How would you feel if you found out that your book sold more than 4000 copies in the first 6 weeks it was for sale? What about if your book had been number one in its (paid) category on Kindle for more than 4 of those weeks? How about if the book had (as of writing this) 99 reviews on Amazon, with a 4.7 star average and not one 1 star review?
Would you like to know what the author did to make all of that happen (aside from writing an awesome book, of course)?
Well, you’re in luck, because today I present to you that very situation. Meet T.M. Frazier (aka Tracey Marie), best selling author of “The Dark Light of Day” (Booktrope Sept. 2013). As you can see, this book was published by my company, Booktrope, so I can assure you the sales figures are accurate.
Question: What would you say was the primary social media platform(s) you used most during your preparation to launch?
T.M.: Twitter and Goodreads mostly. I came to the conclusion that Facebook author pages are for people who already like your book, whereas Twitter and Goodreads can be used to help to generate interest.
Question: Speaking of Goodreads, you used it more than many authors I know, can you tell me what your primary activity there included?
T.M.: Instead of spamming people about my book, I interacted, I made friends. I befriended people with the same taste in books as me and we talked about our genuine love of reading. I barely mentioned I had a book coming out, but before I knew it I had a ton of interest in it and people asking if they could beta read. I am lucky that I made some great connections and met some fabulous readers that I will definitely use for the next book.
I also learned the importance of a GREAT book blurb. If it isn’t going to make people want to one-click it, you might as well leave it blank. I’ve seen some great ones and some god awful ones recently.
Question: How much time per day do you think you spend online marketing your book?
T.M.: Three to four hours. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really important not to get online, spam people via all your social media outlets, and get off. It’s important to engage people in things that interest THEM. They can smell fake in social media, and people are very easily turned off by someone who just says “My book is out, click and buy it here.” Instead we should be asking questions and engaging what we hope to become our fan base.
Let’s sum up:
- Check out Twitter and Goodreads (especially if you are not sure where to start).
- Interact, make friends, be a reader and not just an author. (Give to get, people, give to get.)
- Don’t pretend there is an instant fix. You have to put in the time if you want to make it happen.
- Write a great book blurb. Make good (real) connections with readers; ask them their thoughts on the blurb.
- Do not spam people saying “buy my book”.
- ENGAGE people, do not broadcast to them.
By the way, Tracey mentions luck at one point above, I don’t think luck has anything to do with what happened here. She spent time finding the right people, and cultivating the right relationships. She is genuine and fun to interact with online, so those people want to spend time talking to her, and eventually wanted to help her spread the word about her book.
Because Tracey works in our system here at Booktrope, she also has a Book Manager (marketing manager) working with her in her marketing efforts. The way we describe this relationship is that the author has to be the voice, the Book Manager can only amplify and direct the voice. No one can (or should) replace the author, they can only augment them. In truth, the real point of the Book Manager role, and our entire system, is to ensure that the power of community is brought to bear. If you aren’t part of our community, form or join your own – or simply make it good practice to support your fellow authors and they will reciprocate. This doesn’t have to be “you-the-author against the world”. If you read my piece on Hate as a Marketing Tool, you know this is an approach I believe should be a factor for the publishing world overall. I think Tracey’s success merely proves this point in a tangible way.
If you would like to learn more about Tracey, you can follow her blog, find her on Twitter and of course, Goodreads. Her book, “The Dark Light of Day”, can be found via all the usual sources: Amazon, iTunes and BN.com.