Promo Is Killing Me!

I’d like to speak to my fellow writers...

Before I get started, let me say right off that I’m much more interested in gaining readers than making a ton of money. I realize I’m probably never going to make a fortune as a writer. What I’m looking for is the number of copies sold, so I will know how many books got into the hands of readers. I spent some time recently getting my information together to prepare my taxes for 2013. After I had tallied my royalties and promotional expenses, I realized 2013 was the first year of my writing existence that I’d made a profit. (Sorry—the accountant in me was just showing...) It surprised me how many books I’d sold. I was much more successful last year than I had imagined, so my goal this year is to at the least double the net amount of books (total copies “sold” less copies I gifted for promo purposes) I sell for royalty.

A new year has begun, and as writers we are all probably reevaluating our writing careers and refocusing our promotional strategies. At least we should be if we are determined to stay in the business, so I’m asking my fellow writers to help us help each other by answering a few questions about our marketing strategies in 2013. What worked for you and what didn’t?

Did you use twitter as a primary marketing tool?

If so, do you think this kind of exposure generated any sales? To me, it seems the majority of my followers are other writers. Are we even reading each other’s tweets? How often do you purchase a book based on a random tweet from someone you don’t already have a connection with?

Do you advertise on sites like The Romance Reviews, Night Owl Reviews, Story Finds, or Chick Lit Plus?

If so, how effective has this been in generating sales? Personally, I haven’t experienced increased sales from this kind of exposure. Does anyone pay attention to the ads on those sites? I’m guilty of just going on those sites and making sure my ad looks right. How often do you purchase a book based on an ad on one of those sites? I have. I thought Sharon Buchbinder’s book Obsession looked interesting, so I purchased a Kindle copy.

Do you promote your book on Facebook group pages?

If so, do you think you’ve generated any sales through this kind of exposure? I promoted heavily this way in the last half of 2013. I haven’t been able to tell if any sales were made due to this kind of exposure. Personally, I have purchased two books that I thought looked interesting based on the author’s promo on one of these sites.

Do you guest post frequently on other people’s blogs?

Does this kind of exposure generate sales? I have backed away from blogging this past year because it has been very frustrating to me due to the very slim number of commenters on blog posts. To me, blogging has become time consuming and generates very little sales activity. What has been your experience?

Do you ever purchase and review books from authors outside your author connections?

If so, how do you find new authors to read? In 2013, I bought some books from authors I wasn’t familiar with. Some of those books have been enjoyable reads and I went back to the author for another read. I also started a book review site, which has introduced me to some excellent authors.

Click on image to go to review blog!

My time is so limited these days, and I want to make every ounce of promotional energy count. So what say you, fellow authors? What has worked for you? Or are you just as frustrated as I am with your promotional efforts? Any and all feedback will be much appreciated!
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