Monday, January 20, 2014

What Works: Online Marketing Symposium

Please join me and many other writers in sharing today. Thanks to these fine people for organizing the What Works: Online Marketing Symposium, Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, Jeremy Hawkins and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Find the entire list of participants on their blogs and prepare some pen and paper to take notes. A special thank you to all of them. 

“On event day you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work. Your post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically. Tell us about a business campaign, an organizational event, a fundraiser – anything where a bit of promotion was necessary!”

One thing I had success with in the past but not recently has been in person book signing. When my first fantasy novel came out, The Keepers of Sulbreth, I scheduled numerous in person book signings at Borders and Barnes and Noble. I sold out at my first three signings which was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. Since Borders closed, replaced by BAM, I haven't had any signings in the big retail stores. I have attended numerous signings in small independent stores and at other venues like coffee shops. With one exception, I've had very poor results for those hours spent smiling and acting as store greeter. I am doing a group signing at a flower shop near Valentine's day, but I really feel that in person book signings aren't worth the time or the expense of purchasing numerous print copies of your own book.

What has worked for me? I find Facebook updates, of the right kind, result in an uptick in my sales. What are the right kind in my experience? The ones where I am promoting but not as blatantly as saying 'buy my book.' Links to reviews, blog posts, interviews or just being mentioned somewhere. For instance, Awesome Gang, posted this interview of me where I talk about the inspiration behind First Dragon. Are the upticks making me rich? No, but being active on Facebook does seem to help my book sales. But Facebook is free though they have paid avenues you can try to expand the reach of your posts. I've heard good and poor reports on doing that.

The results I write about above are only own and not indicative of others' experiences. I'm looking forward to seeing what I'll learn today from the other bloggers. Please visit them all.

What are your experiences with book signings? Are they worth the time and effort? Do you believe Facebook is a good promo option? Have you tried their paid options? Is Twitter a better time option than Facebook?

43 comments:

  1. It's great hearing about your experiences. I was especially interested in your experience with book signings.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use FB and Twitter much. Not sure which one work best. With FB, you can use visuals of your book cover so that's a big plus.

    Good advice about linking to a review or something other than a direct link to Amazon to buy your book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to do a ton of book signings, and Waldenbooks was always my favorite venue. I don't do them very often anymore. People just don't buy physical books anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Still not on Facebook, although I can see why it's more effective than Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. great share of experiences, i find that facebook has a bigger grand audience.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!
    [Being-Retro]

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've done art shows, but not an actual book signing in a store- feels intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's definitely a changing world, eh? We have to be flexible and go with the changes. I LOVE the transition to the online platform, but it does require a great deal of regular attention.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've heard books signings can be really helpful. Facebook seems to have pros and cons.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So true about the in person thing, I love them because you get to meet and greet, but the ratio to time, money and sales is so low it's almost not worth it. But it is the most fun!
    I agree about FB, no over the top self promotion, but the boosts that cost haven't proved positive yet. For $5 it's worth the test!

    Thanks for participating!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't done a book signing, as my debut is an eBook, but when the times comes I will be nervous!

    Catchy FB posts can attract a lot of people. I have a lot of interesting ways planned to promote my eBook on FB and I'll be taking notes on the results. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not fond of book signings. It's a great deal of time for the amount of exposure you get in return.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting take on book signings. I mentioned my first failed attempt at booking one in the local indie book store!

    Thanks for the great, insightful post!

    Cheers!
    Terri @ Scribbler's Sojourn

    ReplyDelete
  13. My eyes, trying to make me squint today lol

    Never tried a book signing, good to know they aren't worth the effort. Don't use facebook, but I did try a paid ad once and that never did a thing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Doing a lone signing can be "lonely" for a new writer. That's why I like to do a collective one. You have a greater chance of pulling an audience in.

    Great to read your experience. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I see a tiny uptick with FB posts too. But Twitter is so full of noise, those posts get ignored - so I don't even bother.

    You can be more creative with FB posts, though, like you said.

    I hear VERY mixed reviews on in person book signing. Sounds like it depends on the book/genre. More mainstream stuff does better, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's nice to know you've got lovely experiences with in person book signings. I haven't done those because I only have eBooks to share for now. But I've done virtual signings for e-copies through Authorgraph.

    The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great that your first experiences with book signings were so positive, but sad that their benefit has tapered off. I find FB much more useful than Twitter because Twitter posts become outdated so fast. I never spend much time scrolling through my Twitter feed. Definitely more willing to do it on FB. My two cents.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I seem to see more updates and such from the writers I'm following on Twitter vs. FB. The best Tweets are from writers who don't overdo promotion. It's pretty obnoxious when almost every single Tweet is about contests, sales, reviews, and urging people to buy your book.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've read quite a few of these What Works posts. You are quite right... some people say Facebook is great and others are not as successful with. I think this is all Trial and Error.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very good post! Great ideas here, and I'll have to check out Awesome Gang for future reference.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, Susan,

    I haven't done a Fb promo in a while, but when I did it didn't pay off other than to get me likes. Haven't done a book signing either. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I agree on book signings--usually do much better at the Barnes & Nobles than the smaller shops, unless the small shop has a good online presence and does some advertising for you prior to your signing. Not always a guarantee.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Susan
    That's really useful feedback on your experience. I must work Facebook better - I tend to use it well for personal stuff, but not for my books, although the page has followers. Could do better!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing. I've not done a book signing. I'm terrified that I might in the future. Facebook is slow for me. There's just too much going on. I shout out more about my books on Twitter, but you really have to shout on there.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I haven't even thought about signings - I think I'd be too nervous for that. :)

    But, I definitely see more hits on FB when someone mentions my book there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. i agree - book signings are tough! but if we go to where the readers are, book stores, that might get better response as your first few did. i don't like saying too much about my book on FB, don't want to bug my friends who mostly already have it. but i do link my tweets to my author page, where i hope more fans will pay attention... since tweets are buried as soon as they fly!

    i'm getting good advice today! thanks for joining in!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I will have to develop my Facebook Page more.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Susan, thanks for sharing your book signing experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I haven't done book signings. But I am Facebook, and liked that people would ask for more information when I posted a link, discuss the book further. I didn't check if there was a spike in sales during those periods though.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've done book signings - but I never just sit in a chair and sign. I have pajama party story times (I'm a children's author.) The turnout is usually pretty good. And we certainly have a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Some say FB... some say Twitter... it's like eeny-meeny-miny-mo...
    I wonder if it's dependent on an author's number of followers on each platform...?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences Susan.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Glad to see Facebook works for you! While I use it, too, I'm not sure it's been that great of a marketing tool for me, heh.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I enjoy book signing, but so far, I haven't ventured out of my own area. For the most part, my signings have been the local peeps who support me and would have bought my book whether I signed or not. But I like to do them, it's sort of a way to say thanks to the core peeps. Maybe I should try venturing farther!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Interesting. Definitely good information, thanks! A friend of mine has said she does book signings in bookstores and such more so that the bookstore employees will get to know her and direct people to her books when asked about a certain type. Whether that works or not, I'm not sure.

    The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would like to tell that I too have received a great result when I hired the service from AMGW agency.
    Miami Based Amgw Agency

    ReplyDelete
  36. The good news is that it doesn't have to take over too much of your writing time. In fact, with online marketing you can now reach a large international audience with just a few clicks. You can even schedule content in advance so you don't need to be actively posting on different sites all day.
    med media can also provide good support.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The Seo us necessary for the online business this is better and cheaper than other kind of online marketing techniques.
    SEO Services

    ReplyDelete
  38. Many online business owners thinks that SEO is not necessary for the website but they are wrong. It is the great way of business. Thanks for the post.
    SEO Services

    ReplyDelete
  39. I would like to know SEO deeply so if you please share more, I will learn more.
    SEO Services

    ReplyDelete
  40. The post in which you discuss about the SEO is marvelous and every one will definitely like it. I feel pleasure to read this information.
    Seo

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you so much for sharing this excellent information! Looking forward to reading more! Promote - Advertising Agency

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The Seo us necessary for the online business this is better and cheaper than other kind of online marketing techniques.

    White Hat SEO

    ReplyDelete