It's been less than a month since my ebook BAND GEEK became available for purchase on Kindle, but I'm gradually learning what works -- and what doesn't -- when it comes to making sales. I haven't been selling a ton of books, but I've been happy with my results so far. I figure that as my name gets out there and I get better at marketing myself, I'll make more sales. But here's what I've learned so far...
Twitter is way more useful than I'd previously thought. I'm not a huge fan of Twitter. Keeping up with everyone's tweets is exhausting and I only have so many hours in the day. But it HAS helped with sales. Every time I tweet about my book, at least one person buys a copy. Facebook has helped, as well, but mainly as a way to get friends of friends and old classmates to buy. Not bad for a skeptic!
Reviews are an absolute necessity. I now have five reviews on Amazon and a few on Goodreads... and my sales have gone up. At first, I sold a lot of copies because friends and family members were getting my book, but I'm past that point. Now it's strangers buying BAND GEEK. I'd still like to get more reviews, but I'm being patient. I'm thinking of signing up for an all-review blog tour, where I can get some professional reviews. Seems like a good idea.
Blogging is a great way to get fans and readers. I'm sure that this blog has gotten me some sales, as well. The trick is to blog often and keep it interesting. I'm trying to do that! I like to think of this blog as my book's "companion." If people like my writing here, they'll want to check out my book. Make sure to post your blog's entries on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Goodreads is a great resource and a great way to connect with potential fans and readers. I'm not the best at social networking, but I try to at least rate books and connect a little with my Goodreads friends. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people have BAND GEEK marked off as "plan to read." This is a site for avid readers so take advantage of that.
THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON THESE THINGS...
I signed up for publicity and advertising campaigns with several sites. One forgot to post my book and ended up giving me two bonus days. We'll see how it goes. With another, I signed up for a three-month publicity blitz. My page is up, but so far, it hasn't seemed to improve sales. Maybe that will take time. My Virtual Book Tour is happening right now. I can't judge that yet because I've only been featured on two blogs to date, but I really enjoyed writing guest blog posts -- so either way, I'm happy I signed up for it!
KDP Select Free Promotion -- I tried this once and sold hundreds of books. It definitely boosted my ranking and made more people aware of my book. But it hasn't brought too many reviews, at least not yet. I know that I need to be patient. I read very quickly and it's not fair to expect that of everyone else. I'll definitely try another promotion to see how that goes. The trick is to plan for it ahead of time and promote it like crazy.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK (AT LEAST FOR ME)
There are several "How To Get Rick On Kindle"-type books out there -- and I've found that they haven't been useful. One claimed that you don't need to social network and suggested some shady practices to get sales. I tried one of the less-offensive practices -- writing a review of another book and linking to mine ... and Amazon didn't like this. It removed my review soon after. Plus, I felt kind of icky doing that. For me, social networking HAS worked and I'm confident that my sales will pick up speed in time. The problem with books like this is that everyone's experiences are different. Marketing for a young adult book is much different than marketing, say, erotica. There are basic things that everyone can do to boost sales, but it's not one size fits all.
THE BIG PICTURE
Overall, marketing BAND GEEK is proving to be a full-time job. It is A LOT of work and I ain't getting' rich. One of my writer friends thought that Amazon does the marketing work for you and was shocked when I explained how much I'm doing on my own. But I am selling books and love that people are reading my work. That's ultimately what I wanr -- to have my writing seen and for readers to hopefully enjoy it! If I have to tweet my brains out to get that, so be it.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.