When I started this blog, my intention was to keep it focused on writing issues. I did that for a long time, and I intend to continue with that theme most of the time. Today's blog is different. It's a shameless plug for my most recent book, Maker of Angels.
Wait! Don't go away, there's information here about marketing. Check out this super book release promo:
Win a Kindle Fire from Amazon by answering 25 questions about Maker of Angels. That's right! You can read an excellent western romance story, and, on Dec 8 (a Sunday), answer 25 questions about the story. Each individual question winner gets an Amazon $5 gift certificate, PLUS a bonus entry into the drawing for the Grand Prize...the brand new Kindle!"
How's that for an incentive to buy a $3.49 eBook?
Let's talk about the cost of marketing and results. I spent $300 on a "marketing" company a few months ago to promote another western-romance book. What happened? Not a damn thing. That's right, not one sale resulted from that expense. Then, I signed up for a blog tour for another few hundred dollars. Results? Nadda. Sure, it's nice for the ego to see these people promoting your book, but I'm not some stupid five-year-old kid who gets off on mommy's empty compliments. Nope. I'm a businessman who get excited by sales results, so I looked at the high end professional services. A couple big name promotion companies offered their services for a whopping $4,000 - $5,000 per month!
"Is there another alternative?" I wondered.
With 35+ years of marketing experience, I figured there had to be a better way. I began experimenting. It only takes a few dozen book sales in a short period of time to climb the charts at Amazon. I knew many people who would be happy to read my book if I gave it to them, so that is exactly what I did. Gift books cost me a net of about $1 each. Didn't take a genius to realize that for the $300 I wasted on each of those marketing companies, I could have "sold" 300 books and been flirting with top 100 standings on Amazon. In turn, those readers would, theoretically, generate more sales through word of mouth. I tested the theory and it worked. Now, let's apply that same theory to my Maker of Angels book release celebration.
A Kindle Fire will cost me around $150. Twenty-five $5 Amazon gift cards are another $125. My total cost is only $275 and will get a lot more attention than all those other paid services COMBINED! Am I being generous, as one person told me? That's the wrong word. I'm actually engaged in effective marketing for both my book and the building of my author-brand.
The important truth for authors is that we are not just artists. We are also independent business people, promoting a product we love and believe in. It is important for us to invest in our vision to bring it to the public. Watch for the results of this book release event in an upcoming blog. I will tell you the final numbers, and how effective I feel it was. You get to experiment right along with me . . . on my dollar. Better yet, come to the Maker of Angels release event and try to win a new Kindle Fire. You'll have great fun, read an awesome story and you just might win that Kindle. I'll even make this easy for you...here's the link to Amazon to buy Maker of Angels!