Doomwalker Marketing After-Action Report Part 1

A fair number of people have had questions about how my book is doing. It is most certainly doing. In fact, I’d like it to be doing better, and you can help me out by purchasing or reading via KU my novel Doomwalker, which is the first in a dark fantasy trilogy featuring brave heroes, terrifying villains, and plenty of action.

Sorry, professional obligation. After the writing of the book, I’ve found the hardest part to be the marketing.

In fact, I hate doing it. I have to remember to do it and come up with a thing to say that I hope will catch the would-be reader’s attention. I have a lot of efforts ongoing there, including a monthly newsletter, which I need to remember to work on.

There are a lot of marketing services out there for writers. The trick is sorting the wheat from the chaff. People have made money self-publishing, which attracts parasites. Books are a highly saturated market, too. This means some of the marketing services are scams and others are ineffective. There is, for the self-published author, no effective difference.

What did I do?

Not all of those involved me paying anything. I also posted to a few dozen Facebook groups, as well as did my own page’s posts, and kept on the Twitters (up until the past week; the holidays have been an energy vampire).

The results has been: 7 paperback books sold, 10 ebooks sold, and 2,082 pages read via KU and KOLL. Based on advertising and sales dates, I theorize that all of the paperbacks were bought by people who already know me, probably all of the ebooks were bought by people who already know me, and the KU/KOLL pages are what really are effected by advertising.

Considering the areas I have been advertising, the super-readers who use KU are the most likely people to see them. People can and do make money from KU. Mind, many of those people write very fast, something I can’t do right now due to real-life concerns like bills, those pesky things.

So, some lessons learned and thoughts for future self-publishing types and the curious:

  • Genre fiction is hard to advertise for. It is very saturated. This is true of many subjects. If you are writing romance, congrats, you are more likely to get readers because romance readers are super-readers and your genre is for women what other media are for men. Lot of money there.
  • I think playing up the ‘I’m a cool person’ factor is key. This is hard, because I am introvert’s introvert. Also, genre fiction is a problem here. If you write a children’s book, for instance, local events to do this are easy to come by if you play it right- though that market it terrifyingly saturated as well.
  • While I have my bones to pick with SFWA, I recommend checking out Writer Beware to make sure you are avoiding scams and fools.
  • Covers matter. Doomwalker‘s cover came out great and I think that’s been a factor in its, uh, occasional appeal to some people. Worth the $300 dollars.
  • Major publishing houses are all too often about who you know, not how good you are as a writer. I am increasingly convinced of that. This doesn’t mean that all traditionally published books are bad, but it does means that all too many are. Readers knows this.
  • Just pay for an editor. I need to go fiddle with Doomwalker to fix some typos soon and push v2 out.

Any thoughts, advice, or what have you are much appreciated. I have other plans sort of in the works. The holiday season failed to be as relaxing as I hoped.

Published by kathrynzurmehly

I am, among many other things, an Army vet and a freelance writer.

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