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Book promotion: Don’t trust the ferryman Part 1

Tips and inspiration for the indie author's journey to publication.

Tips and inspiration for the indie author’s journey to publication.

The Bigger Than Jesus Finale is up on the All That Chazz podcast. It’s the last two chapters of Bigger Than Jesus in which Jesus does battle with Salvador Dali and the FBI.

Advice doesn’t last. Yesterday someone said how sick he was of Rafflecopter giveaways. It seems it wasn’t so long ago that Rafflecopter was a new promotional tool. Many reading this are asking, “What’s Rafflecopter?” It’s still new to many, but for this expert, it’s over. At least, he thinks so.

You can argue that many giveaways aren’t big enough to bother with or you can argue that a giveaway doesn’t make anyone read a book. However, I do think proclaiming a popular promotional tool dead is premature. Everything does go away, though: It looks like free isn’t so effective anymore and may hurt  paid books this season. Remember when MySpace and Friendster were, briefly, the new thing? Remember when 99 cents was a huge deal? Nothing lasts. What conclusions can we draw about book promotion from this knowledge? Let’s mull:

1. Not everything works forever, so keep your eyes open for the next new thing. Yesterday’s post mulled the question of adapting books to your audience. I’m also trying a reward program where I give more free books to the people who read my books and free advertising on my podcast for signing up for a free newsletter. Free may be out, but generosity and interaction haven’t given up their place among vital promotional tools yet.

2. Not everything works. Some authors are sure Pinterest is an excellent promotional tool. I think it’s been big for crafters and it’s certainly fun, but most people are just there for fun, not shopping for books. Personally, I’m doubtful of Pinterest’s power to help me that way. (Still love it.)

3. Not everything works right away. A fellow did an Amazon KDP Select giveaway for a few days. He didn’t really give away that many books. He failed to promote the promotion. In my opinion, he’s declaring KDP Select free days dead for the wrong reason. He took one sample and he didn’t let enough people know he was doing it. He wasted his free days because he expected the free days to do all the work on their own. A one-prong attack is betting big on one roll of the dice. Bad strategy in Vegas and a bad bounce for authors.

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship.

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship.

4. One promotional approach doesn’t work for everyone. One of my points in Crack the Indie Author Code is that no one really knows The Answer to selling gigabytes of books. There is no one answer and, if there is, it never lasts long. There are many ways up the mountain, but you can’t necessarily take the same route twice. What worked for one author won’t necessarily work for you now. For instance, many of the authors who do very well now were traditionally published first. Their cult followed them into self-publishing. They didn’t start from scratch and you can’t duplicate their career highs. Learn, yes. Copy, no.

5. Promotional strategies change fast. Last year at this time, before the change to Amazon’s algorithm, if you managed to do big giveaways of books, you were rewarded handsomely. Less than twelve months and it’s a new game with few rules.

~ In tomorrow’s post, I’ll lay out #6 to #13 on more book promotion options. In the meantime, please check out the samples from Crack the Indie Author Code and Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire. The first three reviews are in on the former and they’re happy. (I wonder if, despite my protests that there is no one way, people are still looking for a book promotion panacea. Tomorrow I’ll tell you why I’m so suspicious of panaceas.)

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3 Responses

  1. […] ← Book promotion: Don’t trust the ferryman Part 1 12/07/2012 · 12:14 PM ↓ Jump to Comments […]

  2. […] Book promotion: Don’t trust the ferryman Part 1 (chazzwrites.com) […]

  3. […] Book promotion: Don’t trust the ferryman Part 1 (chazzwrites.com) […]

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