This post is for authors, so my apologies to the readers on my mailing list thinking “Dang, this post isn’t making fun of her husband at all.”
As an Indie author, I spend as much time marketing as I do writing, which is a bummer, but it’s a necessary evil. I’m always looking for new ideas because the book marketing landscape is changing – narrowing.
I’ve actually built a whole new website around one of those ideas in the hopes of helping myself and other Indie authors. http://AuthorsXP.com and I’d like to share it with you!
So What’s the Book Marketing Idea?
My friend Jackie Weger, who runs an author group called eNovel Authors at Work, was talking one day about authors sharing newsletters – she promotes my book in her newsletter to her reader list and I promote hers, for example. It started my brain ticking. I thought – wouldn’t it be nice if there was a spot authors could go to FIND other authors who would be willing to cross-promote books?
So I built http://AuthorsXP.com with that thought in mind, but it went a little crazy. By the time I was done there were a bunch of lists authors could use:
- Newsletter cross promotion list for authors to find authors willing to cross promote.
- List of Book Promotion Websites (here authors can find and rate book promo sites)
- List of Book Editors
- List of Book Cover Designers
- List of book reviewers/book blogs
- List of Web Designers, Formatters and other services:
So in short, I took all those helpful lists you can find on the web out there and put them all in one place.
BUT THAT ISN’T THE BIG IDEA!
The newsletter cross promotion list was a nice idea, but it still requires authors to talk and plan and trust each other and worry about promoting books they haven’t even read, yaddah yaddah yaddah. So I decided to formalize a program that would enable authors to cross-promote without actually endorsing each others work, or having to plan things with 100 different authors, or really have to do much of anything.
Mailing List Cross Promotion Giveaway Events organized by AXP (me). (the current one is here –> )
10 authors from a particular genre, 1 week long.
Everyone in the event promotes, tweets, and of course emails their reader newsletter/list about the giveaway (I provide graphics/text so you don’t have to do much) and the readers from all 10 lists come and sign up to win books from the 10 authors. At the end of the event, all the emails collected are given to the authors (there is a checkbox so entrants understand they’re sharing their email with the authors.)
Our first Event – Cozy Mysteries – captured 553 emails for everyone!
You can read more about it here. You can also sign up to be added as an author to a promotion in any genre! When I get 10 people in a genre, I launch the contest.
Building your author mailing list is top notch marketing you can control. Become your own promotional site. Grow your fan base. Build loyalty.
It makes me crazy that some authors don’t realize the power of building their mailing list.
Here’s why I think it is important.
Because Book Promotional Sites Can Be Spotty
Very few promotional sites offer return on investment. It’s just a fact. You can spend a few hundred dollars buying a BookBub newsletter slot and watch it double your money, but it isn’t easy getting those coveted BookBub slots. Other book promo sites you may only pay $25 to play, but in return sell two books. You don’t have to be great at math to see that isn’t the fast track to riches (and I mean “author riches” which is a synonym for “enough money to eat Raman noodles for every meal.”)
Because Amazon Owns Our Butts
Amazon’s won the ebook war. And for authors, NOT taking advantage of the higher percentages and marketing opportunities gained by enrolling our books in KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing – which prevents our ebooks from appearing on Barnes and Noble, etc.) becomes sillier and sillier. But as much as I love all the different ways Amazon offers me to promote my books, their way of doing business has also done two other things:
1. Made readers used to reading “free” books through it’s KU (Kindle Unlimited) program. This means sometimes I promote a book it took me months to write for $2.99 and get a nasty tweet from a fellow informing me I’m out of my mind because he’d never spend that on a book. Thanks. Thanks for sharing. Block.
2. They’ve cornered the market. Amazon holds us by the literary gonads. If they say the price per page that we are paid for books enrolled in the KU program is dropping to .0000000000004 we can’t really do a darn thing about it. It hasn’t happened, but it could. And that’s terrifying.
So please – if you’re an author or if you know an author come sign up to be included in an event! Spread the word – it will only make us ALL stronger!
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