A few months ago author Kelly Crigger stopped by to answer a few questions and tell us about his new book, Curmudgeonism: A Surly Man's Guide To Midlife.
Today he's back for one of our regular author chats about book marketing. Kelly shares what works for him when it comes to promoting and ultimately selling his books.
KB: How do you publish your books and why? Indie, traditional or both?
KC: I’ve done both (4 traditionally published books and 2 self-published) and can wax poetic on the pros and cons of each. With eBooks the traditional publisher has absolutely no advantage over self-publishing, but with paperbacks it’s different. Basically it always comes down to profit margin vs marketing and distribution. If you go it alone you keep WAY more dollars per copy but you can’t market or distribute the book as well so ultimately you don’t make as much unless you’re a genius marketer (or just relentless as hell). You have to decide which one is more important to you.
KB: With your traditionally published books how much marketing support did you get from your publisher?
KC: Depends on the book. The ones they know will be bestsellers (I have one so far and expect a second soon) they get behind with a lot of marketing power, but the ones they don’t think will sell they leave alone.
KB: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
KC: Be creative. My book is targeted at middle aged men, but one day it hit me…women buy things, so I marketed it to middle aged women as a great gift for their surly husband and things took off. Also I always try to take advantage of Black Friday when people are in the spending mood. Up your marketing then.
KB: What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
KC: None. Writing time is writing time and marketing time is marketing time. Both are equal or your work will never be seen. The barriers to publishing are non-existent. Anyone can publish anything at any time. The market is flooded so you have to get out there and bust your butt to get anyone to see your hard work.
KB: What is your view on social media for marketing?
KC: Facebook sells. Twitter doesn’t.
KB: Which social network has worked best for you?
KC: Facebook easily, but now you have to pay for it. Facebook changed their algorithms this year so getting seen without paying for it is really hard. Go ahead and buy some Facebook ads. It’s usually worth it.
KB: Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
KC: Outlets with a big Facebook following will boost sales. I got RangerUp.com to post my book on their Facebook page twice and had huge sales spikes.
KB: Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your books?
KC: No, but I wish I had the time to. Creative youtube videos can be very powerful if you target it correctly. But keep in mind the readership demographic is usually not the same as the youtube demographic.
KB: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
KC: Of course. Everyone like free stuff and usually tells their friends about the cool author who signed their book. I get that all the time. One of the unique things I do is use Fulfillment by Amazon to sell and ship my self-published book so I can sign every one of them. Basically someone orders a book through Amazon like any other book, but the order comes to me. I fill it at my house and sign it. Then the customer gets a signed copy as a surprise and tells his or friends how awesome I am and they order one.
KB: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Twitter: @kellycrigger @curmudgeonism
Buy Curmudgeonism: The Surly Mans Guide Midlife on Amazon.
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