This is a blog for authors who are keen to learn more about marketing their novels.
I’ve started the blog as an indie-author who’s constantly learning about how to market my own novels. However, if you’ve been traditionally published but are wanting to take some control over your own marketing, you should also find this blog a useful resource.
Basically this little corner of the internet is for any fiction author who’s serious about marketing their work successfully.
A little about me
My name is Samantha Charlton. I’m a marketing copywriter and an indie author, who has been self-publishing since 2011.
I’ve now got over a dozen Historical and Contemporary Romance titles for sale on Amazon (published under my pseudonym, Jayne Castel). In June 2016, my Historical Romance novel, DAWN OF WOLVES, was a Kindle Scout winner and has been published by Kindle Press.
As an indie author you never stop learning. I’ve spent the last few years mastering how to apply my skills as a copy-writer to marketing my own fiction
I’d like to help you market yours, and share some of my discoveries along the way.
What this blog will be focusing on
Marketing is a HUGE area — and fiction marketing is a niche all of its own — but this blog will be focusing specifically on content marketing. We’ll be looking at the various way authors use marketing copy to promote their books. From product descriptions and blurbs, to book trailer scripts and ad copy for Amazon or Facebook ads — I’ll be taking a look at each aspect of content marketing.
Of course, successful marketing is about more than the right words, so I’m sure I’ll be making a few ventures into other areas too!
I’m excited to share my own path with you — as I learn what works (and what doesn’t). This blog is also a way for me to keep a record of my own discoveries and development. When I started out self-publishing I had no idea just how important marketing was (despite the fact that I work in marketing!). I still subscribed to the idea that you put a book out there and an audience will magically appear.
Six years on and the truth has finally sunk in: if I want to make a living out of writing fiction (and I do!), I have to learn how to build a platform and do it properly.
Some recent discoveries
You might already know these — but here are the top three light-bulb realisations I’ve had over the past year regarding author marketing. I’d like to take credit for these myself but these discoveries are largely due to the fantastic resources available online from the indie-author community (particularly from Mark Dawson, Joanna Penn, Nick Stephenson, and Derek Murphy).
- Effective marketing is never hard-sell: this means I’ve cut out any messaging (whether its on my blog, author website, Facebook or Twitter) that says ‘buy my book’. This realisation actually brought me a lot of relief — like a lot of authors I’m a bit introverted and hate the idea of flogging my books and begging others to read them. Interestingly, since I shifted focus, my Jayne Castel Facebook page has had a lot more traffic and engagement. People want to engage with you, not be sold to — duh!
- Build a mailing-list: all the self-publishing gurus go on about this for a reason. It’s really important! One of the biggest changes I’ve made over the past year is to build my mailing list. I now have around 1,100 subscribers gained through Facebook, Instafreebie, using a permafree book, and BookSweeps giveaways (run by Ryan Zee).
- Be generous: giving your books away for free when you’re trying to make a career out of writing seems counter-intuitive. However, now that I have my first Historical romance novel, Dark Under the Cover of Night, available on all platforms for as a permafree, I have a way to funnel readers into the rest of my books. I also give readers (and visitors to my Amazon page, website, blog, Facebook and Twitter page) the opportunity to get Books #1 and #2 of my first series and a prequel novella in return for signing up to my mailing list. This might sound overly generous but now that I have a large back list I can afford to be.
I’ve learned much more than just the above in the past year, but these are three most game-changing realisations for me.
In the next post, I’ll be talking about writing an effective Amazon product description. I’ll also give you the chance to get a FREE template — watch this space!