Posted On November 30, 2015 by Print This Post

6 Quick Tips for Author Marketing By Kayelle Allen

Welcome Kayelle Allen – one of my favorite go-to people who always has brilliant marketing advice for authors – read all about it here on RU!

Kayelle Allen, taken at RNC2015 Las Vegas

6 Quick Tips for Author Marketing
By Kayelle Allen, founder of Marketing for Romance Writers and CEO of The Author’s Secret, a support site for writers of all types
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I’ve been writing for a number of years, and was first published in 2004. I’ve had time to build my world and learn the craft. It takes patience, skill, hard work, a network, and a bit of luck. That said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.
I am on just about every social media known to man, and get involved in a lot of different events. No one thing will do the trick. It’s a combination. Anyone can learn it. In my experience, here’s what sells books:

1. Have a website. This is the only “real estate” you actually own online. It’s not a luxury; it’s a requirement.
2. Have a newsletter. I’ll show you why in a minute.
3. Write good books. Good books sell your previous books. Use an editor. Get good cover art. The more good books you have, the more you sell.
4. Get on various social media. The top 3 places to sell books are Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can skip these and do fine, if you have other ways to reach the public and a budget for it. But this is something you can do for yourself for free.
5. Blog, but only if you can do it on a regular basis. Pick a schedule (3x a week, 1x a week, 2x a month, etc.) and stick to it.
6. Network with other authors and help them when you can. It will come back to you tenfold.

The main purpose of your website is to sell books. Make sure you have buy links everywhere. Then get signups for your newsletter. These are two critical things if you want to make a difference and get attention. It’s all well and good to send people to Amazon or other sites, but you will never see them again. You won’t be able to tell them when your next book is out. If they sign up for your newsletter then you can let them know every time you have a sale, or release a new book. You can have a quarterly contest and give away something special, such as a deleted scene book, or a short story about your characters — or even a $5 gift certificate (Amazon, etc.).

If I had known about newsletters when I started writing, I would be making a lot more money today than I am. I’m a bestselling author, yes. But this was something I gained only in the last year. Before I started doing the things above, I puttered along for many years.

arfc200Your newsletter should release at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering news. Your family got a puppy and he chewed up the house – pictures. You went on vacation and got a horrible sunburn – pictures of sunscreen. 😉 You are on the final edits of your new book – or a scene you are proud of. Your first book got a super review – would anyone else like a copy to review? Etc.

Where do you get people to sign up? Well, I could make this a book. There are lots of ways. Put it in all your signatures in email. Put it on your business cards. Learn to use Photoshop or PaintPro, or something else and make some banners for it. Have a link on your website and at the end of every blog post, guest post, and on social media.

Really, the most critical thing you can do for yourself is that newsletter. Every person who gets it has agreed to let you tell them about your books. Every person. Where else are you going to get people who want to listen? Nowhere.

Here’s what I did in a nutshell. I wrote a short story about two of my characters, brothers who had not grown up together. The story was about how they finally met. It introduced major places and characters in my series world. I then made a great cover for it (I’m a graphic designer and own The Author’s Secret, an author support company). I set up MailChimp so that when people sign up for my newsletter, they get a confirmation email with the download link to this book. I then promoted it everywhere as a free book for signing up for my reader group. Click here to see the page and how it’s done.
www.kayelleallen.com/bro

Remember I also said network with other authors? Part of that is social media. Part of that is professional organizations. I created Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) so I could also learn tricks and tips. I wanted to know whether that new thing called Facebook was going to be worth the trouble (it was) or if Pinterest would pan out (it did). I got a Twitter account to claim my name there, but ignored it for 2 years before I figured out how important it was. I now have close to 10k followers. I watch my favorite TV shows with my smart phone in hand and share the hashtag for the shows, hanging out online with millions of other fans. I get followers all the time from doing that.

All of this takes time. Book 2 sells book 1, and book 3 sells 1 and 2, and so on. Keep writing. Do quality work and put it out as fast as you can. Amazon has all sorts of ways to advance you if you work their system. Let’s say you have the third of a series almost done. Once it’s out, in three months make it a boxed set and sell the same books all over again. Add a short story or a research paper to the set as a bonus and you will see sales shoot right up. If you can do it, release a book three times a year and your sales ranking will be higher than people with more sales but fewer books. Once you get into the top 100 it’s easier to stay there. But getting there isn’t really all that hard. Have a Facebook party (Google “Facebook party”) and have a group of writers who write your genre work with you. You can sell 100-150 books in a shot. That will put you right into those bestseller lists. Once you’re there, it’s easier to stay because people see your book first.

You wrote a book. If you can do that, you can do this. Come over and join MFRW if you haven’t already. And ask me questions any time. I enjoy talking to other writers.

Kayelle Allen, author of A Romance for Christmas
A sweet contemporary feel-good holiday romance
Amazon
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
G+
The Author’s Secret

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Ok, RU authors – time to take your marketing to the next level – what’s your favorite marketing tip?

Join us on Wednesday for C.S. Lakin!

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Bio: Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.

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14 Responses to “6 Quick Tips for Author Marketing By Kayelle Allen”

  1. Morning Kayelle!

    I’ve read a lot on how twitter and facebook can help boost your sales, but how does pinterest? I always fear what I’ve posted on Pinterest just kind of disappears after awhile….

    thanks so much for posting with us today!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | November 30, 2015, 8:44 am
    • Always link your covers from the sites where your book is for sale, or to your website page where the books can be found. When a reader clicks the cover, it will take them right to the buy link. Also, your research info and pictures of things you’ve discovered makes for fascinating material. Readers love seeing into your world, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, pnr, scifi, or a niche story. They will follow you. It’s not only a good point of sale, it’s great for name recognition, and Pinterest is fun.

      Posted by Kayelle Allen | November 30, 2015, 8:52 am
  2. Thank you so much for the sweet byline comment. ^_^ I do my best.

    Posted by Kayelle Allen | November 30, 2015, 8:47 am
  3. One thing I should add about Pinterest is that it’s a good source of inspiration for writers. Search “writing quotes” and you’ll find a ton of them. I repin them to a board of my own, and when I need a reminder why I do this crazy job, I go there!

    Posted by Kayelle Allen | November 30, 2015, 1:13 pm
  4. Wow, how appropriate a lesson for me! My short story was just published a few days ago in our chapter’s anthology. Now I need to get going on creating a website. I’m already on FB but not on twitter. I’m on Pinterest but don’t really do anything on it besides save recipes. So far!
    Thanks so much for spelling this out, I’ll have to get busy . . .
    Sherrill Lee, AKA Sherry Weddle

    Posted by Sherry Weddle | November 30, 2015, 1:18 pm
  5. Goodness yes! An author website is your most important piece of real estate. Social media sites can block you, change their requirements, begin charging money for your membership, and decide they want to shut down. Your website is yours. No one can take it away from you. It’s the one place readers can go to always find out where you are and what books you have now. It’s vital. Good thing you came along today!

    Posted by Kayelle Allen | November 30, 2015, 1:27 pm
  6. I really appreciate your instruction on all this, and wish I didn’t have to fit this in between getting ready for Christmas, writing, and all the other events of the season!
    But my life is full of love, which why I write about it.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us.
    Sherrill Lee

    Posted by Sherry Weddle | November 30, 2015, 1:36 pm
  7. Thanks for this great list, Kayelle! I always appreciate other authors sharing their fabulous tips.

    Posted by Jenna Rutland | November 30, 2015, 2:31 pm
  8. Happy to take part. This time of year is hectic even without fitting in writing or marketing, but if someone needs a hand, it’s a good feeling when you can help out. That fits whether it’s a canned food drive or another author who needs a bit of advice. We are all in this together.

    Posted by Kayelle Allen | November 30, 2015, 3:41 pm
  9. Thanks for the tips! I’d like to add that I put my newsletter link in both the front and back matter of my Indie books. This means the person who is signing up has already read and liked at least one of your books. My newsletter has been invaluable to me. I personally need to spend less time on Facebook and more time writing. Facebook is fun for me. Maybe too much fun…

    Posted by Heatherly Bell | November 30, 2015, 5:37 pm
  10. Such a timely post and great information. As a new author (my first book came out in Feb.) this has by far been the most difficult thing I’ve had to learn. I appreciate the valuable tips, especially about the newsletter. thanks.

    Posted by Elizabeth Harmon | November 30, 2015, 9:52 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] When it comes to how often to blog, that’s a tough subject. You don’t want to post so frequently that you have no time to write, but if you don’t post often enough, you risk losing reader interest. Readers come back to your blog to see if you have new content. They come back when their RSS feed alerts them to new content. They come back when they search for specific content and a new post meets their search parameters. But how often is enough? Hubspot, which studies and reports on social media, blogging, and topics surrounding these, reports that “the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.” When you consider that as an author, you are a “company” then it makes sense to blog more than once a month. The important thing is to stick with a consistent schedule. […]

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