Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#IWSG: That Horrible M-word / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 20

IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the other participants, click here.
Today I'm talking about that dreaded, horrible M-word: Marketing.

I don't feel like I know what to do about marketing. I'm often afraid to mention my books on social media because I don't want people thinking I'm spamming them. I might put up a post saying I have a new book out, but that's it. Unfortunately, that doesn't really help with sales. In April, I plan to republish my paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare. I want the book to do well, and I think it's really awesome, but when I think of marketing, I freeze. What should I do? How can I market the collection?

Novels are easier to market because people read novels more. Once upon a Nightmare consists of a novelette, a novella, and a short story all featuring the same monster and is around 45,000 words in length. I considered a standard blog tour and do feel like they're useful to get the word out, but I want something different, unique.

A reviews tour? Maybe. Reviews are really hard to find for collections. I've considered creating a MailChimp newsletter for people who would like to read and review my books. Publishers do that, but I haven't come across authors who have them. I have to find some way to garner reviews because without reviews, a book sinks quickly into the abyss. If anyone wants to read and review, let me know. I'd be more than happy to send an e-copy.

Then, I had an idea. What if I wrote a choose your own adventure horror story? Horror is all about the choices characters make. Those choices can kill a character or make the person the lone survivor. So that's what I'm considering doing. Sometime in May or early June, I'd like to have a blog tour of the choose your own adventure horror story featuring the monster from Once upon a Nightmare. The posts will be short (probably 300 words or fewer). The beginning will start on my blog, and then I'll have a blogger for each choice. Their blogs will have two choices that will send people to the next blog for the story. I don't know how many bloggers I'd need yet (got to figure out the story first), but I think it could be fun and different. I don't have signups yet, but I will soon.

Perhaps thinking outside the box a little bit with marketing can help. Maybe. *shrugs*

Do you like marketing? Any tips?

By the way, Sunday, March 8th is my birthday. I'll be turning thirty-three. I like repeating numbers, but I was a little depressed while reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which said, "At that time Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three." I don't think I'm ready to get out of my tween years. *laughs*

Read Chapter Twenty here or click here to start from the beginning.

45 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Choose your own adventure! I like that idea. It's creative and different. I was going to say I have a book full of ideas, but you already have a really good one.

Bob R Milne said...

Choose your own adventure is a cool idea, and the nostalgia factor alone will attract some readers. I wish I could say marketing was my biggest concern, but I need something to market first . . .

Chemist Ken said...

Happy upcoming birthday! The choose your own adventure idea may pan out. It's getting people to participate in things like that that really get people excited. Let us know how it works out.

Christine Rains said...

I love your idea for the choose your own adventure! I feel the same way about marketing. I often wonder if anything I do has any effect. It's tough, but we just have to keep pushing forward. Yay for your birthday! :)

authorcgcoppola.com said...

I have absolutely NO idea what to do with marketing. I freeze, just like you. I get so overwhelmed that I shut down. It's not good. I have three books out and have done about 0 marketing on them. Not blog tours, not giveaways. Nothing. Mostly because I'm not sure how to do most of those things. So I have no advice to offer - only empathy. But cool idea with the choose your own adventure! Oh and happy almost birthday (my sister's is the 6th and my dad is the 10th). 33 sounds like a good number. I'm turning the big 3-0 in September, so right behind you! And besides, what did Frodo know? He had super hairy feet, so can we trust anything he believes? (except second breakfast. That's legit).

E.E. Giorgi said...

Oooh, you are a March girl too! Happy birthday, that's women's national day, too. :-)
Marketing is hard !! The people who seem to be very successful at this have huge mailing list, give away free early copies of their book to their mailing list so that on launch day have lots of reviews, and then launch at 99 cents and keep it at that for a couple of months. And then there's magic of course, but I don't know anything about that. ;-)

Tamara Narayan said...

Hi Cherie,

I have a collection coming out in April as well and would be interested in swapping reviews. My stories are similiar to Twilight Zone episodes. The exact stories that will appear is still up for debate, but there is at least one, called Ursa Major (21 K), which will definitely be included. There's a description of the tale on the publishing page of my blog http://www.tamaranarayan.com/p/publications_19.html. If you are interested, please email me: tamara.narayan (at) gmail.com

Good luck!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Happy Birthday! I don't like the idea of marketing either. Sounds like you might have a good idea.

M.J. Fifield said...

Happy Birthday!

I don't like marketing much. I went to a local indie bookstore in town to ask them about stocking my book as well as letting me do a signing there. This is something they've done for other local authors, so I know they would let me do it, too, but when it came down to actually asking a person face to face...I totally chickened out. I stood there awkwardly for a moment, then ran away. I haven't been back since.

The choose your own adventure idea sounds amazing. I'd definitely sign up to help with that.

Rachel Morgan said...

Happy almost-birthday! Have you tried submitting it to BookBub? They accept some collections as long as all items in the collection are by the same author. For reviews, I've recently used ebooksforreview.com and have been very pleased with the results. Otherwise ... yeah. Marketing sucks!

Chrys Fey said...

With social media, I try to think of clever ways to market my books. I like to share character quotes, facts, and I create pictures with quotes from my stories. I'm not if any of that helps with sales, but I do it anyway. All we can do is try. :)

Happy Birthday! I hope it's special. :)

cleemckenzie said...

First of all have a great 33rd year celebration. As to social media, I'm not very good at it, I'm afraid. I sort of flounder around until I hit on something I like to do. It's not my strength, but I try.

princessofthelight said...

Hey Cherie, first of all, happy early birthday! :) Marketing is something that comes really easy for me. I try to capture the attention of readers through author interviews, guest posts and quotes on Twitter. It's helpful to join a few groups in your genre. Remember, it's about getting the word out about you first and your book second. Connect with readers. Have fun! There are several author promotional people out there. If you're interested in what I can offer you, please contact me. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Happy birthday early!
That sounds like a great idea. More people will follow the tour and the book will be a lot of fun because of it. My blog is open.

Lexa Cain said...

Marketing is indeed a horrible word. But you seem to have a lot of very interesting ideas to promote your novels and collections. Wishing you good luck and next Sunday have a very Happy Birthday!

dolorah said...

That choose your own horror blog tour sounds intriguing. Let me know and I'll sign up. And, I am one of the few people I know that enjoys reading/reviewing anthologies and collections. I still have two books to be read/reviewed, but if you don't mind it taking me about a month to get to the review, I will certainly add your collection to my list. Horror is probably my fav genre. Or is it fantasy? I like almost everything short story!

Olga Godim said...

Interesting post and an intriguing idea.
Happy Birthday to you. My son was born on the same day as you - March 8 - so it was always a day to celebrate for my family. You're invited.

Stephen Tremp said...

Happy Birthday! I'm a March-born person too. I love marketing. Can't wait ti rev things up for my latest MS. Querying will begin in earnest this weekend.

Patricia Lynne said...

I love the choose your own adventure tour. I am so signing up to help. Marketing is something I have no idea what to do with either. I'm like you and don't like feeling like I'm spamming, but I can't say nothing.

emaginette said...

Tips? Cheer and be excited about each step of being published. Don't be afraid to smile or step into the spotlight. Rally some friends and do a blog tour. That's all I've got.

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Carrie-Anne said...

Happy early birthday!

I'm a complete failure at marketing, since I'm not aggressive or connected enough. I've followed some writers on Twitter who really go overboard with pimping their products, a constant stream of; "Just a reminder my contest is still going strong!" "Here's another chance to win my book!" "Here's an awesome review!" "My book is still 99 cents!"

Medeia Sharif said...

I like your idea. That is the m-word. I always stress about marketing.

Have a wonderful birthday weekend.

Feather Stone said...

I've been conspiring with another author on this subject. We both have had some success, some dismal failures. We've been toying with the idea of getting several authors together each month to promote their books. Each month we would focus on a particular genre. Each participating author would offer one ebook which would go into a collection as a prize. In order to compete for that mega prize, people would need to answer a few easy peasy questions about the author / book. Thereby, they would have to visit each author's blog /website. We're still working out the kinks. What do you think?

Feather Stone said...

I've been conspiring with another author on this subject. We both have had some success, some dismal failures. We've been toying with the idea of getting several authors together each month to promote their books. Each month we would focus on a particular genre. Each participating author would offer one ebook which would go into a collection as a prize. In order to compete for that mega prize, people would need to answer a few easy peasy questions about the author / book. Thereby, they would have to visit each author's blog /website. We're still working out the kinks. What do you think?

Cathy Keaton said...

That actually is a really cool idea! If anything, it could make marketing less boring and tedious.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Happy almost birthday! Don't worry about the number, go with how you feel. I have lots of marketing advice in my Writing Wednesday posts.
doreenmcgettigan.com

Shelley Sly said...

I feel the same way about marketing. I'm always afraid of shoving my book down people's throats on social media. But I think you've come up with a great idea, and I look forward to checking it out.

And happy early birthday! Enjoy your weekend.

Stephanie Bird said...

My tip is review all the possibilities and then select only those that resonate with you and your work. Good luck! (Visiting from IWSG).

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Happy birthday coming up! I love the CYOA idea. Very intriguing. I'm into fantasy, rather than horror, but I'd be open to the blog tour. And I agree, marketing is the worst.

Editors At Work said...

Great idea about marketing. Happy upcoming birthday!

Cindy said...

I have an email list, and I was only able to use it once since I haven't had a release in a long time. But it worked well and I know other authors who swear by them. One reason they work well is because things can get missed on social media. Plus you can send a personal kind of message to your friends, fans, and anyone who is interested.

Gina Stoneheart said...

Happy birthday, Cherie!
I turned 34 last October and still haven't let go of my tween years... or even a time younger than those years. This is probably why I am still addicted to Dr. Seuss and everything having to do with picture books. I can get lost in the children's section of any bookstore.
As far as marketing goes, I have been doing this mostly by word of mouth and connecting with parenting blogs or reviewers. I also hired a company called Bostick Communications a few months ago. I had an amazing turnout since many subscribers signed up to review my children's book. I even made connections and snagged a couple school visits=)
Good luck! Marketing can be a big pain in the ass.

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm hopeless at marketing. I barely marketed my last novella series. I don't think I even have any reviews. I was going to do a review tour, then sort of lost steam and got all insecure about it. LOL. Anyway, I'd be glad to help you in whatever way I can, Cherie. Both in April and when you do the choose your own adventure.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Happy 33rd Birthday!!! I celebrated my 33rd with bigger enthusiasm than the ten years of birthdays before it and the ten years of birthday since - it was "just the right" kind of birthday. :) I hope you have a wonderful, amazing celebration!
So, although a few years ago, I wasn't reading much horror, there's a few writers who have gotten me hooked - Jeff Chapman, Julie Flanders, and you! So, I would love to help out with a book blast and a blog tour, and some tweets. Just let me know how and when. (tyreantigger@gmail.com - send any book promo stuff there)

SittieCates said...

Advance happy birthday!

Choose your own adventure--what a great idea! Lots of luck to you.

New follower here. :-) Thanks for the blog visit!

Romance Reader said...

It is a great idea...looking forward to following on and reading all the stories!

DMS said...

I wish I had some ideas for you! I think your choose your own adventure idea is very cool and unique. :) Very creative! I am happy to help by posting on my Author Tracker blog (since the content wouldn't fit my MG blog). :)

~Jess

Happy Early Birthday! :) Hope it is wonderful!

Diane Burton said...

If you were trying to sell a widget, you'd have to do some marketing. Same with marketing a book. One thing to remember: nothing sells your 1st book like your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. Don't spend so much time on marketing that you don't have time to write the next book.

Milo James Fowler said...

Happy birthday, Cherie! I hate marketing. I long for the day when a publisher will do it for me. Keep dreaming, right?

Heather Holden said...

Happy belated birthday! Hope it was an awesome one for you! :)

And eek, I absolutely dread marketing. I always feel like I'm doing it wrong, or that all my attempts at it annoy the few followers I have, LOL. I really love the idea of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type of blog tour, though! How fun! I'd love to sign up for something like that, for sure.

New Release Books said...

Happy birthday, Cherie! Hope it was wonderful. I could help by posting on NRRNovels. Hit me with an email.

Romance Book Haven said...

Marketing? Ah! Wild subject anytime! Either you love it or hate it! Happy belated birthday!

Jocelyn Rish said...

Marketing makes me feel ill. I was even terrible at selling Girl Scout cookies, and they pretty much sell themselves. Good luck with your plans. And a late Happy Birthday to you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Cherie .. happy belated birthday - still the year is young .. go for it and live it to the full. It's being brave - you've written your book .. now just get out there ... if at first you fail, dust yourself off, pick yourself up .. and get out into the spring and summer air and market yourself and the book ... happy days!! Cheers Hilary

Tara Tyler R said...

love that def of tweens! i'm not ready to leave them either - happy belated bday!
and i'm with you on marketing whats the mystical magic trick to it? i did just read a good article at iwsg from diane wolf i'm going to try.

and for the above post, I loved Open Minds, will check out the novella - thanks for the reviews!