April 4, 2012

Finding the Right Marketing by Dawne Prochilo

Country Minded Cougar.
Being an author is one thing... but seeing the industry from behind the scenes is completely different. Writing a book is easy (I know, some of you are saying, huh? It is?) promoting a book is much harder. But promoting four to eight books every week is even harder. Believe me about this.

I can remember an author telling me years ago while I was still writing my first novel, that writing the book was the easy part. The hard part came after it was published. I scoffed. I laughed. I take back all those chuckles because it is the truth. Promoting is the hard part. Getting your name out there can be frustrating and selling enough books to make it a nice royalty quarter takes time. Be patient.

Promotions in this industry are getting more difficult every day. Authors are looking for new avenues to find fans and readers. But many social network sites are saturated with authors promoting, and I believe many fans and readers are oblivious to the offerings. Over promote and get overlooked.

Many times authors will email me asking what they can do... how they can promote... how to get reviews... and on and on.

What can they do? And how can they promote?
The One That Got Away
Guest blog, do a blog tour/hop, set up chats, have giveaways and contests, mingle in reader forums, and chat with the readers. Set up a goodreads page, a facebook fan page and shuffle in and out of twitter striking up conversations. Team up with other authors that write in the same (sub) genre and start a blog, fan page, or group, and invite people who have bought your books. Word of mouth about your books will do amazing things for sales.

How to get reviews?
Now this is tough. The review sites are overloaded with books to review and too few reviewers. Yes, you can ask friends and family to review your books but getting a review from a fan does WAY more for your self-esteem and pride. Contact smaller review sites that are just starting out, the larger more well-known ones are bogged down with reviews.

Saved by the Sheriff
Take whatever reviews you can get. Whether positive or negative, a review is a review. Sure, it's nice to celebrate with a four or five-star review just as it's easy to get caught up in the poor-little-old-me syndrome when a bad review comes through. But I have seen both types of reviews offer sales to authors. One word of advice. DO NOT, and I repeat, do not get into a war-of-the-words with a review. The outcome is never good.

Promoting is all trial and error and when you find what works for you, roll with it. You may have to change as you go but with dedication, patience, and determination, you will find the right marketing that works for you.


  1. Good advice, Dawne! And the number one best thing you can do to sell your book is to write the next one. When readers discover you, they will often buy all your other books as well.

  2. Thank you for having me today Kayelle- and that is so true. The more you have to offer, the more fans and readers have to choose from. It's a never ending vicious cycle in this industry and a constant "edit, rewrite, write a new WIP" process. Never give up!

  3. Excellent advice, Dawne. You know how hard promoting is for me, and it's so easy to get lost amidst all the authors who are nonstop promoting themselves. I try to take a more laid-back approach; I'd rather have readers know I exist and get to know me as a human being than keep saying, "Oh, look, buy my book," but unfortunately my approach doesn't seem to translate to sales.

  4. Great advice, Dawne. Patience is the hardest part but it pays off in the end.

  5. The 'buy my book' posts are overwhelming the social network sites and I think people are just turning a blind eye to them, Karenna. Authors need to have a hook. They need to lure the fans in with their writing styles and fabulous books.

    Jean, yes. Patience needs to be handled and understood.

  6. All too true, Dawne. I try to do a bit of everything, but I've found that reviews & blog hops seem to garner the most attention. And blogs about something other than writing!One thing we haven't mentioned is a hefty dose of luck. Meredith

  7. My book released Sunday and already I'm worried about being overexposed

  8. Luck is definitely a part. Look at 50 Shades of Grey. Poorly written book, errors throughout, and began as a rip off of another author's work, yet the author just landed a movie deal.

    Can you be overexposed? I'd like to try that. :)

    I agree. Patience is the biggest virtue, and it's hard, but it does pay off. Life takes time to live.

  9. Dawne, thank you so much for the advices. I'm right now a tadpiole in this industry and I realize the difficulty on promoting myself. It's an unexpected turn, but I love what I do.

  10. Great information! I'm trying to learn patience. As a brand new author, navigating the waters of promotional work has been exciting and scary. I always feel like I'm two steps behind. Also, I'm finding that you are so right about trying to get a review! It's very difficult. I'm going to start hunting for smaller/newer reviewers and ones also that are specific to my genre as well. Maybe I'll find some luck there. On a side note, is it awful that I'm boycotting 50 Shades? I think they could have picked a much better series to represent BDSM...how about Anne Rice's Beauty Series fir instance. That's some hot, great BDSM!!

  11. Great suggestions and information, Dawne! I do promote but those that know me, know I talk - A LOT! While I may not be rolling in the sales (yet) I know that just by striking up conversation with people, they have purchased my books. Conquer publishing one book at a time!

  12. Lindsay, any time!

    Ray - glad you dropped by. Tadpoles R Us. ;) We are all learning every day.

    Pauline, you've come a long way. I'm with you on that boycott. Not handing over my $$ anytime soon. I've read too many good works to waste time. It's like the difference between rich dark chocolate and those cheap bunnies at Easter. They're brown in color and contain fat and sugar, but they sure aren't worth eating!

    Kellie, good plan, and personal interest is a great way to go. Can't sell a million books that way, but if you meet enough people who will tell five friends... you won't do bad at all.

    Dawne, your post has certainly gotten folks talking!

  13. Awesome article! Thanks for illuminating the way!


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