Marketing 101 – The Big Bucks
This is the third post of a four part series on marketing written by an author who has been through the process.
You’ve dabbled in a little light marketing and had a combination of success and failures and whatever options you’ve chosen. Now you’re ready to throw a large bundle of money at the wall and hope that some of it comes back in your direction.
Let’s get one thing settled here and now. If you are going to plunge quantities of your hard earned/saved cash at marketing, it is essential that you can afford to do so. Think of it as gambling. Sure, you might get lucky and break even. You might get real lucky and win big. But the chances are you’re just throwing your money at companies that feed on people like you and me. You have to be prepared for the worst, for only a handful of sales. Why am I telling you this? To put you off? No. We just have to be realistic. Even the big publishers sometimes drown bucket loads of cash in what they hope will be the next best seller and end up with a flop. The truth is, success in the literary world comes down to a whole lot of effort, a substantial monetary investment and a big chunk of luck, and luck is a fickle bitch.
So long as you’re prepared to accept the chance of a flop, here’s a few ideas for indie authors with deeper pockets.
Bookbub/Robin Reads/Books Butterfly
Each of these are platforms which essentially work on a mailing list. They have a HUGE number of people who receive emails with their book recommendations, on a daily or weekly basis. Bookbub is the most expensive and most sought after of the three, but that’s IF you can snag a slot with them – I’ve tried and failed several times. But I’ve heard good things from other indie authors. If you grab an ad at the same time as doing a freebie of your book, you can expect downloads in the tens of thousands. The other two work in a similar way with optional levels of investment. Books Butterfly guarantee you a number of sales/downloads and will refund the difference if your advert doesn’t meet the guarantee.
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Facebook ads/Amazon ads
These work in a similar way to each other, just within their own websites. You choose your target audience and then they “show” your book to people periodically over a set period of time. You typically pay per click on a link to your book. They do not guarantee sales, but are a good way of getting your book in front of a lot of people’s faces. It can work out expensive and reported results are mixed, so it’s a bit of a hit and miss.
There are of course other options. Newspaper adverts. Adverts on websites specific to your genre. Radio adverts. Really, the list is endless.
It takes a lot of research and really depends what you want from a marketing campaign. Sadly, it is true that the more you spend, the better the results will be, but you must still make wise and informed choices. There is no point in taking out an advert in a Christian magazine for a Gay Erotic Romance.
Budget, research, commit, and with any luck you’ll make a dent in the market.