Most of the reading public are not part of writers social networks in any big way. They probably all have a personal Facebook or a Google+ presence, and quite a few people these days have Twitter accounts to see what the
Kardashians world is up to. A lot of them are on the mailing lists of book recommendation sites though, and that’s why an important part of marketing should be popping your books up on them now and then in addition to your normal tweeting and sharing on your regular sites.
If you can afford trying for a listing on Bookbub then that’s a good option, but not only is it going to get more difficult to get accepted there now that traditional publishers are using it, it’s also quite expensive. That doesn’t mean you have to do all advertising yourself though. There are a couple of much cheaper options to go for, which while they might not pack the punch of Bookbub, they’re still going to get you more eyeballs on your books, and hopefully a couple of sales from new readers.
I have to say that I haven’t done any serious marketing for my books, so I wouldn’t even try and call myself an expert on selling books. I’ve always worked in marketing though, so I have a bit of an idea. From what I’ve seen so far, I think that the marketing of eBooks is actually the toughest job in the sales world – especially as an Indie scribbler trying to get noticed. It’s always been my plan to write three to five books before I got too involved in the selling of them, and over the past year or so I have been poking around and about for ideas for when I do. As a test, I’ve run one of my books a couple of times on the smaller sites expecting nothing at all to happen, and was really surprised when it actually got sales.
So when you’re ready to promote your books, I suggest that you prepare your strategy, choose your promo days, give yourself a budget for advertising, and put it on a few of the cheaper sites. Most of them require a specific amount of reviews in the upper star range, but not as many as you need for the bigger sites. I got the most sales when I ran African Me & Satellite TV on Choosy Bookworm, but also a couple from The Daily Bookworm, and a few from People Reads, who will also advertise your new release before it has any reviews.
When you’re finally ready to start selling your books, you really should be paying for advertising if you can afford it, and the three sites above have prices starting at eight bucks, so even if you don’t sell too many books to begin with you won’t be lining up for loans either. While our conventional marketing ourselves on Twitter and so on is vital, our aim should also be finding a portion of those millions of ravenous readers out there who don’t have a social network presence, but do subscribe to book mailing lists.