The Art of Advertising

bolt pub

Last night, an acquaintance of mine sounded off on Facebook lambasting authors for “wasting” their money with marketing campaigns. He used the lack of Return On Investment as the reason for all of us to stop throwing our money away. As I read this, the marketing grad inside of me died a little bit. This poor soul just didn’t get it.

Steph and I a few weeks ago decided to come up with a concentrated marketing strategy to help all the authors who publish with us. Instead of waiting for the Amazon allotted times for sales and what not, we decided to take 100% control and arrange the sales ourselves. We reached out to a reputable website and struck a deal with the webmaster – in exchange for discounted rates to advertise our books, we’d post one a week for at least two months.

Have we seen our ROI so far? Actually, yes we have. But, if we push that to the side, my fellow author missed the bigger boat. Marketing campaigns equal exposure, not sales. Getting your title and cover under a reader’s nose is the biggest challenge of the publishing world. Once its there, shenanigans ensue.

Do you know how many times it takes for a reader to make a decision to buy a book? If you look it up, the number (depending on the source) ranges from 5-8 times on the norm. If you throw marketing to the wind based on immediate ROIs, your book will be lost in the abyss*! That’s what marketing does, it helps your book rise to the target audience and hopefully get them curious.

**Disclaimer – before you waste any money marketing, get some opinions of your book from real readers, i.e.- not Aunt Jeanie and mom. Their going to tell you you’re book is the bee’s knees. Nope, we need good, hard, honest assessments. When I wrote Power Play, I got advice from mom and Jeanie and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t selling. After I reached out to some readers who enjoyed the genre, I found out why. Correcting the mistakes I made, today it sells pretty well thanks to strategic marketing.

I’m not saying to spend wildly on marketing. Pick a budget that you can comfortably afford a week. Stick to your budget and be faithful to it. Don’t slack one week saying, well I did it the past two, it’ll be fine. If you want to see returns, you have to be consistent. You have to be willing to get your titles out there.

And for the love of all things good, make sure a reader besides dad and Cousin Vinnie think your book is good. I mean everything: from the title and cover, to the content, and even the blurb you plan to use on Amazon. Find someone you wholeheartedly trust and tell them to be brutal. With honest assessments to make your book as close to perfect as it can be, you’re marketing campaign will be much more successful.

flash

If you haven’t watched last night’s Flash, leave now.

You know me, I hate saying I’m right. Wait, no I don’t! 3 for 3 this year, people! My Great HR Wells Theory came to fruition and Iris West lives. Unfortunately, I didn’t see Barry becoming one with the Speed Force. What a way to end the season. And even before that, the final scenes with Savitar were brilliant. I loved the chase scene with Wally, Jay, and Barry going after SaviBarry through the forest. Plus Caitlin, oh Caitlin, what will next season bring to you?

As for an early prediction, next year’s big bad will be none other than The Thinker. If you don’t know who DeVoe is, go look him up. He’ll be an intriguing addition to the cast if the show runners go that way.

That’s all for me today. I hope my marketing breakdown helps you and if you want to discuss further, email me or drop a line in the comments.

-Jeremy

You can find my books at http://boltbookspub.wix.com/home

*There will always be the one in a million book that catches on like wildfire with little to no effort from the author/publisher. If this happens to you, buy a round of beers for the house and we will toast you and your good fortune.

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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