Promo Sites

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One of the things that indie authors/publishers are constantly on the look out for are promo sites. I recently ran a promo and found out there are soooo many sites out there. Some offer free promo opportunities, while others only post for paid advert.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell which sites are good and will actually give you positive results vs. the ones that just look good, but don’t do much to add to your campaign.

I’m certainly not the expert in marketing and promotions. This is the great big aspect of self publishing that has scared the bajeebies out of me. I’ve stayed away from it cause I didn’t want to deal with. LOL!

Good news is that it didn’t kill me. LOL! Even better news is that I’m learning and some things that have always bothered me or confused me are finally making some sense. There’s still A LOT to learn, but I’m on my way. (Have I ever mentioned, I’m a bit hard headed?) I should have done this a long time ago, but it’s never too late to start.

I wanted to share the sites where I posted. Hope this is helpful for you too:

BKnights at Fiverr.com — This by far got the best results. For $5.00 it’s hard to beat.

Psymon at Fiverr.com — This was okay. Not as good as BKnights, but still okay. ($5.00) I would buy this gig again.

Bookzio — I wasn’t impressed, but I know of other authors who have had great results with this site. ($19.00). Maybe if it was cheaper? I dunno.

SweetFreeBooks — This was okay too. I would use them again. ($5.00)

Ebookasaurus — I’m kind of on the fence, but it was only $10.00. I may use again.

Pretty-Hot –$15.00 with a coupon. The site looks great and I expected to get more downloads, but I didn’t. Funny thing is the download rates weren’t great, but the customer service was really good.

KindleBookReview — I did the $5.00 option. They have several packages to choose from. Again, great looking site and I thought I would get more downloads, but I didn’t. They also have a section to submit a review request. That’s free. I submitted, but haven’t heard back anything, so I’m guessing none of the reviewers are interested in the submission. Eh… looking for reviews that’s a whole other beast to tackle.

LovelyBookPromotion — This was a FREE submission 🙂 We got a good amount of downloads. This site also has a review request section. I submitted for a review here also, so far no response yet either.

Lesson? Running the promotions for the first two weeks during October (2015) boosted the book’s ranking at Amazon. The book actually hovered in the top 5 of its categories for a few days 🙂 We also got a decent amount of downloads and a few sign-ups. All in all, it was a positive campaign.

Was it perfect? LOL! Not even close. But that’s the beauty of it, even in its imperfection, it was still positive and met the goals we set for the campaign.

If you haven’t dipped your toe in the marketing pool… try it. You can take baby steps like I did and see what happens. Don’t expect fame and fortune with your first try. Be realistic and be open to the lessons. Be able to step back from what you did and look at your efforts in an objective way, but most of all, don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and see what works for you.

 

Next steps

Conceptual Image - Stairway to change/freedom/creativity etc.Well the good news is that I’ve been busy writing.  However, now comes the time to edit and clean up and really start to polish the story to get it ready for publishing.

The funny thing is that even with all the work and love that has been poured into my story so far, the big work (at least in my opinion) is still yet to come…  Promotions and Marketing.

This is the part that really stumps me.  I don’t know why, but it’s like my brain has an aversion to it.  Maybe it’s because I don’t understand internet marketing and I know that for me, I need to understand the whys and the hows before I can show any remote interest in a subject–any subject.

Alas, this is something I cannot avoid.  As a “selfie” publisher, I don’t have a big publishing house to do my marketing.  This is something I need to learn to embrace and make my own.  I cannot be afraid of it.  It’ll remain an “unknown” until I get over this hesitation or perhaps fear that I have to tackle it head on.

I can’t do worse.  At this point, there’s only up, up, and up.  I was chatting with some other author friends today and they mentioned having a system in place.  I think that is sound advice and I have to find something that works for me and my schedule.  I may not be able to climb up the success ladder as fast as I’d like and I don’t need to run up the darn thing, I just need to ensure steady progress.

I need to forget about giant leaps and bounds and concentrate on baby steps.  I will reach my goal, one small step at a time.

If I don’t post for awhile, this is what I’ll be working on:

  • Set aside focused time to study Marketing and Promotions
  • Review the materials I’ve gathered on how to promote and market and hopefully find a process that works for me
  • Apply the lessons
  • See if the process/lessons worked
  • Re-work the process if needed

I’ll be back with an update 🙂  Wish me luck!

 

Still writing

A few posts ago, I informed you that I’ve started working on a fiction story.  I’m  still working on that story and having a great time doing it, but I am finding that it is a different experience from writing non-fiction.

From what I’ve learned so far, writing non-fiction was a very linear process.  I had my concept, I outlined, wrote, cleaned-up, edited, published and I was done… Well, not completely done, this list should actually conclude with marketing and promoting, but I have done very little of that.  You notice, I didn’t write “marketed and promoted?”  That’s because when you are self-published it seems that marketing and promoting need to be a constant and consistent effort in order to assure that your work is getting noticed.

Yes, there are those success stories who have achieved best-seller status without much effort in “advertising,” but that seems to be a rarity and perhaps one of those events where the cosmic powers have to be in just the perfect alignment in order for the book gods to bestow graces upon thy work.  Anyways :), it is possible, but realistically speaking, effort towards marketing and promoting seem to be a must.

At this point… I want to focus my efforts on writing.  I don’t have a lot of time to do everything that I need to do to fulfill the other responsibilities I have.  The writing, the books, that’s the product right?  The way I see it is like this… consumers want variety.  I only have one book.  I don’t have much of a product line.  My theory is that when I increase my inventory, I’ll have much more of an offering–theeeen I’ll do more marketing and promoting.

MP900255382[1]In all honesty, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, but I’m following what feels best for me right now.  One day I know I’ll have more moments like the woman in the picture, where I’ll be peacefully sitting on a rock, (but I’d prefer a beach), watching the sunset as I contemplate my next great novel. In the meantime, it’s back to juggling my day job, being a wife and mom, and pursuing my dreams as an author.

Happy writing and best wishes to you.