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.
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.