong to one of the members writes for the local newspapers and he is doing a continuing series on local authors. Free advertising at its best.

I look for services with high circulation where I can get my books listed for free or for a reasonable fee. The Fussy Librarian (http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/) is a favorite of mine. This service is easy to use for authors and readers both. Readers choose from 40 genres and select content preferences such as amount of sex and violence, and The FussyLibrarian emails them daily e-book deals.

Authors send in book information, cover image, and links to where the book is available. Jeffrey Bruner, the Fussy Librarian, is flexible about posting your book at a time that corresponds with specials such as Kindle's Count Down deal. Allowing readers to limit their daily email list to books they prefer is good for authors, too. It means your book is not competing with every book in the country. Just the ones your target group likes.

There is a charge for this service, but it is quite reasonable. Bruner earns revenues through the affiliate programs and doesn't have to rely solely on author fees.

Look for other book listing services, especially those that are limited in some way to match your target audience. For my Christian novels, for example, I use a website called Christian Book Finds (http://christianfictionebooks.blogspot.com/) that advertises Christian books daily and has a large distribution. The charge is not much, but could add up if you're not careful. There is a reduction in cost if you include a badge for the website on your blog.

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