Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Should You Advertise Your Book on Facebook?



As authors, we’re always looking for ways to get the word out about our book. I’ve tried a lot of different things, but one thing I’d never done (until recently) was use Facebook advertising. However, thanks to Facebook’s changes in how people see posts, only about 5% of people who subscribed to my page were actually seeing my updates. I knew I needed a way to reach them, so when my last book came out, I decided to try some of the Facebook advertising options. A friend of mine used Facebook post boosting for one of her books about a year ago, and it was really successful for her. I decided to give it a shot. I boosted a couple of posts on my page during the book release and my reach went up. I thought it was great because, like Goodreads ads, I was able to choose how much I wanted to spend on the boosted posts and the posts were boosted until the money ran out. I learned a couple of things from this:

1. If you boost a post with a photo, text can only take up 20% of the photo. This is something Facebook doesn’t tell you when you initially boost a post. They come back after a couple of hours, tell you that you screwed up, and take your ad down.

2. Although I got a small increase in likes with boosted posts, the likes didn’t seem to be translating to sales. And, the people who’d just liked the page didn’t actually seem to care about my page, or my book. They didn’t engage with the page at all.

So, I decided to try Facebook ads instead of post boosting. I had a lot more success with this, particularly the in-newsfeed ads that you often see show up as “sponsored” but they almost look like something a friend posted. I was able to target my ad to a specific audience, and my sales started to rise. I also got a few page likes from the ads. However, one of the things I didn’t like about the ads was that the money runs out so quickly. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you’re paying Facebook. I decided I'd spend $15 a day for 3 days. I thought that amount would give me a lot of exposure. It didn’t. My ad money ran out in less than an hour all three days. And while I did get sales from the ad, it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the cost of the ad. Again, my likes increased a bit, but again, the likes didn’t seem to be coming from people who actually cared about my posts, or wanted to buy my books. I couldn’t figure out what was up.

Then I saw this video.


And I cursed that I’d wasted marketing money boosting Facebook posts and using Facebook ads.

With Facebook’s new algorithms, the most important thing is authentic users. You want people who actually like your product to like your page, and engage with your posts. As many of them as possible. That’s how you extend your reach, and get Facebook to show your post to more of your fans. When you ask for random likes here and there (like I always used to do with giveaways), it’s actually shooting you in the foot because those are people who probably aren’t going to engage with your page, and it’s bringing your average down. From Facebook’s perspective, they look at your post and say, this page has 2000 fans, but only 6 people liked the post. This page is not relevant, and we’re going to limit how many of the fans see posts from now on.

So, where do we go from here? I have absolutely no idea. Facebook page likes have kind of become a popularity contest. People look at your number of likes to help decide if you’re important. But, likes really don’t matter at all. 1000 likes can be bought for $50, and it hurts the page owner in the long run because of Facebook’s algorithms. So, do we stop using Facebook? Should we go to another social media platform to contact readers? From what I can tell, newsletters seem to be the best way to reach my audience for big things like book releases. It kind of feels like stepping back in time to use email as a primary means of communication, but I haven’t found another better way to reach authentic fans.

What about you? What are you doing to reach your readers?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Might Be Crazy ... and You Can Be Crazy With Me!

Calling all the bloggers out there - whether you're a writer or a reader, do I have something fun for you!

In April, I'm joining the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.



Every day in April, except Sundays, I'm going to post on my blog and every day will have a letter theme, starting with A on April 1st. I've never blogged that consistently in my life. Should be crazy, and should be fun!

I hope all of you consider taking on this challenge with me. It will be a blast! Comment below if you sign up and I'll try to keep up with you during the challenge.

Also, I figure by signing up so early, I can come up with ideas for every day ahead of time so I won't be stressed about it later (pssst....I've been signed up for weeks and have yet to come up with ideas - lol).

Hope you have an amazing day!!!!

XoXo,

Megg


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Authors: How to Get Reviews for Your Book

So your book's been released. It's got a handful of reviews from your family, close friends, and those writers you've been interacting with since you first started blogging. It looks awesome on Amazon :-) But then you start looking around and realizing that the popular books have hundreds of reviews. Some of them have thousands. How are you supposed to compete with your meagre 33 (or whatever smallish number it may be) reviews?

Mission: acquire more reviews.



Book Bloggers

Book bloggers are awesome. Ordinary people who, for nothing more than the love of reading, commit to spending time with your book and writing their thoughts on it to help you get exposure and to help other readers find new books they might love. So how do you go about getting your book into the hands of these fabulous people? Start by looking through directories of book bloggers, such as the Book Blogger Directory or The Indie View. Go to each blog, see if it's still active (i.e. if there are recent posts) and then read their review policy. Once you've sorted through the inactive blogs, the blogs that don't read your genre, the blogs that are currently not accepting requests, and the blogs that don't accept requests from indies, you're ready to make your list of suitable book bloggers from whatever's left.

To keep track of the requests you send, make a spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets!) that includes columns for Blog Name, Blog URL, Contact Email, Contact Person's Name, Date Request Was Sent, Response Received. You could write a generic request, paste all the email addresses into the BCC section, and click send. But you're more likely to get a response if you personalise your requests. Even something as simple as addressing the reviewer by name and mentioning their blog's name (Dear Cherie, I'm a recent follower of your blog, Cotton Socks Reviews, and I ... blah, blah, blah) before pasting in your generic request. And make sure to include all the info that was requested in the book blogger's review policy.

And then you wait to hear back from them!

The catch? Time. Time to compile a list of reviewers. Time to send an individual email to each one. And if you hear back from half of them you're lucky!


Amazon Top Reviewers

Amazon has a list of their top customer reviewers. These reviewers have not only reviewed many items, but their reviews are also considered helpful and well-rounded. You want these people to review your book! But these are people who can review anything on Amazon. They don't all review books, and of those who do review books, they won't all review books in your genre. You need to click on each person, take a look at what they review, and if they appear to be suitable, see if their contact information is available on their reviewer profile. If it is, send them a polite request. If not, try again with another reviewer.

The catch? Time. There are a lot of reviewers on that list. If you're hoping to contact a decent number of them with requests to review your book, you're going to be spending a lot of time on that list.


Goodreads Groups

There are many groups on Goodreads, and some, like the We <3 YA Books group, have Read to Review programs. You sign up, and when your turn comes, you provide a specific number of ebooks (or an unlimited amount) for review. Readers sign up, you send them the ebook, and they have a certain time period in which to read the book and leave a review. The review will be on Goodreads at a minimum, but some also post to sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The catch? Time. The schedules fill up FAST, so it can be months before your book comes up for review. For example, if you sign up right now for the Read to Review program in We <3 YA Books, your book will go onto the review schedule for July.


Paid Services

I'm not talking about paying for good reviews. That's definitely not cool! I'm talking about legitimate services where you pay for someone to take the time to read your book and write an honest, unbiased review. Here are a few examples:

Kirkus
Self-Publishing Review
Review The Book
BlueInk Review
NetGalley
Xpresso Book Tours
AToMr

The catch? You have to part with money. In some cases, A LOT of money!


Just Ask

If someone sends you a fan email or a message on Facebook or a tweet telling you how much they loved your book, thank them -- and then add that if they have a moment to leave a review somewhere online, you would be VERY grateful.

At the end of your ebook you could include a short request for readers to leave a review of your book online. It could be a short note like, Thank you for reading this book. If you have a moment, please consider leaving a review online. Or it could be a slightly longer and more personal "letter". A paragraph or two addressed to Dear Reader telling him/her how important reviews are to authors and other readers and how grateful you would be to hear his/her thoughts, whether he/she loved the book, hated it, or something in between.

The catch? Well, I guess if someone gets to the end of your book and didn't like it, you're then prompting them to leave their (less than positive) thoughts online. But I honestly think you have more to gain than to lose by politely asking for a review. If someone loved your book and knew how important each review was to you, I think they'd be happy to take a few minutes to write one.

_________________________________________________________________

If you're an author, do you have any review-gathering
tactics to share with us?
What's worked for you and what hasn't?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Valentines Day Dauntless .99 cent Sale!



Take this chance to snag some awesome books by 11 Dauntless authors 
for only .99 cents! 
(Enter to win one of 2 $25 gift cards at the bottom of the post)

Happy Valentines Day!
All books only .99 cents until Feb. 13th! Don't wait.


Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips by Cindy M. Hogan

Originally $3.99  Now only .99 cents
Because it really is all about the kiss!
Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Need more of Cindy M. Hogan?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook







Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
Originally $4.99. Now only .99 cents

Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Sony 
Need more of Amber Argyle?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
FB




#3. The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison
Bee has to break the curse if she wants to escape her magical prison. And she's going to have to team up with the handsome and infuriating Will to do it.
Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Need more of Kate Avery Ellison?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook





#4. Shucked by Megg Jensen 


Originally $3.99  Now only .99 cents

Tabitha thinks there's nothing worse than being forced to live on her grandparents' farm and attend public school. She's dead wrong.

Pick it up now
Amazon
Need more of Megg Jensen?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
FB





#5. Awakening: Book One of The Geis by Christy Dorrity 

Sale Price $.99 Originally $3.99

 Because some Celtic stories won't be contained in myth.
Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Need more of Christy Dorrity?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
FB




#6. With a Kiss by Stephanie Fowers

Free
FREE book from Twisted Tales series. 

Halley Starr will do anything to get her heart back, even work with the dirty faery who stole it from her.

Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Need more of Stephanie Fowers?
Blog
Twitter
Facebook




#7. Immortal Essence boxed set by RaShelle Workman

Sale Price $.99 Originally $3.99
Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them. 
Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Need more of RaShelle Workman?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook






#8. Eternal Echoes by Angela Corbett


$.99 sale, originally $2.99!
 Love can't protect her from her past.


Pick it up now
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Need more of Angela Corbett?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook




#9. The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
$.99 sale, originally $2.99!


Pick it up now
Amazon
Need more of Laura Howard?
Blog
Twitter
Facebook








#10. Inevitable by Tamara Hart Heiner

Originally $4.99. Now only .99 cents
The next murder Jayne witnesses might be her own.
Pick it up now
Amazon
Need more of Tamara Hart Heiner?
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook









#11 Sun and Moon by Lee Strauss

Sale Price .99 Regular 3.99

 "The difference between you and I, is like the sun and the moon."

Pick it up now
Need more of Lee Strauss?
Twitter @elle_strauss


Enter to win here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Newest Releases