Marketing has negative connotations in my mind. I know this is silly, but I tend to think of it as “convincing people to do things against their best interest”. Yeah, no wonder I hate marketing! But with Kindle Scout and asking people to nominate my romantic suspense, Sky Garden, for consideration by its editors, I don’t feel as if I’m trying to convince people to do something “bad”, so I’ve embraced the whole marketing buzz.
[I think authors might tend to share my funny idea of “marketing” as negative, hence our tendency to refer to it as the cozier, “promo”.]
You can draft a marketing plan any way you like. I haven’t written mine down before, so I hope I don’t miss an important point. Here goes…
Experts talk about funnels in marketing. Go wide, scoop in everyone you can, and convert those leads. This article on purchase funnels in Forbes covers the idea. In a sense, Kindle Scout is a funnel. It brings your book to readers’ attention, and it gives you something to promote (i.e. the book that needs readers’ nominations) which allows you to get out there and reach more people because you have a clear and meaningful reason to engage with them. As a side note, I’m curious if this funnel-effect will increase sales of my other books available in the Amazon store.
All of my marketing for Sky Garden in Kindle Scout is online. This is great because I’m already online promoting my other books, so I can leverage some of my existing capabilities and networks. Never, ever forget to appreciate your strengths. The first step in my marketing campaign was to tap my existing social media presence by changing Facebook and Twitter headers to ask people to nominate Sky Garden for Kindle Scout publication, posting that request, and writing these blog posts on my Kindle Scout experience.
Yep, these blog posts reflecting on my Kindle Scout journey are content creation, which can be a difficult thing to add to your day. I’m pretty good at curating content (i.e. resharing interesting things on Facebook and Twitter), but creating new content takes time, energy and inspiration. Nonetheless, it’s important, especially if by tagging these posts and getting engagement on them I can trigger Google’s algorithms to bring you here to my website when you search for Kindle Scout. Google’s gotten savvy though, so my posts have to offer something valuable. Also, having new content enables me to share it on Twitter, Facebook, etc, and make it re-shareable by others.
But there’s only so much I can do myself. Increasingly, getting eyeballs on things requires paid advertising. Sorry…I fought that realisation, too. So, I’ve included a low-budget Facebook ad for the length of Sky Garden‘s Kindle Scout campaign.
But I think the bulk of my marketing energy went into the things I did before Sky Garden‘s Kindle Scout campaign went live. For a start I wrote a book with as strong a hook as I could devise: not just a medium, but one who’d been kidnapped by a serial killer; not just a commitment-averse landscape gardener, but one with aristocratic family issues. I also wrote Sky Garden with a tagline in mind, on the rooftops of London, you can be anyone. I used that tagline for the Kindle Scout campaign, and it’s the guiding concept for the cover. The blurb, my bio and the questions I’ve answered on Sky Garden‘s Kindle Scout page all support these ideas. As best I could, I devised a marketable idea for a novel (and one which utterly engaged me as an author), and then, aligned everything to it.
Sometimes marketing is as simple as being true to yourself.
I don’t think I’ve forgotten to mention anything. How about you? What do you expect to see in a marketing campaign? What do you include?