Internet Marketing for online published novel

13 replies
Hey Guys,

I have decided not to go the route of traditional publishing for my 176,000 word Historical Fiction novel. Rather, I have decided that I want to try something a bit different and use internet social media to build a community of readers. So what I have done so far is: I built a website herorisingthebook
I have started a blog on blogger about new trends in online publishing, I am on facebook, squidoo, Twitter, badoo, Myspace, Digg, and I have YouTube video commercials for the novel and the community based site. I have published with both Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, and the novel will be available on the Apple ibook store once I complete my ISBN. I have also submitted my URL's for the novel website and blog to Imautomator and Opendirectory. I plan on submitting it to Yahoo directory and blogcarnaval.com Now to the questions:

I am finding that these individual efforts feel great but they are not really reaching out. For example, if you are on facebook and not looking for me you will not know my book page exists. Facebook has 500,000,000 users and I seem to only be able to send a link to my 10 friends. What I want to figure out is strategies to connect my efforts with online users. I am offering a very exciting adventure novel and a social media experience and with the millions of people online this has to appeal to a percentage of them. How do I connect my efforts though and reach them without having to wait for them to happen to come upon a link in a search engine. I feel like I am wasteing the facebook potential and that of so many other sites I have joined and posted on.

I know I have said a lot, wanted to put it all out there so you know what I have done and what I may have missed. Any ideas?
#internet #marketing #online #published #sales
  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    Congratulations on your book! I applaud your efforts thus far. Here a couple of quick tips before I have to run...

    * Do some googling and learn to create a fan page for the book and one for yourself as an author.

    * Get TONS of reviews and get those reviews put out everywhere you can. Social proof is the key.

    * Do some googling on strategies specific to promoting a book online. Don't just look for "how to get traffic" and the like. Dig into specifics. The info is out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
    Forums, my dear, forums. That's where readers go online. For your niche, I definitely recommend

    Share Book Recommendations With Your Friends, Join Book Clubs, Answer Trivia

    BTW by "Historical Fiction novel" do you mean historical romance?

    There are a lot of communities for this out there, join the forums and get your feet wet first. Don't just jump in and say "hey read my book." Get a few good posts under your belt then modestly post in the "have you written a novel" or "who here has a book?" thread that is always in those types of forums.
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    • Profile picture of the author JaEvans
      Thanks Jeffrey for that link: 9 Ways to Use Social Media to Launch a Book | Social Media Examiner. I added some things already and will add more in time.

      Lyanna, the novel is an adventure novel set in 1769 and stays relatively true to the historic setting (i.e. important figures, places, world events, etc). There is some romance in the novel and a bit of fantasy. Do you have some specific communities that you are thinking of?

      Thank you guys so far for your advice. It has been great and I really appreciate it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
        Originally Posted by JaEvans View Post

        Thanks Jeffrey for that link: 9 Ways to Use Social Media to Launch a Book | Social Media Examiner. I added some things already and will add more in time.

        Lyanna, the novel is an adventure novel set in 1769 and stays relatively true to the historic setting (i.e. important figures, places, world events, etc). There is some romance in the novel and a bit of fantasy. Do you have some specific communities that you are thinking of?

        Thank you guys so far for your advice. It has been great and I really appreciate it.
        Apart from Goodreads? Hmm nope sorry historical adventure is not my niche.

        From what I know, modern fiction publishing today is by genre. Romance readers want their romance, science fiction readers want their science and futuristic ideas, fantasy readers want their sword and sorcery, erotica readers want their porn, horror readers want scary/eerie/gothic stuff, you get the idea.

        My tip:

        When you market you have to know which type of readers want your book. That's how it works in publishing nowadays.

        I mean as a reader when I see a book and it promises romance, it had better deliver! You'll be hit with tons of bad reviews if you don't put it in the right niche. People will be like "ugh the blurb says its fantasy but 99 percent of it is politics!"

        Edit:

        Apparently the Big G can help you there. Check this out!

        http://books.google.com/googlebooks/tour/
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        • Profile picture of the author JaEvans
          Thanks Lyanna,

          I guess the problem with picking a Genre for my novel is that it is two complete stories in one. The chapters alternate between two characters. Jonathan is embarking on an adventure while dealing with the loss of Anne in his chapters. Anne is on a romantic adventure in search of Jonathan in her chapters. So the novel is Adventure but with very strong romantic underpinnings. In the story Jonathan interacts with a spiritual plane which inserts a bit of fantasy but not the Merlin kind. So when I say Adventure that is true but romance is strongly there as well. Wondering how to put it in a genre without someone saying, "hey that was 60% adventure and only 40% romance". I don't want bad reviews but I guess there is always someone who will wish it had more of one element than the other.

          What do you think about a book like that being linked on romance sites. Are they pure old fashioned Harloquin romance of would a modern day adventure romance work?

          I will check out the site you mentioned.

          Thanks again,

          Jason
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          • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
            Originally Posted by JaEvans View Post

            Thanks Lyanna,

            I guess the problem with picking a Genre for my novel is that it is two complete stories in one. The chapters alternate between two characters. Jonathan is embarking on an adventure while dealing with the loss of Anne in his chapters. Anne is on a romantic adventure in search of Jonathan in her chapters. So the novel is Adventure but with very strong romantic underpinnings. In the story Jonathan interacts with a spiritual plane which inserts a bit of fantasy but not the Merlin kind. So when I say Adventure that is true but romance is strongly there as well. Wondering how to put it in a genre without someone saying, "hey that was 60% adventure and only 40% romance". I don't want bad reviews but I guess there is always someone who will wish it had more of one element than the other.

            What do you think about a book like that being linked on romance sites. Are they pure old fashioned Harloquin romance of would a modern day adventure romance work?

            I will check out the site you mentioned.

            Thanks again,

            Jason
            There are different types of romance books and they are marketed according to that type. Some examples are :

            time travel historical romance
            fantasy romance
            science fiction romance
            urban fantasy romance
            paranormal romance (vampires, werewolves, stuff like Twilight, which btw made Meyer super rich hehehe)
            chick lit or humorous romance
            etc.

            I don't believe there is any genre named adventure? You have to break it down to a more specific type of reader. Is it for young adults (YA)? Is it a supernatural thriller? Detective novel?

            Think of an existing book that s like yours and then look it up to see what/how it is marketed.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheKeys
    That's excellent news to hear about your book! Congrats. I've always wanted to venture into that sort of thing - but, well, IM stole my attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amanda Craven
    You could seek out active reviewers on Amazon - there are some people who have posted hundreds if not thousands of reviews - befriend them and ask them to review your book. You could also join Kindle Boards where you can interact and promote your book and don't forget to send review copies to offline reviewers as well. It may be old-fashioned but a good print review still carries a lot of weight.

    I assume that, as you are not going the traditional route, you have decided not to approach literary agents? They could be your conduit to a contract with established publishing houses if they like what they see so you could use this as a calling card although it will have to be submitted in physical form. Also, make sure your book is copy edited, ideally by a fresh pair of eyes. I've had many books published by mainstream houses and still catch mistakes on the final ms even when it comes back from a professional copy editor. Believe me, your readers will notice and comment.

    Good luck with it all and well done - that's a lot of words and effort on your part!
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    • Profile picture of the author kelseydeshaz
      People do business with people they know like and trust... try not to lead with the book but instead lead with something else...start a fan page/Group offering value of some sort to people who are interested in your niche.

      You can start a Historical Fiction book club and funnel everyone that`s into those type of books into your circle. Maybe give them a sample of your book. If you meet people on other platforms like a forum try to get them onto another platform like fb groups or your fan page so that you can change the vibe and engage with them more.


      Check out Gary Vaynerchuk if you have not already. Perfect example of leading with the YOU brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Onora Oz
    Hey Jason,

    I would suggest you use Facebook and StumbleUpon to their fullest. On Facebook, participate in related groups, link exchange with other authors in your genre, give away lots of free copies and review copies... Boost your online visibility... Bookmark your website and pages with StumbleUpon.

    I also recommend paid advertising with these two sites if you have the money. They are so powerful if you can locate the most effective keywords.

    But before playing with FB and SU, you may want to re-up your website and pimp your Facebook page.

    Here's a list of review sites you may contact with, and ask for (well...) reviews:
    Review Sites | Market My Novel

    (The whole market my novel website and their free ebook can give you ideas. I'm not the site owner or their affiliate, it's just one of the sources I've been reading on the subject.)
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  • Profile picture of the author brianjanuary
    I've just published a new thriller novel "Emerald" on Kindle, and I'm wodnering about the same problem. You have can have yourself out there, but still people have to find you! For example, there are many books titled "Emerald", so I'm way down the list on the Amazon product pages and if you type in "Brian January", it separates the words and the book is around number 22 on the list.

    I just started a blog, a Facebook fan page, and have been going to book lovers' sites, and I'm about to get on Twitter, etc. But how do you separate yourself from the pack, all of whom are doing the same thing?
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I have a couple questions.

    1. Did you shop this book to any agents before self publishing?

    The reason I ask this is if you did why did none take you on? Or did it get shopped around but no one bought it. Self publishing a large novel, and 175k words is big, can be hard because you do not have a following. People are much more likely to buy a small novella from an unknown at a great price vs. paying full price for a large novel. Even if it is the best book ever it is often best to hold back a large novel like that to be publishes later. See Michael A. Stackpole - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and his issues with Talion getting published.

    2. Do you have reviews?

    IMO you will need reviews and hopefully from real reviewers. But it will be hard to get a self published novel of this size in front of them.

    3. Are you giving out sample chapters?

    I think this is a must for you. And your first 5(what I would give same as what you would submit to many publishing houses) better draw people in.

    4. Have you decided on a price point?

    I'm really curious what you plan on charging vs. what I am thinking in my head.

    EDIT BELOW:
    I just checked out the website and see you are charging $2.99 which is lower than what I would do. Myself I would offer a free version(first 5 chapters or so) and offer a full version for $5.99 or so.

    And offer the free version(not just a prequel for free) on Amazon. People may start downloading the free version and it could go viral.

    Also I would hire a copy writer to write your summary. It didn't draw me in. I hope your writing itself draws people in more. because with an unknown author you're going to have to really draw them in fast with the free version and the copy on the sales page to get them to go for it. Hell even if your book was free I wouldn't download the full version for free as I am afraid it would not be worth my time. You have to make them beleave the book will be worth their time and worth their money.

    Also based on the cover I expect this to be about werewolves. From teh summary I do not think it is. Remember covers matter and they sell the story. The cover and the website make me think twilight clone.

    Hope my thoughts help you market the book.
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