Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Swap: M. Pax and Her Adventures in Book Marketing

Today, I'm over at M. Pax's blog talking about preparing to give a writing workshop. M. Pax, however, is over here talking about two dreadful words: Book Marketing.

All this blog swapping is just so wonderful. Thanks for exchanging sites with me today, Cherie. I have much to thank Cherie for. She’s such a knowledgeable and fantastic person, and a talented wordsmith. [Aww, thank you, Mary!]

My thoughts on Nine Marketing Tactics


1. Ad on Goodreads. I bought advertising with them 2 years ago, which just ran out. I think it did help get my name out there early on, but can’t say it had much of an impact in recent months.

2. Website. This costs me $96 a year. Worth every penny. The networking we all do together is worth its weight in gold. You people are awesome! Thank you. Sincerely.

3. The trifecta: title, cover, blurb. I now hire out my covers. I toy with blurbs. If you change them every 4-6 weeks, it can give you a boost in visibility on Amazon and B&N. I now write two blurbs for each book and swap them out every 4-6 weeks, alternating.

4. A free Bookbub ad. Bookbub graciously gave me an ad at the end of June. Yay! My downloads went as fast as they did when The Backworlds first came out and the sales of the sequels went up a lot. I made triple my usual in July. Then it slowed down again. Siiigh. So, if you can get a Bookbub ad, you’ll get more out of it if you have other books out.

5. Perma Free. I keep The Backworlds free all of the time. This is my workhorse. It takes a beating, but that’s OK. I’d not have steady sales of the sequels otherwise. I will repeat this marketing plan in the future – first free, release the second in the series shortly after. Smashwords now allows us to have preoders, including Kobo, B&N, and iTunes. I will take full advantage of that with the next series I launch.

6. Twitter / Triberr – I notice that I get more downloads/sales on days I tweet my book than I days I don’t. Triberr gives me a constant stream which gets me more followers. All those tribemates also tweet my blog posts. In all social media, remember you’re a public person and a business. Keep your personal views and life private.

7. Newsletter. I don’t beg for followers on this. I only want people to sign up who are truly interested in more books by me. I don’t want numbers for the sake of numbers on my mailing list. I want my true fans. I call them my uber fans. They're awesome.

8. Events. I take advantage of promotional opportunities when they come up. IWSG, Indie Life, Writers4Writers, and Blog Blitz are all brilliant. I now host the annual Realms Faire which is all about giving back and promoting other authors. This year’s event is the week of Nov. 11. You can still sign up to participate. It’s all about helping you promote your work.

9. Marketing Packs. Grouping together with writers who write in the same genre. I created Untethered Realms, a group of speculative fiction writers. We band together to help promote each other, give each other advice, and help each other out. It’s like having an office. We learn a lot from each other. Why stumble around alone when you can stumble around with others? 

What has and hasn’t worked in your marketing efforts?

M. Pax-- Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at:

Some truths are better left unfound.

For two years Craze’s dear friend, Lepsi, has been missing. The murmurings of a haunted spaceship might be a message and may mean his old pal isn’t dead. The possibility spurs Craze and Captain Talos to travel to uncharted worlds, searching. Out there, in an unfamiliar region of the galaxy beyond the Backworlds, they stumble upon a terrible truth.

Meanwhile, Rainly remains on Pardeep Station as acting planetlord, dealing with the discovery of her lover’s dark and brutal past. Alone and questioning her judgment, her introspection unlocks more than heartache. Latent protocols in her cybernetics activate, forcing her to face a sinister secret of her own.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fourth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to ask my publisher about changing out the synopsis now and then. Smart idea.
None of my books are free, so Bookhub isn't an option.
But some smart ideas otherwise. Except I almost never Tweet anything about my book. Should I?

Luanne G. Smith said...

Great marketing strategies. You are quickly building your Breaking Bad book empire. :P

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of anyone else changing their synopsis regularly. I may have to look into that and give it a shot. (Even if it means writing another one.) Thanks for the advice. Marketing is a tough one for me.

Unknown said...

Great stuff, Mary. I need to write some alternate blurbs and check out the ads you mentioned. There are so many things to try...I just need to pick one at a time and go for it. I haven't really tweeted about my books; I guess I should look into that more, too.

M Pax said...

Once in awhile won't hurt Alex. Mostly I post it for others to RT, since I RT for a lot of folks everyday.

We'll see, LG. I think it may take me longer than Breaking Bad.

I only change one word in each of them now, Patricia. Still, it doesn't hurt to also make sure you're using top 'search' and 'key' phrases in your blurb either.

That's what I do, Michael. One at a time. Most of the time I chat with people and tweet their stuff. Triberr helps me keep a presence on Twitter most of the day.

Thank you for having me over, Cherie. It's very pretty over here.

Catherine Stine said...

Wise tips! Thanks for these.

D.G. Hudson said...

Interesting news about changing out your blurbs. Enjoyed your and Cherie's blog swap!

M Pax said...

Sometime in the near future, I'm going to write a post on Twitter lessons, Catherine.

Some folks think it's coincidence, but I don't think so, DG. Why would it happen every time I change the blurb then?

Christine Rains said...

Great post, Mary. Giveaways always attract attention. I can't wait to see the response we get next month for Realms Faire. I have the first book of my 13th Floor series free too, and it's gotten a big boost when the release of the collection.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks, Mary. You've done a great job with your books and you're very generous sharing your experience with others.

Nicole said...

Great tips! I hadn't heard that one about the alternating blurbs before. I'm storing it all away for a future need. ;)

M.J. Fifield said...

Book marketing is the one reason I'm happy my book isn't out yet. I just have a feeling I'm going to be a disaster at it.

But thanks for the tips. I'll make a note of them for when my time comes.

M Pax said...

Giveaways are a great way to gain some exposure, Christine.

It's not easy, Lee. If I can help in some small way, that makes me happy.

It does seem to work, Nicole.

You have all these veterans all around you MJ

Yolanda Renée said...

Wonderful information, thanks for sharing! Love the blurb info!

Good luck, but really doesn't look like you need it - you've got the techniques down and working!

M Pax said...

Perhaps I'm taxi'ing toward the runway, Yolanda, but I've a ways to travel yet.

Cher Green said...

Wonderful Marketing tips. Thanks for sharing.

Trisha said...

I don't know if I've ever retweeted a single tweet. I am not big on the Twitter knowledge, but I'm getting better. ;)

Arlee Bird said...

Valuable information. Good tactics. Smart marketing.

A Faraway View

M Pax said...

Hope they help, Cher

Do whatever social media you love most, Trisha, and learn to use it well.

Thanks, Lee.

Julie Flanders said...

I didn't know you used to have an ad on Goodreads. I never thought of doing that. I don't even know if I knew it was an option! Feels like I learn something new every day when it comes to marketing. Thanks for sharing your tips, Mary. :)

Sherry Ellis said...

These are good marketing ideas. I had never heard of Bookbub and Perma Free. Thanks for sharing!

M Pax said...

Yeah, way back when, Julie. It was a pay for clicks ad.

I hear Bookbub is tough to get on these days, Sherry.

DMS said...

The cover for Beyond the Edge is awesome! Yeah for M. Pax! :)

It was wonderful reading about the things that have worked the best for her and for getting her books sold. I always like hearing about what works and why. I have tried some things that didn't seem to work. When they don't work I try to stop putting my efforts there (and money). :) Twitter is something I am still trying to figure out. I use it- but I don't know that I am using it the best and most effective way possible.

Great post! Love that you two ladies switched blogs- how fun. :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Great list! I don't have experience with most of these techniques, but I agree about how invaluable websites are. I don't know what I'd do without mine!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for all the great advice. Marketing is confusing and hard, and every little bit of info helps. :-)

The Armchair Squid said...

Hello to both of you.

Cherie, I hope you will consider joining my bloggers' book club:

M Pax said...

I think I'm going to do a post on Twitter lessons Monday, Stephanie.

If you can only make on investment in cyberspace, a website should be it, Heather.

It is confusing and difficult, Lexa

Hello, Squid

Anonymous said...

I love tweeting, blogging, blogging events, and in person activities.

I've been meaning to look into newsletters and Triberr.

Anonymous said...

With so many writers clogging the Twitterstream, it's a wonder anything gets through! =] Keep up the good work, Mary.

Gina Gao said...

These are really great tips! Thanks for sharing.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Swapping blurbs is an interesting trick I hadn't heard of. And hiring out your covers is great. I LOVE your Backworlds covers. They are truly brilliant.