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November 02, 2016

Some Promos Go Right and Others Go Wrong



I am over at the IWSG website with Rejections: Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom.



November's Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

This may be a cliche, but my favorite aspect of being a writer is writing. I truly do love it. Even when I suffer from writer's block, I love writing. That's why being blocked sucks so much! I also love sharing my stories with readers. That is the ultimate reward.


December's IWSG Questions: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

*Add this question and your answer to your December 7th IWSG post.


***

A little over a week ago I celebrated the release of my new novella and announced a sale:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?


BUY LINKS:




***

Promo Efforts:

Libraries: After many emails and a month-long wait, Seismic Crimes went on the shelves in two of my local libraries in Central Florida!!!

If I were a Mobster Blogfest: Instead of a traditional blog tour for 30 Seconds Before, I wanted to do something different and fun, so I did a blogfest. The theme invited participants to turn themselves into mobsters. The posts were great. I had a blast, and I think those who participated and visited the posts also enjoyed it. Next time, I need to remember to offer a prize for my favorite post. I think that'll make things interesting. ;)


I loved them all, but there are my top three favorites:
Maureen L. Bonatch wrote a flash fiction piece.
Elizabeth Seckman created a gentle Mob boss.
Anna Durand was part of the Grammar Mafia.

Seismic Crimes Sale: In September, I did a sale on Seismic Crimes. I sent my sale info to a bunch of websites but only got featured on these: My Book Cave, Readfree.ly, and Book Bongo (UK). The rank rose but not to best-seller status, and that's okay. I had sales, which I'm happy about.

Goodreads Ad: I heard Goodreads ads were good, so I set one up for my sale. I did everything Goodreads suggested and what authors suggested. I changed it when it didn't work, targeting fans of specific authors at one point, and then readers of specific genres at another time. No one clicked on it. Not once. And Goodreads doesn't reimburse you. I added two more ads to the same campaign for 30 Seconds Before and 30 Seconds...nothing. I have ads that aren't doing a thing. 


QUESTIONS: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? What promos have worked or haven't worked for you?


98 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

Excellent post Chrys. It's always fun when one gets writer's block as you can write about simply "Nothing" and get away with it.
Yvonne.

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

That's interesting to hear about Goodreads ads. Sorry they didn't work out for you :-( Next month's question is a great one. Can't wait to see everyone's answers to that one.

Pat Hatt said...

Writing is what it all boils back to indeed. Ads in most any places suck, I find.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Writing indeed is the best part of what we do. Congrats on your new book! Looks awesome:)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh on having your books at the local libraries!

I remember Elizabeth's Mobster post - hysterical!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, I'll not try a Goodreads ad. Facebook ads are also iffy. You really have to do your research to make one that's even half a success.

Getting books into libraries is a beautiful thing. As a publisher, I love it because libraries don't return books. (Like bookstores do.)

Chrys Fey said...

That should be fun, but nothing is quite boring. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Next month's question will be interesting, and a good one to help us look forward with the end of the year.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm finding that, too, but I sure thought Goodreads ads would've been different.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jennifer!

Chrys Fey said...

Elizabeth sure created a memorable Mobster.

Chrys Fey said...

The only ads I've had success with so far was a Facebook ad, but it was small success. At least they get noticed.

Some libraries can pull your book and sell it in a book sale, though. lol

Jen said...

Hi Chrys,

Congratulations on the new release! There's something intriguing about the mob, isn't there? Or at least the idea of it. I don't think I'd like a run-in with the real thing but that's the beauty of our profession: getting to do the crazy stuff we'd never really do.

Best of luck with the publication and with your marketing! Sorry the Goodreads Ad was such a bust :(
Jen

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations on getting your books in the library! That would make my day. Marketing is so hit and miss. I can't say that anything I do has made much of a difference.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sales are good!
Glad you had a good turnout for the mobster blogfest.

Nicola said...

Congratulations on getting your book in the library! Woohoo!! You must be thrilled with all your accomplishments this year Chrys. You've done FAB!!! Thanks for being such a sharing and caring writer - always helpful and insightful. Really appreciate it!!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm intrigued by the idea of the Mob. ;)

Thank you so much, Jen!

Chrys Fey said...

Marketing sure is hit or miss. What could be golden for one could be coal for another.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Alex!

Chrys Fey said...

I am thrilled, Nicola. :) There are so things that bring me down though like lack of sales and reviews, but I have to remember my accomplishments.

Aw. I try, Nicola. :)

Anonymous said...

I flipflop between loving writing and loving editing. Sometimes I enjoy writing more when I'm feeling creative and other times it's editing because the words are written and I just need to make them pretty.

sherry fundin said...

Congrats on getting your book on the library shelves. That is awesome!
sherry @ fundinmental

Chrys Fey said...

Editing can be a lot of fun. I enjoy it. Sometimes writing can be hard, but when you edit, you know that hard part is done.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Sherry!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You liked mine!? Yay!!! Yeah, I totally need a prize. Just joking.

It's funny, I've had a promo work wonders, then I'll repeat it and get nothing. I think that's why marketing is so darned frustrating.

Chrys Fey said...

LOL! I'm definitely going to have a prize next time. I think more people will participate with a prize, too.

You're right. A promo can be great the first time and then fall short the next time.

Carrie-Anne said...

I asked my former boss, at the newspaper where I used to work, to run an article about my just-released books two years ago. Some people in the community saw it and congratulated me, but I don't think it created any sales. That paper has been losing so many subscribers since before our founder passed away in 2008, and they don't have enough money to make changes which have the potential to gain back their lost audience and lure in new subscribers.

cleemckenzie said...

The act of creating something concrete out of our ideas is always exhilarating.

Chrys Fey said...

Getting in the newspaper is great, though. Visibility is important. If you had kept doing things in your community after that, like announced a signing or something, it might've lifted off as a great promo. Even with them losing subscribers. The fact that people did congratulate you proves that they saw it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

It sure is!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats on the release of your new novella. Like you, I too love writing, I am very grumpy when I don't read and write.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Haven't done promos yet, but I image if/when I ever get something published I will do so.
Greatest thing about a writer for me is the creation process. The ability to create whatever character or situation I deem possible. I have total control (usually). ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Rachna!

I get grumpy when I don't read or write, too.

Chrys Fey said...

Promos are tricky. *sigh*

The creation process is magical. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - congratulations on getting your book into the two libraries ... now they can recommend them to other libraries ... I think Stephen Tremp did something on those lines. Try a school or two ...

But writing - yes I have to say I love it ... but I think I need to record some of my posts and then transcribe them ... see if that works too - I get carried away with the writing and distract myself!

Cheers Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

I don't think I could get my books into schools...too mature. A college, maybe.

Diane Burton said...

Writing is fun. If it wasn't (most of the time), why do it? Good luck with the promo. I hope you get good results.

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. I couldn't write if I didn't enjoy it.

Thanks, Diane.

emaginette said...

I'm so small that I use word of mouth and cross my fingers. From this angle I'm not much of a marketer. :-)


Anna from elements of emaginette

Leandra Wallace said...

I'm not there yet, but I can imagine the frustrations of trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Trial and error- so much fun. ;)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I remember when I published my first novel and took two copies to the local library. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. But the librarian not only took them both, she paid me. I was floored. Today she has all my copies. Bless her heart. Turns out in Canada, if your book is with the archives, they're in every library in Canada. LOL

diedre Knight said...

Yay! Libraries are tough, so many rules and regs. Good for you!
Oh, I'm so terrible at marketing I run from it as if one of the dogs let a stink. Too bad I can't pay someone else to do it. Nevertheless, I try. Could you spare some of your enthusiasm?
If I'm not still writing in five years, somebody (else) will have written my epitaph - ha!
I'd also like to release at least three or four more books. Fingers crossed!

Chemist Ken said...

As strange as it may sound, writing is my least favorite part of being a writer. It's such a struggle for me to come up with the right words. I'd rather plot and let my imagination take off than to actually put the words on the page. But that's the only way anyone else is ever going to hear my story, so that's why I write.

Promotions sound like a real pain, and it's hard to tell what's working and what's not. Hope your book takes off soon.

Chrys Fey said...

I wish I had people to make word of mouth work.

Chrys Fey said...

Oh, yes, loads of fun. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

It was an interesting experience. I know to speak to them the moment I have a copy. Not a month or two after the release.

Chrys Fey said...

The two libraries actually took them without any hassle, but they had to create a book page for it on their "website" and set it up with a number since it was so new. That took a while.

My enthusiasm for marketing is draining. It doesn't seem to be doing what it should anymore.

Chrys Fey said...

I sure do love it when my imagination goes off. :)

Thanks, Ken!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing your marketing information. It helps to hear from others when something works or doesn't. It's such a crapshoot.

Yolanda Renée said...

I love the writing, but I hate it when too many ideas converge at once. :)
Congratulations on your release and thanks for sharing your marketing ideas. It's a difficult thing to win at!

Chrys Fey said...

It is a crapshoot! I will keep sharing my promos and the results.

Chrys Fey said...

Too many ideas can be a hindrance.

Thanks, Yolanda! It is difficult.

Sandra Cox said...

Woo Hoo on getting shelved in the libraries! That is awesome! And your blog tour was genius. Loved it.

Chrys Fey said...

I don't think anyone has checked a copy out yet, but it is exciting.

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm trying to come up with a theme for the next one. ;)

Roland Clarke said...

I'm an ideas guy but it's nice to know real writers that love the writing....................and have discovered marketing is tough.

Cherie Colyer said...

Loving to write is an awesome answer. As far as marketing, Bookbub is my favorite promo site. Then getting my books on reading lists. SCBWI helps with that. Congrats on your new novella.

Chrys Fey said...

Marketing is sooo tough. It makes me not want to write sometimes, but I love it too much to give it up.

Crystal Collier said...

Oh Chrys, I wish I'd known you were going for a Goodreads AD. They haven't been effective...ever. Indie Guru's have been saying that for ages, but I guess it's impossible to know until you try, eh?

So, that means you're at one of my libraries? I'm going to go find your book and take a picture if that's true!

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats on the release!
That's so frustrating about the goodreads ads!

Chrys Fey said...

I think I tried Bookbub once or looked into it at least. I'll have to look into it again.

Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I think it was Lexa that had a guest post somewhere and endorsed them, so I gave it a shot.

Well, if you're in the Melbourne area, you'll be able to find it. I need to try to get a copy in an Orlando library.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Jemi!

Rachel Pattinson said...

Love your answer - if we didn't love writing, none of us would be here today :)! It's disappointing about your Goodreads ads, but at least you can say you've tried it and move on to the next thing :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Sorry the ads on Goodreads didn't give you a boost, but thanks for sharing that info with us. Now I know one thing NOT to do.

Just before my book came out, I contacted the newspaper editor of my hometown newspaper in Maryland. She got back to me, and did an in-depth interview via email, and then wrote a fabulous front page article about the book. I believe that article helped me gain sales up that-a-way. Also, I found out my high school graduating class (you know... from the Dark Ages) had a Facebook page. I joined that, as well as another Facebook group for people who grew up in the Baltimore area. I mentioned the book in both of those places when it first came out, and have mentioned it again when the book went on sale for 99 cents a couple of times. Those moves helped generate sales, too.

Chrys Fey said...

I was very disappointed with the ad after I heard it was a good way to go. But, yes, I won't be trying it again. Lesson learned.

Chrys Fey said...

Not many ads work. Twitter ads were equally disappointing and a huge waste. I've only had luck with a FB ad.

I'll have to look for groups for my school and area. That's a good idea! I tried contacting my hometown newspaper a few times and never heard back. I also tried my state paper with no luck.

Nicki Elson said...

I didn't have any luck with Goodreads ads, either. I've found Facebook ads (not promoted posts) are more effective - especially when I emphasize to read free in Kindle Unlimited.

Chrys Fey said...

I've also only had luck with FB ads. I've never mentioned Kindle Unlimited, though. I'll do that next time.

Michelle Athy said...

I've taken ads in ebook newsletters--those seemed to do well enough, but choosing which ones and when to take get an ad is the hard part. Promoting is tough. It takes a lot to get a story to an end product, so you have to love it to do it!

Lisa Thomson said...

I haven't tried a goodreads ad so I don't think I will now that I've read this. Facebook ads are effective though. Pubslush is pretty good as well. They featured my book for a day. That didn't cost me anything. Every Wednesday is (was) female author book promo day. I'm not sure if they're still doing this. Newspaper interviews were effective and got people out to the bookstore to buy my book, the old fashioned way. LOL. Thanks for sharing your process, Chrys. 30 Seconds Before looks awesome! I will get a copy now. Wish I could have participated in your mobster blog hop.

Chrys Fey said...

I never had any luck with newsletter ads. And I thought I was picking good ones. My ads just seemed to get buried because so many other authors had ads in the newsletter, too.

Chrys Fey said...

FB ads seem to be the only ads that work for me. I'll have to look into Pubslush. Thanks for the tip! And thank you for picking up 30 Seconds Before. I appreciate it. :)

Liz A. said...

That's some good feedback. Now you know what to do (and what not to do) for the next one.

Chrys Fey said...

It's always good to know. :)

Birgit said...

Sorry to hear that Goodreads ad didn't work all that well but it does come to learning and we are always open to that. It must feel so good when you enjoy something and your see the fruits of your labour.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

As a reader I can say that I almost never click ads. Not unless it's offering a discount on books. I like attending online Facebook parties, reading online posts that interest me, the right online profile could get me interested in a book, recommendations from fave authors or bloggers, a statement in your book from a popular author (which she posts about doing online) and other stuff. The point is there are all kinds of ways to promote your books and get attention. All the best Fey.

Chrys Fey said...

It was a learning experience. Now I know. We all learn when we try something new.

Chrys Fey said...

Two of my ads were for sales. I'm careful to not make them all "buy me" and ask for them to read the full blurb on Goodreads instead.

I know there are many ways to get attention for books, but so many authors are doing the same things, so it's hard to get noticed. What once worked, no longer does.

I did a FB party in July that was a success.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love the writing, too. :)
And December's question - ooh, boy. I will have to think about that one.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Chrys
So far, not a single promo has worked for me. I just ran a Facebook promo which was an accident. I was on it investigating and there was no cancel button. Zero sells.

Good luck,
Nancy

Chrys Fey said...

December's question is as toughy.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm so sorry about that, Nancy.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Just sitting down and writing is a wonderful thing to do. A gift. I'm looking forward to getting back to writing once I move.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great idea to do a blog hop for your book release, and fun theme!
IWSG co-host Mary at Play off the Page

Elizabeth said...

I'm with you, I love writing and writer's block sucks! I hate that feeling when you want to share an idea, but the words won't come out on the page. But, when they finally do, it's magical :)

Denise Covey said...

I love editing, but you've got to write something to edit, LOL! Wow, disappointing about Goodreads promos! The results for all media are many and varied. But you have to keep at it. I hope Wild Rose Press does something for you!!

Kristin Smith said...

I love the writing aspect too, but I find that I honestly don't enjoy it as much now that I have the pressure of deadlines and expectations from readers. *sigh* And if I didn't have to market at all, then I would really love to focus all my time and energy on only writing!

Sad to hear that the Goodreads ad did nothing. But thank you for paving the way so I know what works and what doesn't! :)

Chrys Fey said...

I sure hope your move us smooth so you can get back to writing.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Mary!

Chrys Fey said...

It sure does suck, but you're right...when you break the curse, it's magical. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Unfortunately, The Wild Rose Press doesn't do all that much with marketing. It's really up to the author.

Chrys Fey said...

The only deadlines I have are the ones I place on myself, but they can sure be restricting. Oh, how I wish I didn't have to worry about marketing.

Haga! You're welcome! :)

Nick Wilford said...

If only writing was the only thing we had to do! It seems like with promo, you never know what will work and what won't. But in terms of Goodreads, I found that joining a review group was a fun way of getting more reviews.

Chrys Fey said...

I tried review groups. I never really had much success with them. With one, I got back two for one story and one for the others.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Chyrs,

Sorry about GOODREADS, but at least you tried.... Determination like yours will get you to the best seller lists very soon. CONGRATS on getting into two libraries.... that is AMAZING!

Chrys Fey said...

Hi, Michael! Oh boy. My goal is to be a best-seller. I sure hope it happens soon. :) Thank you for the motivation!

Juneta key said...

Hmm, I thought after I found my commenting problem and came back here and commented. I guess not. I found two I thought I did but no comment or maybe it was eaten? But it appeared to post when I did it. Eyes crossing. Great post and answer.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Chrys Fey said...

I can check my spam folder, but your comments usually come through fine. I'm sorry you're having problems commenting on people's blogs. What a headache.