Brief Mention of My Advertising Plan

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

I haven’t done a post about my path as an indie author for a while, so this will be detailed.  These are typically filled with explanations of my experience.  Truthfully, things have been tame since the release of Prodigy of Rainbow Tower in August.  With the December release of Allure of the Gypsies, things have taken on an interesting pattern.  I’ve been slowly evolving my advertising sphere with pricier things when I have the royalties to afford it.  So, I will say now that part of this plan requires spending money.  If you don’t have royalties then possibly save up a fund of about $100 at first.  It’s lead me to my current system, which I’ll share by explaining the stages.

First, some things to consider here:

  1. These stages were spread out from February to now.
  2. You can always adjust it depending on your available funds.
  3. This involves a series.  If you only have one book then it will be cheaper and you can take the various sites in this plan to spread out over time.  Maybe one or two a month or something like that.
  4. What works for one person, doesn’t work for another.  Doesn’t hurt to try.  I attempted eReader News Today and got no sales through it.  Yet, S.K. Nicholls and Mark Paxson got amazing levels of success through it.  Try it if you can.

Beginning of a Hero Stage ($55)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

For my first book, I had no idea what I was doing in terms of marketing.  I set up on WordPress and danced around on social media like a poorly trained monkey.  Blog interviews, begging for guest posts, and doing whatever I could think of for attention.  Forget the monkey.  I was a toddler who learned how to sing a new song.  During this stage, I went more for free advertising sites (Bookpinning, Just Out on Novelspot) and cheaper sites (AskDavid.com, Goodkindles).  Most of this stage was about dipping a toe into the water.  I did spend a little extra on a few services that was a one time fee for a permanent placement on a sites’ database.  By the end of the first month, I was out of ammo beyond guest posts and taking advantage of being a fresh face.  Wattpad was in here too, but this only helps if you’re writing some form of romance.

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower Stage ($200 – $250)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

No longer a fresh face, I had a plan for the big blast.  One or two sites changed, so I had to adapt at the last second.  Here is where I attempted my first Hype Week, which worked out pretty well.  I also did a Book Blast the day before the debut, which was an oops on my part because the day of or after would have been smarter.  I can out swinging on the momentum of my first book and using all the tools that succeeded.  I even got into the Facebook promo groups.  It was going strong for a month and the Top 100 Lists gave me a sweet boost again.

Then I got curious.  I looked around for other promotion sites that were a little higher priced than what I used.  Ionia sent me the link to one that made me nervous and I stumbled onto another.  This is where Indie Author Anonymous and Indie Author News came into my mix.  I did promo packages for Beginning of a Hero too, so you can give the first book a boost here as well.  This stage consists of more in-depth articles on a bigger platform.  Through Indie Author Anonymous, I gained exposure on several social media platforms.  Through Indie Author News, I gained multiple tweets a day from their two accounts and a horde of retweets.  This all the second month and it is what helped me through the summer slump.

Allure of the Gypsies Stage (about $300)

By Jason Pedersen

By Jason Pedersen

I set up all of the used sites within the first day and a few stumbles happened.  Not so much stumbles, but timings that I forgot to think about.  Indie Author News and a Spotlight on Just One Indie’s Opinion hit on December 15th.  At first, I shrugged.  Then I realized I missed something important.  A MID-MONTH BOOST!  I had been so focused on coming out swinging that I never considered a jolt in the middle of the month.  I was depending on my blogging and the current blog tour to get through things.  I felt foolish and it was about to get oddly better/worse.

I had the money and wanted to attempt one type of marketing that I had avoided up to this point.  Not the celebrity endorsement that some friends keep telling me to do.  Banner and sidebar ads on sites.  These can range from $25-$100+ depending on the site, but most last for 30-days.  That means this ad will be visible for 30-days.  Well, I started with Goodkindles and goofed up by coming late to the party.  My ad goes up in January . . . which started this idea: MONTH 2 BOOST!  Some of these ads are going to be up through January to give me an extra month of marketing.  Will they work?  I’m not sure and won’t know for a while.  I grabbed a few other sites on this round and I’m waiting to see how they do.  That Part Where has shown a lot of promise and it’s striking me as a great site to use as a future Round 2 instead of an initial site.  I’m going to need to examine what I’m doing to see if some sites are better suited for initial release or to give a mid or second month boost.

That’s my story and I know it depends a lot on having money.  Will it work for everyone?  No, but maybe you’ll find something that will work for you in here.  Sorry for the length of this and I do have a voice saying ‘don’t share your secrets!’  Still, we’re all in this together.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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48 Responses to Brief Mention of My Advertising Plan

  1. LindaGHill says:

    Interesting stuff, Charles. Thanks. 🙂

    Like

  2. sknicholls says:

    I get excited for indies authors like you, and thank you for sharing your insights. I appreciate hearing your successes…what works and what doesn’t. I never worry about sharing secrets because I know my own work won’t satisfy this vast market of readers. You are one of the most encouraging bloggers in the arena that is writing and marketing! I have never heard of Indie Author Anonymous and Indie Author News. Maybe something to look into after Christmas. I don’t see how you keep up the pace. I am going to bake a cake now. 🙂

    Like

    • I know Indie Author Anonymous is busy with the holidays. She puts up advertisements and will buy a copy of your book to read & review, so she needs time to read. Funny thing is that when I was sent the name Indie Author News, I typed it into Google and hit enter before typing News. Then I saw I.A.A. sitting there and got my wires crossed. I make a lot of lucky mistakes.

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      • sknicholls says:

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Things-Book-Review/379124898889780
        Here is the facebook page to one who shared my book link this morning. Not a FB group to post in. They have a blog on blogspot…they read and review and post interviews and book reviews to their blog and to Amazon and goodreads. There is a lot of fantasy stuff on their page, but they are interested in all reading material. They have about 550 FB followers and I am not certain their blog followers, but it is free.

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      • Thanks. I’ll give them a look. It does bring up an interesting question though. Since I’m working with a series, which book do I send? I’d assume the first, but this does seem to be a sign that approaching new review sites will be a challenge as the series progresses. Never really considered that problem.

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      • sknicholls says:

        Perhaps with a site like this they would be willing to do all three over time.

        They first is important, but if it were me I would promote the third with the announcement that it is book three of the series and then list the other two wherever possible. You will always be able to drum up interest and appear dedicated with book number three…but how to use that promo to get attention from Book one to books two and three…I don’t know?

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      • Hard to tell. I assume the review of one will bring attention to the others. Though, I have learned to warn about the present tense third person thing. A few reviewers respectfully refuse when I bring that up. I’ll probably save this for next month after my son’s vacation, the holidays, and all of the Allure debut month chaos is done.

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  3. dmauldin53 says:

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Like

  4. Papi Z says:

    Reblogged this on The Literary Syndicate and commented:
    Some good ideas and explanation from Charles. Check it out my friends, see what you can glean from it.

    Like

  5. Well Charles you certainly can’t be accused not giving it the old college try. Hopefully all the effort will pay off for you.

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  6. Charles,

    We have one LindaGHill as a friend in common, in would appear. She steered me this way.

    Thanks for sharing your school-of-hard-knocks experience. I’m going to have to market in earnest this February when my first book (non-fiction) comes out. I’m seeking world domination, or at least to knock Malcolm Gladwell down a peg or two on the best seller list.

    It would appear that I lack for neither ambition nor sense of humour, the latter being the more important of the two.

    You can build a better mousetrap,…

    Like

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience, Charles! May I have your permission to Reblog this on FreeValley Publishing? We’re all looking for feedback on things indie authors have tried and do our best to share our experiences too. -Sheri J. Kennedy

    Like

  8. 1WriteWay says:

    Charles, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am a firm believer that we can all be successful if we help each other.

    Like

  9. It’s always helpful to learn what other authors have tried and to see the results, even though every book is unique. It’s great of you to share this. 🙂

    Like

  10. I think part of it is changes in Amazon’s marketing system (like Customer Also Bought lists, for example). One, I see many books selling X number of copies all month almost to a tee, then suddenly start selling Y number of copies the next month. I think this is because Amazon’s algorithm changes things up at the beginning of the month. During a month, when thing’s change, I think Amazon’s algorithm is giving opportunities to some books, but things didn’t work out for them and they get switched back. As a book gains exposure, it needs to really run with it to make it stick. Then there are new books getting onto customer also bought lists, pushing other books off, etc. All these changes probably make a big difference on books that have good marketability.

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    • It’s like a swarm with Amazon making everyone jockey for position. Funny how the companies try to turn this into a competition while it works better as a community effort.

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      • Those companies may be shooting themselves in the feet and doing favors for everyone else. There are quite a few business practices, like high e-book prices, that really give indies great opportunities.

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      • I think they’re used to a competitive atmosphere because that seems to be the tradition. It works when you’re working in teams or dueling with another company for a contract. They might be learning to change though because trad publishers are lowering their e-book pricing these days.

        Like

  11. Bastet says:

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Interesting adventure into the world of one man promoting his books!

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on FreeValley Publishing and commented:
    Some fun and interesting thoughts on promotion for authors from Charles Yallowitz. Reblogged with Permission. Thanks, Charles!

    Like

  13. Mari Collier says:

    I wandered in here from Free Valley Publishing (not a member, but would be if still in the Northwest). I tried the Facebook ad thing and was rather disappointed. So far I’ve spent very little on advertising. Somehow Earthbound (Volume 1) for a brief time was number 13 in Amazon Kindle Science Fiction. I still have no idea why. Interesting. I know being in a metropolitan area would be a big help. Best of luck.

    Like

    • I’m not 100% certain how my books got into the 20’s on the fantasy lists. I went through a lot of sites that did advertising, which is what I think happened. Then the list did a bunch of the work.

      I should clarify the Facebook ads that I’m talking about. There’s the pay Facebook to advertise your page method, which I’ve never used. It seems to only help in terms of getting ‘likes’, which doesn’t mean it’ll transfer to book sales. I’m talking more about Facebook groups that exist for Indie Authors to post about their books. I might be upping my usage to 3 times a day instead of morning & evening because it is exposure. You can get some shares off that as long as you return the favor.

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