Marketing Strategy for 2016: There I go, Pivoting Again

Apropos of one of my 2016 resolutions—to stay nimble when it comes to marketing—I have once again changed my primary marketing strategy for the first part of 2016. In 2014, my main strategy rested on having my series of Victorian San Francisco mysteries in KDP Select and doing monthly 99 cent promotions of each book through the Kindle Countdown tool provided for books in KDP Select. With no new book out that year, this strategy did a great job at keeping the three books in my series visible and selling. Then, in the summer of 2014, when Amazon introduced the Read more…

“It’s a Dandelion Thing:” Social Media and Marketing

At the Digital Minds Conference held before the 2013 London Book Fair, Neil Gaiman  made a speech where he asked the question: “How do we make ourselves heard in a world of too much information?” His answer: We rely on becoming dandelions.“ Gaimen went on to say: “…the model is try everything. Make mistakes. Surprise ourselves. Try anything else. Fail. Fail better. Succeed in ways we would never have imagined a year ago or a week ago. I think it’s time for us to be dandelions willing to launch a thousand seeds and lose 900 of them if a hundred Read more…

Why DIY Publishing is not a Dead End

This morning I read a post by Anderson Porter about a four-piece article written a few weeks in the Boston Phoenix by Eugenia Williamson, entitled The dead end of DIY publishing. I had read the Williams piece earlier, and the more than fifty comments, which in my opinion had done a more than adequate job of pointing out its problems. But when Anderson seemed to accept much of her analysis, and labeled the comments as “the usual pitchfork-waving, spittoon-dinging dismissals, I found myself spending the rest of the morning writing a reply. When I finished, I thought I ought to Read more…

Surfing the waves of indie publishing and trying not to care if I fall off

Until recently, the narrative I had constructed about my life was that I was a bit of an under-achiever, generally risk-adverse, and very comfortable in a supporting role in life’s events. I learned early on to work hard enough to fulfill my responsibilities (school, work, family) because then I could do what I longed to do most, which for me has primarily meant reading. I followed that pattern throughout my academic and professional career. My mother (a trained social worker) was successful in getting me to spend time away from my books by pushing me to develop friendships, join in Read more…

KDP Select Free Promotion: Discoverability Experiment, Part One

Ok, I confess I stuck the term discoverability into the title since it seems to be the new marketing buzz word. As a professional historian who has spent most of her life in the past, I am getting rather a kick out of riding the wave of change within publishing — even using new words for old concepts like marketing, promotion, and publicity. In this blog I have frequently posted about these issues, the importance of branding, the possibilities of blog tours, and the use of tags and categories, all describing what I have learned about how to sell books Read more…