When it comes to marketing I don’t believe that anyone knows the key or secret to success, and in at least one case they have no idea what they are doing. That one case would be me. Let me be clear – this is a subjective point of view based on my own experience. Other people may have experienced something much different. I certainly hope so.
Like most people, my experience shapes and informs my views. As an author, I have taken a scattergun approach to the marketing of my work. I’ve tried nearly everything and have learned a few things. Again, this is just my experience. Take it for what it’s worth.
1. Social media is a wonderful vehicle for connecting with people, learning, and sharing ideas. It’s not particularly effective in selling books. How many Likes/Followers/Friends/Connections does it take to sell a book? A hundred? A thousand? A million? Don’t look at me – I don’t have the answer.
2. Reviews provide great feedback and help assuage the self-doubt that accompanies my efforts as a writer. They aren’t nearly as effective as I thought they would be in generating book sales.
3. Free days on Amazon are useless. I tried that and had over 600 people download Winter Songs. I received 7 reviews from those 600 people. That’s right – 7. Meanwhile, I eliminated 600 people who might ever buy that book.
4. Gifting my books to the library doesn’t work, because the books are nowhere to be found in their system or on their shelves. What happened? Did they sell them through their bookstore or at a fundraiser? Maybe. Did they toss them in the trash? Maybe.
5. What about blog tours and interviews? Nice experience but, again, not much of a sales generator.
6. Press releases don’t work, at least not for me.
So, what can I do? Continue to write; continue to publish; continue to promote. By the way, did you know that you can actually buy Re-tweets, Followers, and Likes? I’m not kidding.