As my indie writer friends know, I think Catherine Ryan Howard is the bomb. When I discovered her as a resource a few years ago, I was delighted to find someone who was brimming with common sense and practical advice. Were it not for her, I don't think I could have handled formatting for Smashwords, and I probably would have made a bunch of stupid and costly marketing mistakes, as well as spammed Twitter with every review I've ever gotten and every excerpt I could fit into 140 characters.
I'm pleased to be a part of the splash to get the word out about the 3rd edition of SELF PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON'S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING. Just to show how insanely knowledgeable she is, she invited one hundred or so of her craziest fans to send in their publishing and marketing questions.
Did I try to stump this brilliant woman? You bet. Did she rise to the challenge? What do you think? ;-)
Q: For fiction (specifically romance), where do you think you get the most bang for your marketing buck: ads or public relations (e.g., reviews, interviews, etc.)?
A: Ooh, this is a toughie.
Normally I say don't spend any $ on advertising at all, but if you have a very specific genre that is known to sell in droves, and you find the most [that genre] popular book blogger site that has a gizallion readers a month who love YOUR kind of book, and that book blogger is offering a banner header for $100, well then: go for it! If you think it'll practically guarantee sales, it'll be money well spent.
On the other hand, word of mouth is what drives all bestsellers, and that can only come from reviews on sites like Goodreads and from book bloggers, and sending them copies of your book costs $ too. Having said that, if you're posting paperbacks, how many can you realistically buy and mail for $100? Could you send e-books instead?
If I ONLY had $100, I'd split it. I'd spend $25 running a Goodreads giveaway (as per strategic way that I blogged about recently) and the rest on a banner or sidebar advertisement on a website I KNOW has lots of avid readers who love just my kind of book OR a newsletter/mail shot that goes to those same kinds of readers - in other words, maximum guaranteed eyeballs. Then I'd try to e-mail out a few e-book review copies too, just to be sure!
Thank you Catherine!
Want more great tips like this? Then grab your copy of SELF-PRINTED (3rd edition)!
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON'S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results - The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.” – Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series