Posted On February 2, 2018 by Print This Post

How to Give Your Book Its Own HEA by Stacy Claflin

Stacy ClaflinI’m really happy to introduce Stacy Claflin today. We met years ago in an online writers group and I’ve watched her grow from a budding novelist to a bestselling author. She has figured out the mystery that is marketing, and she’s going to talk to us about that today. Let’s give her a warm welcome.

Take it away, Stacy.


You’ve written your novel. Your hero and heroine have found their happily ever after (or at least their happy for now ending.) You’ve done everything you can to present your best story to the world. What’s next? How do you give your book its own HEA?

I’m glad you asked!

You don’t have to start out with a huge advertising campaign. If you’re early in your career, that might not even be an option. In my case, I had to borrow money to publish my first book. Advertising was out of the question. My first goal was for my book to pay for itself. Then I wanted it to pay for the next book in the series. I continued upping my goal until I could finally afford an ad. (And eventually become a full-time author.) But I’m not going to discuss ads here. I’m here to talk about how I got people to read my books.

This is all about romancing your reader.

Where’s your book’s happily ever after?

Now that you’ve put everything into the novel, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work again. But this time it’s completely different! You’ve got to get your book in front of readers, and not just any readers – the right ones. The ones who are looking for your book.

How do you do that? And why does the thought make you want to hide under a desk with wine and chocolate?

Girl on Swing Overlooking CityThere’s good news!

Marketing isn’t a big, scary task. Actually, it can be kind of fun if you come at it with the right viewpoint. In fact, what some people don’t want you to know is that marketing your book is a creative endeavor. Obviously, not in the same way the writing a story is, but you really do need to think as creatively as possible to make it work.

First, you need to know who your ideal reader actually is. How else are you going find her?

Is your reader looking for a suspenseful sexy read or a sweet heartwarming one? Is she looking for a fairy tale retelling or a beach read? Does she want to read about teenagers, college students, or adults? Does she want a love triangle? A bad boy hero?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Keep asking yourself questions until you’ve narrowed it down to exactly what she wants. If you don’t get this right, the wrong people will find your book and that isn’t good for anyone. They won’t enjoy the experience and you’ll get reviews that paint your work of art in a bad light. Nobody wants that.

There are countless ways to woo your ideal reader once you figure out who she is and where she’s spending her time. Is she on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or some new social media site you’ve never heard of? Wherever she is, head over there!

Once you’re there, hang out and have fun getting to know people. You can do this by joining reading groups or creating your own page or group. Just remember one rule: Don’t be a book pusher. Talk about the books you like to read. The shows you like to watch. Make friends. Don’t be a pusher.

Do you think that sounds crazy? It’s not. Gone are the days of writers typing away in solitude with a wide chasm between her and the readers. Even big-name authors have reader groups and interact online with fans. Unless your name is Stephen King or GRR Martin, you’ll need to push past your introversion and get to know readers. You’ll go a lot further, and you’ll have a lot of fun, too! People will want to support you. They’ll be eager to help you out. It’s true!

That’s only way to get readers to try your books. With so many books out there, you need people to sample your work before they’re willing to fork over money. Perma-free books are still highly effective at getting your books into the hands of readers.

Don’t want to give away all the copies of your book? You still need ways for people to sample your work.

10 ways to get people to try your book:

  1. If you don’t want to give away all your books, one option is to join Kindle Unlimited. This requires exclusivity with Amazon, so you won’t be able to put your KU books anywhere else, but it’s a great free tool for new authors and/or new books. Some people have their whole catalogue in there and swear by it. Your books will be free to KU subscribers, and you’ll get paid when they read. (That’s an over-simplified explanation.)
  2. Give away a few chapters on Instafreebie or Bookfunnel. (If you’re in Kindle Unlimited, it can’t be more than 10% of your book.) In addition to this, join multi-author promotions to get even more people to download your book!
  3. Hand out review copies to a select few. There are services that will do this for you, but it will cost. You can also pick people that you’ve gotten to know online – just make sure they aren’t your relatives or friends. You can even build your own review team.
  4. Write a short story or a bonus chapter and give it away in exchange for someone joining your newsletter. (You have a newsletter, right? Tell me you do! If not, get on that right away.) That’s your best marketing tool!
  5. Post a sample chapter or two on your blog, in your newsletter, in your reader group, and anywhere you can!
  6. Take a snippet and turn it into a graphic. (Be sure you have the rights to any image you use.) Canva is a great free tool for this. It’s all online, and you don’t have to download anything.
  7. Join other authors and put your book in a box set that can either be free or 99c. This provides a low barrier to entry and a great deal for the reader to try out a bunch of new-to-them authors. (If you’re in KU, make sure the box set is also in KU.)
  8. Set your book temporarily free. To do this, make your book free on all the non-Amazon sites and Amazon will price match it. (Though you may have to send them an email and ask nicely.) If you’re in KU, you get 5 days every 90 that you can set your book free.
  9. Host or join a Facebook party. Play some games, host a giveaway, share your social profiles for readers to follow. It’s a great way to meet readers and get them to try your book through a limited giveaway or freebie.
  10. Put together a giveaway to share on your blog, newsletter, and social media. This might cost a little, depending on what you give away. Ebooks will be free, but obviously paperbacks and swag will cost to buy and ship. Readers love everything from bookmarks to signed paperbacks! You can use the entries of the giveaway to gain followers on social media, Amazon, Bookbub, and more. Make sure you have an entry for joining your newsletter! Whatever you giveaway, I recommend against things like gift cards and Kindle devices. Pick something that readers will love. You don’t want people entering because they want money or a tablet! Remember what we talked about earlier? We want the right readers.

But wait, there’s more…

Giving away books isn’t going to get you rich. At least not on its own. I’ve said time and time again that giving away books is what allowed me to become a full-time author three years ago, and it’s a large part of what keeps me full-time.

Here’s what you need to get readers to move on to BUY your books:

  • A good cover. Actually, you’ll need this just to get them try your free book. Your cover’s job is to get the reader to stop and read the blurb. The blurb’s job is to get the reader to check out the sample. The sample’s job is to draw them in, so they have to finish the book!
  • A good story. This goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. If the story doesn’t grab your reader, she isn’t going to be interested in reading any of your other books. Make sure it’s not only well-written but also well-edited.
  • An excerpt of the next book. This is especially important if you write standalones, even a series of standalones. Readers may or may not be interested enough to pick up your next book based on what they just read. Maybe you wrote the story with such a satisfying ending that they feel no need to move on. Or maybe they have another book that’s next in their to-be-read pile. If you give them an excerpt, you can grab them by the throat, so they HAVE to pick up the next one!

I’d love to hear from you! What has worked (or hasn’t worked) for you to get your books into the hands of readers? How do you turn a casual reader into a fan?


Bayside DestiniesBlurb:

What do a fifteen-year-old pact, a fake engagement, and a stalker have in common? Audrey Hughes.

Audrey’s ex-boyfriend won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A master manipulator and a violently selfish man, he’s decided Audrey is his property. And he’s determined to get her back. Forcibly, if necessary.

She flees to the one place she ever found ‘family’—to Enchantment Bay. More precisely, to Logan Hunter.

Logan is a successful attorney and consummate bachelor. His work is his wife, and that’s the only long-term relationship he sees for himself. Until a childhood sweetheart shows up and reminds him of the pact they made years earlier—to get married.

It surprises him that she remembered, stuns him that he’s intrigued, and shocks him to discover her reason for returning. He uses all his influence and connections to protect her, only to be the one who causes her unbearable pain and drives her away.

Can Logan find a way to keep Audrey safe, make things right, and mend both their broken hearts?

Bayside Destinies is a standalone novel in the Hunters collection, a series of sweet contemporary romances by USA Today bestselling author, Stacy Claflin. If you like heartwarming romances with a side of suspense, then you’ll love the latest entry in the fun, romantic beach series. Budding romance and great chemistry abound with fully-developed characters that you’ll fall for over and over again.

Read Bayside Destinies today to satisfy your craving for clean, sweet contemporary romance!

More Information
Purchase Links: Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook | Google

About Stacy:

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin entertains readers in a variety of genres, from paranormal to suspense to sweet contemporary romance. She has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, and as a child would often get into trouble trying to convince friends her wild tales were true. Now she puts her creativity to better use by writing page-turning books that leave readers begging for more. Find her at http://stacyclaflin.com or connect with her on social media:

Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

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8 Responses to “How to Give Your Book Its Own HEA by Stacy Claflin”

  1. Great advice, Stacy. Particularly the part about putting an excerpt for the next book in your back matter.

    Posted by Staci Troilo | February 2, 2018, 8:42 am
  2. Great post, Stacy!
    Marketing is always such a big scary part of writing, at least for me. I don’t even like to promote myself with family and friends, let alone strangers. But I’ll have to follow your suggestions and get to work on this soon.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Posted by Irene Aprile | February 2, 2018, 12:25 pm
  3. Stacy, you have nailed the marketing thing. I remember when you published your first couple of novels and watched you transform into a full-time writer. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    And Staci, thank you for inviting her today!

    Posted by Joan Hall | February 3, 2018, 8:17 am

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