This month we have been talking about promotions and marketing.
A WORD ABOUT MY SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE AND MY ROLE IN THE RAI SAGA
As my followers are well aware, I often to Character Take-Overs. In other words I post and share on my social media platforms from the points of view of my friends from the Realm of Rai. Yes, I say friends, not characters. If I call Amanda Adams, Creature of Rai, Member of the Unicorn Clan a “character” she will not stop telling me how wrong I am. In the case of the Rai Saga, I am less of an author and more of a biographer.
Some friends, like Kestrel, Creature of Rai, Member of the Birds of Prey Clan, are extremely helpful. During our interviews, Kestrel provides in giving me an unbiased point of view of what actually occurred in mortality on the Realm of the Light. The Realm of the Light is a realm of mortality that has now entered its End of Days.
Whereas some of my other friends, such as Vultyramous Hunter, Creature of Rai, Member of the Volkrog Clan (what is a volkrog, you ask? Check out my blog, https://jqmserv.wordpress.com/the-sykar-series/ for more information) is very stubborn and very difficult to get a straight answer from.
But I digress, but not really. My friend, Naservin Mastrov, or as he is better known, Master Serv, Creature of Rai, Member of the Volkrog Clan, takes a great deal of pleasure in doing recording himself on YouTube reading excerpts from my books, and books of friends.
HOW I USE MY CHARACTERS TO SHARE THE WORKS OF FRIENDS
The following is the post the I will be sharing on my personal blog. I share the text here as an example of how I, and my friends in Rai, cross-promote. Now I am not saying everyone should do this exactly. I’m not even saying I am good at promotions. What I am saying is I have a lot of fun doing cross-promotions. I highly recommend that we all look at how we promote. See what we can do to help out fellow authors.
As a bit of fun cross-promotion for the Burning Embers Spring 2020 HOP, I have invited Naservin Mastrov “Master Serv” to do a handful of excerpts. Check them out!
Retelling of Sykar the Prologue: https://youtu.be/Q85df5nBjMw
Hunter by Joanna White: https://youtu.be/E79mNJ9vbzw
Dragon Blood by Katie Cherry: https://youtu.be/hhN6LrQRu4s
Bane of Ashkirath by Ariel Paiement: https://youtu.be/k96UVRLxk4I
Daughter of Magic by Karen Eisenbrey: https://youtu.be/xbmJLvQAAzM
And this final one has nothing to do with the Hop. However, it is my favorite Master Serv reading to date. The Pirate Empress by KR Martin: https://youtu.be/wfbs5jkrlUE
If you are interested in joining the hop, and being entered into a random drawing for a $20 Amazon Gift and amazing Ebook Bundle, the hop starts here on JQM’s Author Page:
This month I have been thinking of what
we can do as a community of authors to help each other market and
promote our books and sales.And I have a few suggestions, listed in no particular order.
Share each other’s blog posts & social media posts of authors who
write similar genres as you with your followers and friends. Our
followers are readers, and as we know, a devoted reader never has enough
books, and we (or at least I) am always on the lookout for my next
Participate in Newsletter Swaps. That is great way to find new readers.
Personally i use Story Origin to help me organize my newsletter swaps,
but however you do it, it is a great way to help share the works of your
fellow authors while sharing your books with new readers.
If you have the ability and prowess to create new promotional images,
offer to make images for others, either by way of bartering for services
or paid services. Many authors (myself chief among them) lack abilities
to utilize photoshop or other graphic programs, and I barter services
for my promotional images, usually i barter BETA reading, but that is
what works for me. Mainly because i enjoy BETA reading.
Participate in Reader Group Hops. It is fun way to both promote your
own works & invite your followers to meet new authors.
Ask questions, and if you have an opinion on a discussion topic, share
your point of view. I recently had a conversation with a fellow author
about a WIP, and the way she explained her point of view helped resolve
As a long time fan of college basketball, this years edition of March Madness is a bit disappointing, and very alarming.
But there is a bright side to everything, well not to me because our dehydrated potato warehouse and our manufacturing plants are still running full steam ahead.
But this edition of March Madness has helped me reflect on my ultimate goal, which to make enough money writing so i can quit my day job.
Well first, i buy into the idea that an author has to have multiple titles out and mutiple platforms to make thier available.
So, my first goal is to have 20 published titles by the end of 2022. My second goal, which is similar, is to have my Realm of the Light Series finished by that time (it will be a 5 book series).
But what does this have to do with marketing?
Well, I’ll tell you.
It’s matter of vision. I have a vision for how I want my author platform to look. And all my marketing and promitions fit within that vision.
1st, I want more than just Sykar the Volkrog to be a bestselling title. So i am planning a promotional sales run for The United, which both myself and my publisher are dropping a comsiderable amount of time and money into promotional newsletters, blog tour, social media blitz, newsletter swaps, etc. The sale will run the first week of April.
2nd, well, i want to build my newsletter to the point where it is my most effect marketing tool. To accomplish that I have a few NL magnets on Story Origin, joined a few different group giveaways, and have hired a NL consultant.
After that, my goal is to consitently create quality content that my readers will enjoy, and find inspirational.
What are your goals?
Guest Post From Amanda Lindsey, PA
This month’s theme is Marketing Madness, as you already know.
And Personal Assistants are great resources to help authors with marketing and promotions.
I have very limited experiences working with a PA myself, so I asked my friend, Amanda Lindsey, PA, to share with you what PAs do.
PA’s are personal assistants to authors. We are also known as VA’s which are virtual assistants. Each person has different qualities and qualifications to offer an author. Services may depend on training and knowledge. We are self taught or gain knowledge from the PA community.
Pricing also depends on what the PA can offer and what the author may need. Each client is always different as are PA’s. We strive to be the right hand person to the author.
Some of the things that may be offered are support, friendship, reading and reviewing on a variety of levels, form creation, blog contact, group activity and maintenance, arc team support, social media marketing, running author social media and pages, calendar management, takeover posting, takeover and party setup, graphics and teasers, transcription and so much more.
We try to take up things that will give the author more time to focus on what they do best….writing.
So as part of my refocusing my blog, I am going to start posting about myself more often, and I am going to post about the monthly themes that are being used in the Burning Embers blog. And the theme for March is Marketing Madness.
I will tell you what, as an author my favorite thing to do is get to know other authors, and make new friends. My least favorite thing to do is marketing and promotion.
I don’t have much experience in marketing and promotion outside of posting about my books on Facebook (which ever since the updated community standards came into effect, I am in FB jail more often than not for spamming book groups), Instagram (which I do so sporadically, I might be better off to drop it), Twitter (here again I am so rarely on Twitter, and don’t really like it for my own use that my postings there are often ineffective), and other platforms where I have a presence.
I have got The United, The Realm of the Light Book 1, included in a few different book promotional emails before, and getting would like to get into higher quality promotions with a more active reach, but at only 27 Amazon reviews, my options are limited to the 25 or more promotional opportunities.
My biggest limitation is money. I do not have the means just start paying out a $300/month on ads or promotions right now. So everything I am able to do, I do without paying for ads and promotions. In fact what has been my experience is that I drop $500 on a promotional run for The United, or a new release, and I make back like $20 in royalties. I know that sounds upside down, and I agree, it is. This drives home my point that I am still learning how to effectively use my limited marketing budget.
Marketing is struggle for me. I have not found my niche market, I have a platform that is effective for me, and I have not been able to successfully sell my books on a consistent basis.
My challenge for March?
Learn about any new platforms to try and market my books, reword some of my self published book descriptions, and update my blog. As the month goes on, I will keep you posted on how that is working for me.
And you experienced authors out there, feel free to comment with any suggestions and recommendations you have that has worked for you, and that you think may be beneficial to me, or to other authors who follow my blog.
What in the world does audience & genre have to do with newsletters?
A lot. Trust me. They are more intertwined than you know.
Most seasoned newsletter veterans know that your audience and genre are key to delivering a successful newsletter.
Don’t believe me? Then ask around.
The ones that know what the heck they’re doing can pretty much have their fans eating out of their hands.
Pretty powerful stuff, eh?
Though to be honest, not all newsletters key in on these crucial pieces. They are missing either the genre or they are speaking to the masses instead of their intended individual.
Okay down to business…
What does genre have to do with your newsletter?
It determines the mood, theme or what you will be talking about in your letters to your adoring fans.
If you write paranormal horror then there is no way in heck that you would be writing about Peter Rabbit in the next letter… not unless Peter had an unfortunate event. Only if the subject relates to the genre that YOU write should it be included in your newsletter.
So if you write coming of age youth stories then you would write about youth related news that involves coming of age topics. You would include promotions for youth coming of age books — like Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl or Percy Jackson.
Genre will determine what giveaways or promos you could give away to your fans. Romance might be candles or youth might call for some cute kid thing-a-ma-bob you could send your fans. Remember your genre is key to keeping your audience ensnared in your news and craving for more.
What about audience? How does that play into your newsletters?
Did you do the exercise from part 2?
If not then here it is…
Write down the one person that you are writing your story for (they can be fictitious if you want them to be):
- What is his/her name?
- Likes and/or dis-likes?
- Do they like reading?
- What is the one quality that makes them stand out?
You need to know who you are writing for… down to the last freckle on their nose.
You are writing for that person and that person alone. Not Bo-Jim and not Sally-Ann.
If you chose to write to Billy down the street or little Suzy then that is who you are writing to and only them.
under any circumstance…
write your letters…
as though you are…
addressing a huge crowd.
That is not how you do them.
Each letter is meant to be a one-on-one letter. You need to write them as though you are talking to Billy sitting across the table from you. Billy wouldn’t like it if you were talking to him through a megaphone and to the entire cafe.
He will probably get up and leave if you do that. So, don’t do it.
Please for the love of G, don’t do it.
One more thing… keep it conversational.
Alright let’s wrap things up.
As you have read by now you should know that a successful newsletter has two things nailed down:
- Genre – What you write
- Audience – Who you are writing for
Once you have those two things figured out then you’re at least 5% better than the average newsletter that is out there.
If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. We’re always happy to answer for we’re all in this together.
Thank you for reading Burning Embers’ Newsletters for Beginners Part 3 – Audience & Genre.
Next post will be Newsletters for Beginners Part 4 – Fellow Author Newsletters
Missed Part 2? Go ahead and catch up on Newsletters for Beginners Part 2