Saturday, January 12, 2019

Talking Book Marketing and Promo

Our topic this week is some complicated thing about the concept behind the movie “Moneyball” and the One Thing To Rule Them All when it comes to book marketing.



I have seen the movie “Moneyball” so I’m familiar with the concept – instead of picking new players based on the gut instincts of a scout with baseball in his or her blood, the team does all these gee whizzy statistics and picks guys for the lineup no one ever heard of but they can throw a killer slider when the humidity tops 80% or the shortstop who can catch 97% of the pop flies in the 8th inning when the moon is full.  I know the real life team in question (whose name escapes me) did have success with this but I came away from the movie feeling like they’d lost the heart of the sport. People aren’t statistics and they will surprise you. But hey, pro football is my preferred form of couch potato athletics.

Obviously applying all this hifalutin math-heavy strategy to book promo and marketing is far beyond me. I HATED my college marketing and statistics classes. It’s so not my thing. I glaze over in the various author groups when people start talking about how they ran 250 ads and did A/B testing and tweaked this word or that phrase and then ran 900 more ads….I DO NOT BEGRUDGE THEM THEIR MAD SKILLZ AND SUCCESS.

But I’m not them.

Nor do I have $10,000 a month for ads and promo, which is an eye opening number I saw thrown around in one discussion, as regards what it takes to keep someone’s books reliably in the top 10 at Amazon in their genre. (These were people in a strata far FAR above mine but it was illuminating to see numbers and to even think about trying to play that game. I assume these people – who are not all in romance – have assistants.)

If my Fairy Godmother dropped a fat promo budget bag o gold on me and gave me a team of elves to manage my ads, would I be excited and would I use said services? Of course! Unless she wanted my firstborn in return…

But failing that I muddle along.

Fortunately for the Pets In Space scifi romance anthologies, we have a fabulous PR person who does all of that for us and more. She’s been generous in trying to coach my co-founder and me on some techniques but again, I glaze over.
So what do I do for promo? I write the new books.

I do have a personal blog, I’m in a number of Facebook groups with readers and other scifi romance authors, I blog for various platforms as part of making my Veronica Scott ‘brand’ more visible. I tweet. I do snippets and weekly memes. I actually had good success with Amazon ads for a few months (turns out I’m good with picking key words) but then the Zon changed everything up as they so often do, and suddenly my ads weren’t working. Again.

I buy some ads during the year, principally to support new releases.
I send out a newsletter when I have a new release.
Maybe there’s other stuff I do on occasion but pretty much that’s it.

I write more books and I don’t obsess or stress over the things that I’m not good at. Writing is a long game and I have over 25 books out there. Even in this currently overheated, jampacked publishing marketplace, readers will find books they want to read. I sneakily figure if I can get them to read one or two, they just might go for my entire backlist. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone my secret ploy LOL!)