It is said that authors are the best people to promote their own books, and there are days when I think this was said just to shuffle the workload and blame back onto us. But the truth is that we are the best people to promote our books because we love our books more than anyone else. The other truth is that promotion is part of an author's daily now. But don't just go rushing off to book your ads and newsletter blasts and 99c promos, because there are few things you need to consider first.
You must have a REASON to promote. It's costly and time consuming, and if you don't know why you're doing this it can be a waste of that time and money.
I'm putting book one of my "Welcome to the Apocalypse" series on sale for 99c a few weeks in August, and the first thing I do before organising any promotion is to work out WHY?
So I wrote this at the top of my to do list:
What is my goal for this promotion?
There are a few reasons why authors promote books; such as increased sales of a book or series, increased brand awareness, or to set up for a new release.
I'm promoting to set up for a new release.
It's important to note that this promotion forms part of the marketing plan for my next series "Earth Quarantined" which is scheduled for a November release. This means I need to gather an army of readers NOW.
The next question I wrote at the top of my To Do list was this:
How am I going to reach these readers?
This is the million-dollar question for all authors - how do we reach our readers? There are many, many ways, some ways work well for XYZ authors and not for others. We can only implement and analyse what we do. In my case, I've chosen to leverage off my current series with an ebook promotion. They're both the same genre, and I've gathered a small following so far.
There are 2 main price points for this type of ebook blast promotion - free and 99c. I chose to do a 99c promo blast instead of free because I've previously done free promos, and while the books got a lot of downloads, I'm not sure these converted to sales of follow up books. I'm not sure people even read the books.
Since I'm concerned that people download free books and then forget about them, I decided to go for a 99c promo. I'm working on the premise that a reader will commit to a book they've paid for over one they haven't.
Let's recap :
I've set my goal - to gather an army for my next book.
I've decided on a way of recruiting this army - with a 99c email blast promotion.
But all of this work will be wasted if I can't tell the new recruits HOW to join my army.
This is where back matter for the 99c promo book is critical. Back matter is the section at the back of the print or ebook with links to author sites and other books. I spent a few days updating the back matter for all 3 "Welcome to the Apocalypse" titles. I've included the blurb to "Earth Quarantined" and a call to sign up for notification upon release.
This promotion will be in conjunction with other ads to increase followers to my social media and author sites such as Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads.
I hope this post is helpful for when you plan your next promotion. Remember that advertising doesn't always (if at all) convert to immediate sales. Ads are typically to plant a seed into a consumer's mind so when they're ready to buy, you're forefront in their mind.