I’m not young anymore. Things that used to be perky…aren’t. Gravity takes its toll, and things shift and sag. The same thing can happen to your writing. The sales take a dive, and you have to work to lift them again.
When I got a publisher, I thought I could spend more attention on writing and less on marketing. Not so. Yes, Lyrical Shine lists my romances on their Facebook page and twitter. They create covers and do cover releases. For my first book, they did a great blog tour with Gallagher services http://gallagherauthorservices.com/author-assistant-services/. I got good feedback. For my second book, they only advertised on their own Lyrical sites, and that book fizzled and died. Any momentum I had disappeared. For my third book, I got excited because they were doing another blog tour, but this tour listed the book cover, a blurb, and the same excerpt at every site. People yawned after the second one and disappeared. For my latest book, SPICING THINGS UP, they did the bare basics. It was sad.
I still like working with Lyrical, but I learned a valuable lesson a little too late. Even if you have a publisher, you’d better have a plan in mind to promote yourself when you’re a new author with little or no name recognition. And hopefully, you’ll have a book cover that grabs readers’ attention. When I self-published my urban fantasies, I never sent a bundle/book out into the cold, cruel world without paying for some kind of advertising. Sometimes I’d go the $20 or $30 route, and once I went for broke and used BookBub. NOTHING beats BookBub. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to get BookBub to accept you, and it’s expensive. But I more than earned out what it cost. Using it when you only have one book online is a risky proposition. It’s useless if you make the book free. How will you earn back any money? But if you have a series, it’s awesome! At least, it was for me and my writer friends. I had a lot of luck with the Fussy Librarian, but it did nothing for my friends. The type of genre you write makes a big difference on which site is best for you or not.
I can’t set the prices of my books on Lyrical, so can’t offer sales or specials on my own, so I’m going to try a different tactic this time. I paid $65 to start a blog tour with something original on each blog, using Goddess Fish Promotions. http://www.goddessfish.com/services/virtual-book-tours/ They’ve been every bit as nice to work with as Maggie Gallagher. I chose a little different approach. I’ll be featured on a different blog each Tuesday for 8 weeks. It’s an experiment. I don’t know what I think works best yet, so it will be interesting to see what happens. And yes, once April 25th comes, you’ll be pestered by me every Tuesday for a couple of months. And I’ve answered more questions than I’ve answered for a long time.
Every writer writes for different reasons and has different expectations. I know some wonderful, talented writers who are happy just putting their books on Amazon and hoping people find them. That’s fine. If you want to build an audience, though, advertising has worked better for me than other things I’ve tried. Social media helped until I switched to romance. There wasn’t much carry-over. Urban fantasy readers aren’t impressed with kissing. I get it. Kickass battles don’t compare to relationships and angst. But if you want to find readers for the genre you’re writing, advertising can help.
If any of you have any methods/tricks that have worked for you, and you want to share, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, have a great Easter/Passover/holiday and happy writing!