Tuesday, December 1, 2015

IWSG, Breakthrough Box Set, Paranormal Vs. the Supernatural, and New Promotional Stuff

IWSG It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for Insecure Writers Support Group. This week’s co-hosts are Sandra Hoover, Mark Koopmans, Doreen McGettigan, Megan Morgan, and Melodie Campbell. When you’re out and about today, take a few moments and stop by to say hello to these fine folks. 

My concern this month is the changing marketing methods writers need to successfully promote their works. What worked last time may not work at all next time around. 

Case In Point Breakthrough, my first book in the Chase Manhattan series, was in Borders Books and Barnes and Nobles across the country with book signings galore. Social Media for me was in its infancy as I just started blogging and struggled to understand Facebook and Twitter. But overall life was great! 

Opening For my second book, the days of brick-and-mortar stores were gone. However, social media evolved into a hugely successful promotional platform. A blog tour, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and other such groups was a boon. 

Escalation A bit of a dud, at least compared to the first two books. Again, no brick-and-mortar stores. Social media was okay and sales were so-so at best, even though I thought (IMHO) Opening was the best of the three books. 

Salem’s Daughter A new day has dawned and I need to evolve. I’m trying something new. New, because it’s costing me a few dollars and up to this point I’ve enjoyed FREE when it comes to promoting. 

Tune in Monday December 7th for my Online Marketing Results as I’ll tell what worked and what didn’t using eReader News, Book Goodies, BookSends and a couple others. Hopefully, you can glean meaningful information if you’ve considered using similar marketing methods. 

Breakthrough Trilogy Box Set I’ve completely re-edited all three books in the Breakthrough series, finishing with Opening Sunday night. I fixed typos, edited out a $h!+!0@d (currently under review to be a standard unit of measurement) of redundancies, and brought the books current to 2015. Amazing how fast our quickly changing world, well, changes. It’s a much smoother read. 

Like my Box Set image? I sure do! I used a template from Book Boxed Set for only $5.00, then using Photoshop and a few clicks of the mouse and the product was finished. I highly recommend them. If you’ve considered making your books into a box set and want a spiffy image, check out Book Boxed Set.

Salem’s Daughter Blog Tour I still have two more stops as this proved conducive to scheduling after Thanksgiving. Please take a moment to stop by and visit the awesome Betty at Bench With A View for one of my favorite topics Paranormal Vs. the Supernatural. I think you’ll really like this one. 

Black and White Version
Color Version 
Who Am I I write Speculative Fiction and embrace science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here

Question How have you adapted to marketing and promotions changes over the past five years? Do you follow the same course, or have you tried new stuff? 

Do you prefer black and white or color cover art for Salem's Daughters? 

Should $h!+!0@d be considered as a standard unit of measure?

45 comments:

  1. Like the boxed set! That's the way to go. I was excited when my publisher put my Cassa trilogy into a boxed set.
    The way to promote has changed so much. Not sure what to try next. Frustrating, as I know my last two books were the best and yet they've sold the least.

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    1. Alex, it's frustrating to think your work is getting better, but its not reflecting in the results. A Box Set though is a great way to get your work out in its entirety to the masses.

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  2. As long as it's a metric $h!+!0@d, it should be OK. That's 2.2 regular $h1!+!0@ds...

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    1. John, I'm laughing but I hear this word at least weekly.

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  3. Nice boxed set.

    I think I like the black and white cover but don't listen to me, I know little.

    Good luck with your promotions and sales.

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  4. Thanks for your kind words, Stephen; getting read to host you tomorrow :) Post will go up around 10 o'clock tonight :)

    It would be hard to try to figure out how to market things effectively these days with books. Years ago when Christopher Paolini was promoting Eragon before it got picked up by a major publisher, he would travel around to local bookstores and libraries in Montana and I'm sure surrounding states. He had a costume he wore; told about the book, drew a picture of Eragon and then offered signed copies of the book for those that came to the presentation. I think at the time he was like 17 or so years old. My daughter was into those types of books so we went to one of his presentations at the local library; we were living in Montana at the time. It was interesting and I bought the book for her. I found out later after I got rid of the book because she wasn't interested in finishing it that a signed copy of his original book before the publisher company was worth at the time $5000. Oh well :)

    betty

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    1. betty, I do sell physical copies that way. I'm going to get that going again.

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  5. Marketing is so hit and miss you just never know. The thing is to be flexible, creative and innovative.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  6. Glad you go with the flow, Stephen. Where would authors be without social media, huh?

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  7. Hi Stephen - I've been to see Betty. Interesting information here and I look forward to your Monday post - to see how your new take on marketing went. We need to be adaptable don't we ... cheers Hilary

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  8. Congrats on the boxed set. That's the way to go.

    I've seen it change so much in the past 10 years. I miss the book signings.

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    1. Diane, I miss the book signings too. So much fun. But I can still sell physical copies at the beach and have a sign with the QR code for people to scan with their cell phones to download copies.

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  9. Awesome you have a box set. Looking forward to learning from your marketing experiences.

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  10. I need to be 20 years younger to figure all the marketing and promo stuff. I just did a small online book tour and one book signing locally. Sigh!

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    1. Karen, I miss Borders Books and the book signings I had there.

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  11. The next form of media: everyone who purchases will receive a call from you reading the entire novel.

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  12. I prefer the black/white cover, unless you change the lavender hues in the color as that's suggestive of redemption and royalty, unless, of course, that's what you're after. Don't know. In the B/W cover, I think the cat's eyes should match your gold font to pull all together and, to be very honest, the building, tho lovely, is VERY busy, what with the branches. In The Scarlet Letter, each chapter has flowers/plants above the chapter's opening. One knows from those listed if the chapter has bad or good. Don't know if this adds to your cover any but thought I'd share. Thanks for the Boxed Set info -- I honestly don't know how to approach marketing anymore. So many people I know -- real people, not online people -- pay about $50.00/month for geek start-ups or larger companies to manage their social media. I'm beginning to think that's the trend with e-books. And, finally, there're times when it's hard to stifle a chuckle when I hear people yelling into cell phones. Sometimes they look like Halloween cats -- one overheard and very intense conversation overheard (going into COSTCO's) was whether to get sea salt or Himalayan salt...ummm, pass the smelling salts, feel a case of the vapors coming on, LOL!

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  13. I constantly struggle with marketing and promoting my writing. It's definitely something I need to work on, hopefully in the new year.

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  14. I'm not even at the stage where I should even be thinking about marketing yet, but it still scares me. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

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    1. Laura, stop by and check out my results. Hopefully there is something there that helps.

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  15. Marketing is certainly not one of my strong points but I'm always up for trying something new - once. A boxed set sounds 'big time' indeed, and the imagery you display is fabulous - rock on , Stephen! :-)

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    1. Thank you Diedre and a big Rock On right back at you!

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  16. Black and white! I feel like I just started in this business, so I'm just learning the ropes:)

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  17. If you figure how marketing, lemme know, too.

    The box set cover template is awesome, thanks for sharing that.

    As for the cover, I would definitely say the black & white. I really like that one. However, the title doesn't stand out well against the bright full moon - you may want to add more contrast. Maybe make the font darker, or add an outline? Just a thought.

    IWSG December

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    1. Thanks C.D. for the feedback! Greatly appreciated.

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  18. Your box set looks pretty cool. I enjoy the 3D look to it.

    You're doing better with marketing than I am. Best of luck with it!

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    1. Thanks Loni and feel free to glean anything you can that works for me.

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  19. I haven't done any marketing. I dread it, but hope one day to have to tackle it with a published book.

    I do like the look of the box set. So glad you put the time and effort into re-editing the publications. Good luck with the rest of your tour.

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  20. I look forward to your marketing results. It is difficult. I just did a promo that I paid for and it got me ONE sale. Very disappointing, but not much I can do about it now. At least I tried.

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  21. Marketing is an ever changing beast. It's totally a career on its own. I love your boxed set. It must be exciting to see the babies together. I still like the black and white. hee hee.

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  22. Love your Box Set image. I think I like the black and white cover - it looks more sinister!!!!!

    Best of Luck with the rest of your tour!

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    1. Thanks Veronica! I'm going back to the tried and true black and white.

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  23. The trends in marketing definitely change rapidly. I tend to be a creature of habit, but it's important to try lots of things. I call it experimenting. I hope your promo efforts reap some rewards.

    The box set looks great. Good luck with it! For Salem's Daughters, I prefer the black and white image. The tree looks spookier as a black silhouette.

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  24. Yay for the box set. I'm willing to try new things in marketing. I do mostly online things, but I'd like to do more in-person activities like signings and speaking at places.

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    1. Medeia, that's the way to go these days. Speaking engagements can also pay money.

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  25. The boxed set is cool. Wishing you much success. I've tried many different marketing tools. Wish I knew what works best. Or if they work at all.

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  26. It is always changing! Even with social media, it can be tough to be heard over so many marketing messages. Mostly "community" works on social media...you have to participate and support others and post interesting things. If it's all marketing, people unfollow. I did attend a marketing workshop recently where she recommended saturating a small area--usually your area where you live and the area where the book is set possibly. You can't really do much on a national level, but you can really reach out to local bookstores and librarians with the "local author" angle.

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    1. Stephanie, that's a good idea. Where I live are a lot of tourists and a constant flow of new people.

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  27. Dang. And here I was hoping that I could find one thing that works and just keep doing that. I understand the need to spend time and energy on marketing, but sometimes I really resent it. I would much rather spend that time making stuff up and talking to my imaginary friends.

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  28. I've been noticing that social networking no longer sells as much. Which is kind of scary, since no clear alternative has come to light.

    I like the black and white version more. It makes the title stand out.

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  29. Marketing is such a tricky thing to master, for sure. You're far from the only person I've seen bring it up this past week!

    As for Salem's Daughters, both covers look great, but I'm more drawn to the black-and-white one, I must admit. Seems eerier!

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  30. Good for you with the boxed set! Marketing is pretty miserable. Nothing worked for me in the first year so I petty much gave up. I like the first cover better. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say in your Dec 7th post. :)

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