For Fellow Writers

I’ve been trying a few different things to market The Body in the Wheelbarrow, my ninth Jazzi and Ansel mystery. None of it has made me rich, but it gave the book a better sendoff than the blog tours I’ve tried before, so I thought I’d share. If I’d have combined them ALL, who knows? Maybe I’d have had even better results.

First, I posted a cover reveal on my blog and on twitter. I know twitter’s worrisome right now, but it’s one of my favorite marketing tools at the moment, and I hope it stays that way. I also posted about how the writing was going for the mystery off and on. C.S. Boyack does a brilliant job of doing this on his blog to build interest in the books he’s working on. See for yourself.

When I was close to finishing the book, I put it up for pre-order on Amazon. I did that wrong and wasn’t too happy with myself, but the next time, hopefully, I’ll get it right and be more organized. I know authors who post the book way ahead of time and give the date they want the book to go live, because they can fiddle with it up to 48 hours before it goes up. Be smarter than I was. They can give the book a long lead as a pre-order and then load the finished version BEFORE the date they chose. I posted on twitter that it was up for pre-order, and I think the pre-order helped build interest for my book, so I think it was worth it.

Once I put the book up for pre-order, I paid $119 for a Goodreads giveaway and MEANT to have the giveaway end the same time the book went live on Amazon to order. I screwed that up, but I still think it helped readers find The Body in the Wheelbarrow. I gave away 50 copies and hope I’ll get some reviews from the winners. They just got their books today, so I’ll have to wait to see how that works, but I still think the giveaway was worth it. Over 400 people signed up to win a copy. That’s 400 people I might not have reached any other way.

Today, I paid for an ad on The Fussy Librarian and made The Body in the Buick free for 5 days. I’m hoping more readers will find the series and want more of it. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I always post free days on twitter, too, in a separate post from the blog posts that automatically go there, and I always attach the book’s cover or a canva creation for the book..

I’ve shared this before, and I’m not nearly as ambitious as Debbie Macomber is about promoting her books, but it might give you some ideas you could use. She, of course, has a publisher who does a lot of the work. People who self-publish have to pick and choose how much time and money they can afford for marketing. But here’s the list:

This is by no means a brilliant marketing plan I came up with, but I wanted to share what I did and how it worked with you. Good luck with your own books!

3 thoughts on “For Fellow Writers

  1. Thanks so much for the information. This is all great “in the know” stuff for indie authors. I’m still undecided what I’m going to do, but I know that my new (day) job position has made searching for an agent an impossibility. I just don’t have the time. I submitted my best ms to a single small publisher, got a contract, and after reviewing it, turned it down. Indie pubbing is looking more and more like the route I’ll take but I’m still on the fence. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to learned more about what works for promotion.

    Wishing you all the best with The Body in the Wheelbarrow. You have a great fan base with this series, and you’re taking steps to increase that. I enjoyed the latest foray with Jazzi, Ansel, and crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for the review for my latest Jazzi. I’m glad you liked it. I tried to change this one up a little, and I’ve had mostly good feedback. One faithful reader didn’t like it as much, so I’ll fiddle with the next one to find a middle ground if I can. Did you send to any agents? Get any kind of responses? People in my writers’ club have had a horrible time trying to get agents right now, so I know how hard it is. Small publishers can be tricky, too. A friend signed with one, and when it was successful, a bigger publisher bought it out and dropped most of the writers who’d signed with it. Just sad. I’ve never read a “bad” book by you, so I’m sure your new novels are both solid. Whatever you decide to do with them, good luck!


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