Getting the word out

The challenge with epublishing is to get the word out. The challenge with all publishing, really. How do you reach out to the readers who will want your book? I figure it needs a certain amount of mass advertising, moving toward targeted advertising.

So, first it’s friends and acquaintances. They may not have an interest in this book, but they have an interest in me. I put it out on Facebook, sent an email to my colleagues, put a text out to people in my phone book. I think I put it on linked in — technical difficulties. Some interest — 33 comments/likes on Facebook. Not completely scattershot, but close. Four or five responses from department. (that says a lot about the dept.) more feedback from texts. And the texts had the highest purchase percentage. Closest to me, one-on-one messaging, high response rate.

So far, 7 books sold, in five days.

I fashioned a hook for Facebook: most of the people there are former students and colleagues. So using humor, I suggested they might want to return the thrill of being edited by me, and read and review. It played well.

With colleagues, I put it in the context of an update as to what I’ve been doing, and in the scholarly context of a changing media form. Also played well. But a sell isn’t made itch one exposure. (an old publisher of mine, used to say it was the 30th exposure that clenched the ad sale. I don’t plan to be that persistent.)

I think in a bit, I’ll offer a coupon at smashwords on Facebook. Making sure to offer it during the week. This last one was on the weekend.

Moving Outward, Tightening Focus
The last two days I’ve been working in goodreads, setting myself up as an author, adding the book to the database. Looking at groups I might join. Although this is a much larger pool of people, in some ways, this refines the parameters. These are all readers. Still need to refine that category down of course, but it’s a better pool than colleagues, friends and alums.

The goal of all of this is to form a loyal customer base of say 5000 who will buy anything I write. Repeat sales to satisfied customers. If I write two books a year, that would be a living wage. And of course, with ebooks, you can have new people discovering you forever.

So not generic readers, but mystery readers. Where to find them. How to lure them into trying it.

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