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Monday, November 30, 2015

Dear Debbie-Downer Writer,

I know a few writers who complain about a lack of readers and sales but then shoot down every marketing strategy. Most of the time it’s because they heard certain techniques have downsides or aren’t as effective as some hoped. Well, I have a few things to say to these authors/writers….

Dear Debbie-Downer Writer,

How do you know you’ll have the same experience as these other authors?

How do you know it won’t produce good results for you?

The truth is, you don’t know.

Don’t let what others say dissuade you from trying something new. Don’t decide it won’t benefit you until you give it a fair shot and look at the results.

Image from QuickMeme.com

1. Blog Tours

A blog tour is the #1 way I know to get the word out about a new book.

Debbie-Downers will say: Blog tours don’t result in sales.

I say: You’ll get some sales, not tons. How many you get depends on whether you target your readers and share unique posts to entice them. The main purpose of a blog tour is to get your name and your book’s title/blurb in front of dozens, even hundreds of people. It’s the best virtual exposure you can get and if you want readers and sales, exposure is what you need.

Debbie-Downers will say: People only congratulate you. They don’t buy your book.

I say: So? Getting “Congrats!” should make you feel good. You can’t expect everyone who comments to buy your book. And not everyone who does give you a nice comment actually reads the type of book you’re promoting. They’re being friendly. You should be happy about that!

Debbie-Downers will say: The same people go to the same blogs. I want to find new readers.

I say: Then you need to find new blogs. Step out of your blogging circle and look for bloggers you’re not acquainted with. Search blog directories and book blog listings. Build a relationship with them and see if they host guests.

Point is, it’s great exposure and you really can find new readers. The most sales I’ve received for a new book came as a result of a blog tour. I actually don’t know any better of a way to connect to potential readers than with a blog tour.

Image from Flickr
2. Free eBooks

A free eBook can be a nice way for new authors to get their eBook into the Kindles of avid readers. It’s also an awesome strategy for authors with a series. By putting a prequel and the first book in a series free for a few days (or even permafree), you are opening the door for many readers to order the next book and become a fan.

Debbie-Downers will say: People only download free eBooks because they’re free, and they don’t read them.

I say: When Hurricane Crimes was free for 5 days, it received over 2,000 downloads. I don’t have 2,000 reviews, but my eBook is in 2,000+ Kindles and that’s awesome! Someday these people may come across it and read it. You never know. Plus, many readers who get free books do want to read them and will.

Debbie-Downers will say: You’ll get a lot of bad reviews because your book isn’t what they’d normally read.

I say: This can happen. And it’s not your fault. It’s the reader’s fault for not reading the blurb and not looking at the genre and page count. I got one bad review from a reader who said she hadn’t realized Hurricane Crimes was a short story. Well, there’s a note at the beginning of the blurb stating it’s a short story. Plus, a page count. I’m not sure if this reader got my story when it was free because the review came over a year later, but that was just one review…and there were over 2,000 downloads.

Point is, if your eBook gets a lot of downloads, it’ll reach the top of Amazon lists. That’s awesome exposure. You may also get sales after your free days end. And although you won’t get a bunch of reviews right away, after some time you may get some, especially if you tell the people you know on social media about your free eBook.

Image from Wikimedia

By eliminating blog tours and free eBooks from your marketing, you’re losing out on many potentially good things. By being a Debbie-downer, you’re only bringing yourself down. And if you don’t take advice and try new strategies then how do you expect to change anything or get anywhere?


See Also:

Author of Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.


M.J. Fifield said...

Hey Chrys, great post. I know my marketing problems generally stem from me forgetting to do them. For example, I had intended to put my ebook on sale today, as part of cyber Monday, and am just now (after reading your post) thinking, "Oh right. I was going to do that, wasn't I?"

But I did manage to put together a blog tour when my book came out. This is a terrific, supportive community, and I'm always thankful for their help.

Christine Rains said...

It's never a mistake to try everything once. Free ebooks work for me, and I'm not sure about tours, but you never know. Each tour is different. Excellent post!

Chrys Fey said...

Uh-Oh. Sometimes that happens, especially now during this hectic time. I know there's been things I've wanted to do and have forgotten.

Good luck with your sale!

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. You have to at least try once.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I agree that no one wants a Debbie Downer but there is also the fact that you need to be careful about which marketing strategies you dedicate your time to. Trying new ones out is one thing but it would be a mistake to dedicate yourself to strategies that are not attracting an audience for your work. For example I don't read newsletters almost any at all. Sometimes I try to since I know the author and want to be supportive but I sign up for way mire than I actually read. So this method is not one I would really use since I am not even interested in reading them much less creating them. At most I MIGHT try a bi yearly newsletter or something (does that exist). But not a monthly or weekly one. Just the thought has a cat jumping out of my imagination and scratching my eyes out. I love cats so that imagery just tells me to go do something else.

diedre Knight said...

All good points, Lady Chrys :-) I don't expect cyber friends to buy my books or actually read my work (depending on the friend) because friend is the operative word here, However, friends do help you get your work to a wider audience. As far as trying new things, I'm usually game; after all "a ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are built for" ~ John A. Shedd

Anonymous said...

Great post, Chrys. Sometimes it's hard not to get in a Debby Downer mood. Things can be sluggish and slow, but you gotta keep positive.

Liz A. said...

The thing about free books is you get them in front of people who might not otherwise try your books. I know I've downloaded many, many free books. Many are crap. But a few gems stick out, and I tend to then buy books from that author because I know I enjoy that author's writing.

I think that's the important thing to remember--if you're going to make your book free at any point, make it a great book. You will attract some fans that way.

Chrys Fey said...

@Sheena-kay Of course, doing a strategy that you know isn't attracting readers to your books is a waste of time. That's when it's time to stop that one and try something new that you feel may produce results. Thing is, you never know what will or won't until you try.

Chrys Fey said...

@Diedre I've been shocked by cyber friends buying and reviewing my books. It's my "real" friends who dont. LOL

Chrys Fey said...

@Patricia I know. I can get into a Debbie-Downer mood too.

Chrys Fey said...

@Liz, yes! Free eBooks, if done right, can reach so many people and create fans.

Unknown said...

Great post!