During 2016, I decided to explore ways to increase visibility for our books. I looked at different marketing options and chose four to try: presentations, Facebook ads, e-mail lists, and contests. I’d like to address these options in more than one post as there is so much to share!
Presentations. First, I did presentations in a local store and at a writer’s group. I spoke about self-publishing (the topic of my book), and had books available for purchase at both venues.
- At the local store, publicity included a small article in the newspaper and an appearance on the early morning news hour. I gave a half-hour presentation on the basic steps of self-publishing. Unfortunately, the presentation was the week before the Fourth of July weekend and attendance was lower than desired. However, books were purchased and the store ordered more copies.
- At the writer’s group, publicity was targeted to their e-mail list and included details about the book and my credentials. I gave a two-hour presentation on self-publishing expanding each of the basic 13 steps of self-publishing. As a result, in spite of the poor winter weather, a large group gathered and many books were sold.
- Conclusion: Presentations are a great way to engage with an interested audience and let them see your expertise and personality first-hand. Most writers will agree that if readers can meet the author, they are more likely to buy the book than if it’s just sitting on a shelf.
Facebook Ads. I tried Facebook ads for books in two different genres. I took the time to broaden the audience scope to include both readers specific to the genres and those in the periphery of the topics.
- I experimented with placing the ads on different days of the week, and found during the work week to be slow in views or responses; Friday night through Sunday are more active Facebook times for someone likely to read a book.
- I used a basic photo of the book with a brief comment and a link to the book’s website.
- I did not use testimonials or reviews.
- I did not spend more than $25 per ad campaign, and found the results less than rewarding.
- Conclusion: After viewing and clicking through on several Facebook ads, I found the ads that ran for at least 7 days and repeated after a couple of weeks were more successful. The current consensus from publishing experts about Facebook ads is mixed.
Next week’s post will talk about E-mail Lists followed by Contests the following week. See you then!