This is my seventh novel, you'd think I should know something about launching one by now. Right?
Because I write this blog and facilitate creative writing circles I continue to read books and participate in webinars on book marketing hoping there'll be something new I can pass on.
There's stats, graphs, media mixes and the occasional ridiculous suggestions like:
- include the title of all your books in the header photo of your various social media sites, and
- post photos of five covers of your books on your Facebook opening page - bottom left column below your intro.
As if this preaching to the converted (since they're already on your site) will make a difference.
Currently, the Holy Grail of social media marketeers is "the e-mail list".
Building the email list should be the primary objective of authors and this is done through giveaways, signups for your newsletter and any other way you can get a person to divulge their email address.
Then, if done right - right timing, content and frequency, these lists can apparently be mined for gold.
Without exception these social media marketeers, authors and webinar presenters all have their own marketing company and will be happy to further enlighten you with an online course or program (for a fee).
Armed with the experience of six previous launches and now buoyed with all this new(?) marketing information I set forth on October 1, 2016 to launch my seventh novel, The LOCAL RAG.
The first thing I did was to enroll my book in Kindle Scout, Amazon's "reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing."
There's a forty-five day exclusive agreement stating you're not selling your book while it's part of the contest.
In essence this is an electronic slush pile, but it's free and easy though it provides little indication if your book is popular since, like most internet polls, it can be easily skewed by nominees who rabidly recruit votes from everyone they've ever come in contact with.
Then I sent an email with a free Advance Reading Copy e-book.
For the first time I used MailChimp. They offer a free service for lists less than two thousand subscribers. I have two hundred and thirty-five emails from people who at one time or another expressed and interest in my writing. MailChimp is worth investigating and certainly beats sending individual emails.
I enrolled the e-book edition of The LOCAL RAG in Kindle Select. For a ninety day exclusive Kindle Select offers me greater royalties, wider distribution, participation in Kindle Owner's Lending Library and the opportunity to offer my book free on Amazon for five days during that period. I chose five individual free days more or less spaced equally apart.
I've used this program for some launches and not for others. The results have been the same - zero.
By the end of the month I had sent out two follow-up emails urging people to vote for The LOCAL RAG on Kindle Scout and read and review my book.
Once the Kindle Scout promotion had expired (results pending but not holding my breath) I scheduled a giveaway from November 7th to December 4th on Goodreads for two paperback books, and here and LibraryThing for the same duration for one hundred ebooks each.
I set up a pre-order on Smashwords for January 7, 2017, ninety days out and once my commitment to Kindle Select is over. I'll likely offer it for free for a couple of weeks just for exposure. Smashwords is another non-starter, but what the hell.
I've joined four Goodreads groups and will endeavor to engage in meaningful and civil discussions during the next three months as well. Social media gurus insist joining and participating in online groups will increase sales - at least indirectly. This by far is the most difficult and time consuming part of the launch.
My goal is to get at least ten reviews and sell at least fifty books within six months of the launch.
With about one month down I've so far received three reviews (all five stars) and no sales.
I'll keep you posted.
Stay calm, be brave watch for the signs.
Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at
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