Thursday, March 09, 2006

Marketing

Okay, my brain is mush after a very sleepless night and some truly bizarre dreams, so I'm going to throw some questions out to you all. Maybe we can all learn something from each other.

What do you think about promotion/marketing in terms of books? This is purposefully a general question, so all opinions about anything even vaguely connected, welcome!

What kinds of marketing work best for you as a reader? ie. Websites / web-banners / ads in magazines / word of mouth (as an aside, I'd include blogs in the last one - would you?) etc.

If you're an author and have tried do some marketing for your books, what types have worked or not?

7 comments :

meljean brook said...

As a reader, I find that I pick up books based on what I see around blogs and browsing the stores (looking at covers...which, by the way, yours is fantastic!) I've never been influenced by little things like web banners or ads, primarily because most are really ugly/poorly made. The same with bookmarks and such -- it just doesn't grab me.

Online reviews at AAR and TRR -- not the grade, but the information about the storyline. I'll be sending copies of my single title to them (if Berkley's publicists don't) as well as a few other online review sites.

Word of mouth works; if I'm hearing something about a book, I'll be more likely to at least pick it up, read an excerpt online at the author's site or surf over to Amazon to see if there's an excerpt there.

I've had people tell me that they bought the Berkley anthology I'm in because of my blog (though, in that case, 99.99% of the sales came from the other three names in the anthology).

So I guess for me, in terms of marketing, my biggest influences are:

the book itself (design/title)
a website (and the more information about the book/longer excerpt the better)
online reviews (including blog reviews)

Contests might also be a good way to get people to your site -- and even though I don't enter very many, I see links to contests and it at least makes me aware of the book, so I might take a second look when I'm at Amazon or in the bookstore later.

And I got SECRETS IN THE MARRIAGE BED last week! Thank you again :D I'll be blogging about it soon; I really enjoyed it.

Angelle Trieste said...

Nalini,

As a reader, word of mouth. That'll make or break for me. I'll even pick up a brand new never-read author if I hear good things about it from other readers. I don't care much about reviews or cover blurbs by other writers.

Emma Sinclair said...

I vote for another word of mouth.

I ended up buying Dark Lover by JR Ward just because I heard so much about it - I mean like every blog I visited was talking about this book.

I've heard readers say that if you don't have an excerpt and/or contest on your website, they won't buy your book. Also, no website = no sale. I don't think I'd go that far.

Also, lately, with more limited time, I tend to mostly buy books from people I "know," either from online or blogs or whatever. I'd rather support my friends than strangers so I think just being nice can help!

Milady Insanity said...

Well...a blurb by PBW would get me to give a book a go. LOL.

But other than that...I think word of mouth on top of a plotline that interests me will get me to get that book.

Nothing else will, unless I happen to pick up a book at the library or the bookshop on a whim.

Debbie said...

Word of mouth counts for a lot - especially if the words are coming from someone I know or it's about an author that I've never read.

I think blogs can be seen as separate from word of mouth. I read several blogs that are dedicated to book reviews. I don't know these people, so I have no idea if I like them or not - but I like to read their perceptions of what they've read. And just because they don't like a book doesn't mean that I won't read it. Book reviews give me information, but very rarely decide for me whether or not I'm going to buy/read something.

Nalini Singh said...

Meljean - glad you enjoyed SECRETS. :)I'd agree with you about banners and bookmarks. I don't think I've ever bought a book as a result primarily of those two factors. I have tons of bookmarks given to me at conferences - they all tend to blend together.

Meljean, Angelle, Emma, Milady, Debbielynn - wow, it looks like an overwhelming vote for word-of-mouth!!

Emma, I hear what you're saying about Dark Lover. I haven't read it yet but the buzz is so huge that it feels like I must read it. And I try to do the friend-support thing too but so many people are getting published (a good thing) that my TBR pile is about to topple over and crush me!

Angelle, it's interesting what you said about cover blurbs. They do influence me sometimes, for the simple reason that if I like author A, and they've given author B a blurb, I tend to think B's voice might be something I like. This has worked enough times that I haven't been turned off it.

Milady - right, off I go to stalk PBW! ;) I'm a huge, huge fan of her StarDoc books so I can see where you're coming from.

Debbielynn, I think I agree with you about blogs being a separate form of word of mouth. And I'd further separate it down into personal blogs and those more streamlined review sites, which tend to get more businessy.

Thanks everyone for the awesome responses. It's eye-opening to see how much word-of-mouth can trump every other factor. I guess the best thing you can do as a writer is write an awesome book so people can't stop talking about it.

Angelle Trieste said...

Nalini,

the cover blurbs mean very little to me for the following reasons.

Writers don't get blurbs from someone who hates their books. Blurbs are always positive. Some writers don't even read the book (no time). They just give out standard blurbs like "This is the author to watch!" "Outstanding debut /sophormore effort!" or something of that nature.

So that's why I say it's not that important to me.

BUT -- word of mouth -- if a lot of people are talking about, people who don't really know the author personally and/or who aren't friends w/ the author, then that makes me notice. Because the book must be something special to get all these people talking.

Hope this makes sense.