THE FIVE Ws OF MARKETING
By Christine Rains
By Christine Rains
Becoming a self-published author wasn't an easy decision for me. I still harbor dreams of being the next Stephen King. Yet there were many factors making self-publishing the right choice for me right now as a stay-at-home mom. My life is subject to the schedule of a toddler, and there's never any certainty in that.
Today I'm going to discuss my least favorite part of being an indie author: marketing. I always fret over finding the right audience. I've heard hundreds of time that “you'll know it when you find it.” One thing I've had a little success with is watching my sales. Yes, sometimes I do compulsively check them, but not just the numbers.
Ask yourself the 5 W's: who, what, when, where, and why?
1) Who? - who are your buyers (other than friends and family). Discover who they are and how to find them online. What groups do they belong to? What sites do they visit? Find out and make yourself known in those places. I belong to a lot of paranormal romance groups, and I make sure to write a lot of reviews of books in that genre.
2) What? - what are the buyers purchasing aside from your books? Find out how those other authors are marketing themselves. Band together in groups. Marketing with other authors increases your voice and exposes you to a larger audience. I belong to an awesome group of speculative fiction writers called Untethered Realms. I've learned so much from them.
3) When? - when are your books being purchased? Time of day might not matter, but days of the week do. Extend it to months for a longer term study. Increase your marketing just before and at those times. Most of my books are purchased on Fridays and Saturdays. More in the afternoon than any other time of day. So I tweet most often during the afternoons toward the end of the week.
4) Where? - where are your books being purchased? Amazon is the biggest seller for me. I focus a lot on Kindle users. Where also includes geographic location. My biggest Amazon audiences are in the US and the UK. Yet most of my buyers on Kobo are from Canada. Through these details, I can focus my marketing on the right audiences.
5) Why? - why are people buying your books? Perhaps it's your blurb, a genre tag, or a cool cover. They might be coming from your blog, from someone else's blog where you did a guest post, or a review site. My best selling book in the 13th Floor series is THE ALPHA, and it's because it has a “werewolf” tag. Readers searching for a story about werewolves want to find something new, and I make sure to advertize my twist to the usual Alpha trope. I'm very curious to see how THE ORACLE & THE VAMPIRE does with a “vampire” tag.
Remember the 5 Ws and don't be afraid to try something new in marketing. It's all trial and error. Actually, most of the time it's a lot of errors, but through them, we learn and become just a little bit wiser.
Having fallen for her gorgeous neighbor might not be so bad if Harriet McKay wasn't in her hideous banshee form every time Kiral saw her. Such is her curse. True, he's a vampire struggling with a drug addiction, but he's a good soul. Yet no one could love a cursed witch, especially one not even her cats respect.
After having a vision of Kiral's death, Harriet makes it her mission to save him. Never before has she attempted to change fate, but so strong is her love.
Kiral Ozdemir struggles to make it through every day. The craving for blood laced with drugs directs his every thought until he tastes Harriet's potent blood. The magic immediately addicts him, but she disappears. He's desperate to find her, racing blindly into a city in chaos.
How can Harriet convince Kiral to see past her vile appearance and return her love? If only she can force him to listen to reason coming from a raving crone, perhaps she can save him from the demons hunting him and from himself.
To Purchase: Amazon / Smashwords / Nook / Kobo
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has seven novellas and twenty-one short stories published.
Those are excellent tips, Christine! You gave me a few new ideas.
Great tips indeed, those W's can relate to any feed
Excellent information that I agree with 100 percent. I've allowed myself to drown in article writing, which has been profitable for me. However, as a result I've neglected my fiction writing. I look forward to getting back to it.
That's very good advice, Christine. I'll take them into consideration when I get to finish my book. (Hopefully before the next century arrives.)
Thank you so much for hosting me, Cherie! You've been such an amazing supportive friend. :)
Alex, thank you! Hopefully both guest posts today have been helpful.
Pat, thanks! Yes, they can.
Jolie, getting your name out there with articles is a good way to get seen. Good luck with your writing!
Al, thank you. Good luck with your book!
Good luck, Christina - those are excellent marketing tips. I, too, hate the "M" word - and I was in marketing for 30+ years. It's just when it's for yourself, it's much harder. Thanks, Cherie, for hosting Christine today and for your comment on my blog yesterday
Promoting a book is all so mind-boggling to me. I'm already in a quandary, my debut will be released sometime this summer, I think. Thank you Christine for all the wonderful information.
Excellent tips, Christine - I need to go out and find a few groups that read stuff like my book . . .thanks for your advice!
Fantastic tips! I'm glad that you took the route that was best for you and your schedule. It sounds like you're on the right track to becoming the next Stephen King :)
I agree with your other readers, Christine, and excellent and helpful post. Thank you.
Excellent tips, Christine. I hadn't thought of a lot of this. Those are good things to look out for no matter what way you publish a book.
I'm glad you're able to collect that kind of data on your buyers. Wasn't sure what was available to the author on Kindle/Nook/Kobo stats. Great advice, which I will keep in mind when I finally put my stuff out there. :)
Good tips! I didn't know you could keep track of when people buy your books.
Karen, it's comforting to know that even someone who has a lot of marketing experience thinks it's difficult to do it for yourself. Thank you!
Cathrina, thank you and good luck with your debut book!
Tyrean, thanks and happy hunting!
Samantha, I really hope so! Thank you.
Natalie, that's very true!
L.G., good luck!
Sherry, it's all basic info. No names, but what we're given can be helpful.
Great tips, Christine! I'm curious to know how 'vampire' does for you, too.
Waving at Cherie!
Those 5 w's never stop giving. You obviously have some wise words in considering your audience. Thanks for great tips, Christine and. God bless, Maria at Delight Directed Living
Mary, so far it's gotten a lot of clicks for sample downloads, but it didn't explode like THE ALPHA with the "werewolf" tag.
Maria, thank you!
Firstly, very good of you to have the delightful Christine featured on your site. And Christine, your 5 "Ws" make good, practical sense.
And because I'm so gosh darned wonderful, I shall share on this posting via all those neat social networks.
Fantastic tips, Christine!
Some very interesting and creative tips there!
Still - your writing is so inviting . . It's gonna find so many readers - your concern will be hiding from fans.
love & love,
klahanie, thank you very much!
Kyra and Nick, thanks! :)
Maggid, thank you. That's my feeling toward marketing exactly! *LOL*
Great tips and I liked your point that most of the time marketing is a lot of errors! I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling this way LOL. Marketing is a totally new thing for me and I feel like I learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing your tips.
Loved these tips--thank you (and I need them right now)!
So much great advice! Marketing is something I worry about a lot as an artist, so I definitely plan to keep these tips in mind.
I totally agree that marketing is the most daunting aspect of writing/pubbing. Personally, I'm terrified and pessimistic. But your W's made sense and showed me things I didn't know before. Thank you! :-)
Julie, thanks! I still feel like I'm fumbling around most of the time. It's tough, but something we have to do!
Christina, thank you!
Heather, thanks! You've got a lot of talent. That helps bunches!
Lexa, you're welcome! I'm happy to be able to help. I try to do the little things otherwise it's terrifying!
Hi, Cherie & Christine,
I guess indies will always have to be hard at work studying. I'm still trying to find my market and doing different things to help promote.
This is a really helpful post, if I ever decide to go the self-publishing route, or even if not - thanks Christine, and Cherie!
These are excellent tips! I liked this post very much.
J.L., I'm still working on it too. Good luck!
Deniz, you're welcome! :)
Gina, thank you!
wow great post, Christine! I'll definitely be bookmarking this.
These are very good points to remember - and easy, too!
Excellent tips and well-presented. Thank you! Good luck with all your publications!
Mary Montague Sikes
Nutschell, Rachel, and Mary, thank you so much.
Thanks for the tips. I'll keep these W's in mind.
I jotted down some notes from this post! Thank you!! :)
Great advise. Thanks for sharing. I've got a few self pubs out there, but they haven't done that well.
christine is my girl!! she knows my mad love for her and her writing! i'm all signed up for the book reveal. anything for a awesome girl!!
Thank you so, so much, Cherie. I've copied these out and will keep them as part of my writing 'bible'.
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