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Marketing Boot Camp

 

BY CINDI MYERS

Five authors, two coaches, four months…the marketing boot camp participants shared their experiences learning about marketing their books and putting what they learned into practice. The boot camp participants set out with a goal of using technology and online tools to increase sales.

The authors brought different levels of expertise to the boot camp—from novices whose only online presence was a basic website, to those who “knew all the buzzwords, but didn’t know what to do with them.”

The boot camp focused on four areas of marketing: social media, web design, newsletters, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Social Media Lessons

Sharing and liking increases the likelihood that more people will see your posts because of Facebook algorithms.

The authors banded together to like and share each other’s posts.

A Facebook page is better than a Facebook profile. With a page, you can scroll to the header above the timeline and click on the icon that looks like a starburst to access Facebook Insights. This allows you to gauge the reach of your posts—how many people are viewing it and sharing it.

Images are more sharable than posts. Posting pictures and cartoons will generate more interest than mere words.

The authors who were anti-social media prior to the Bootcamp saw an increase in their sales as a result of their activity on Facebook and Twitter and learned social media can be fun.

About Websites

Participating in the boot camp changed the way the participants thought about their websites. The author website is no longer merely an informational site to tell people who have read the author’s books about the author. It becomes a selling tool to direct people who find you via Facebook, Twitter or another online portal to your books and newsletter.

The focus of your website should be about your books first and about you second.

The most important real estate on your site is what the person who visits the site sees “above the fold”—without scrolling—and the space in the top right-hand corner of each page. Put the most important information here, such as a button to sign up for your newsletter.

Use buy buttons throughout the site—at the top and bottom of the book pages and the excerpt pages.

Put social media buttons on your site to link to you on Facebook and Twitter.

The number one goal of your website is to “attach a thread” to a site visitor—by getting them to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on Facebook or Twitter. Doing this establishes a relationship and provides many more opportunities for you to sell them a book.

Use affiliate codes in your buy links to track how many people are buying your books from your links.

Several authors mentioned the ease of using Wordpress for their web sites. Plug-ins on Wordpress make it easier to optimize your web page and gather data.

Your website may be the reader’s introduction to you. Your site should be a reflection of your fictional world.

One author stressed that your site does not have to be perfect and is a work in progress.   

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