Marketing 101: People Talking About Your Book is Key

I want to spend a moment to thank my friends for not allowing my book to die. Granted, I’ve stumbled around awkwardly while attempting to market. Am I really still the kid who trips over her feet with a goofy smile on her face? Yes, I’m afraid to say I am. My book hasn’t died despite my attempts because my friends told others it was a good book. Therefore, I’ve sold almost exactly the same number of books I sold the first month every month since. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t sold well, just steadily, which is encouraging.

In about three weeks, I will have a new book cover. I’ve finally seen the prototype images, and they are quite exceptional. The artist renders images into 3-D with startling clarity. As soon as I have the final image, I’ll post it here. When I republish with the new image, I’ll lower my e-book price to $1.99 for five days. I know; I already lowered it once from $4.99 to $2.99 and was going to raise it again after my “sale” was over (it was meant to coincide with a newspaper article about the book), but I decided that $2.99 was a good price for an e-book by a new, self-published author. My book and the efforts I put into it are worth more than $1.99, however, and so this will be a sale price.

In anticipation of this event, I’m going to very politely ask that the five or so people who have review copies, but who haven’t posted reviews, to do so! If you hate it, don’t be afraid to give it a negative review. I’m a serious author who’s been writing for a long time. I can guarantee you I’ve taken the worst kind of criticism you can imagine and handled it without tears. What I can’t take is silence. As Samuel Johnson noted 300 years ago, an author whose name isn’t regularly batted back and forth will fall into obscurity. By the way, I can understand if you’re sick or if life has turned into a busy mess–just e-mail me and tell me you won’t be able to review it, after all. That’s the polite response.

I’m going to leave you with a few select quotes from reviewers:

“My overall impression of Jill Domschot’s “Anna and the Dragon” is how significant this work is for a first-time novelist. Domschot has a wonderful command of the language and, even more so, has written a story that conjures nostalgic, weighty emotions, sifting questions about the very nature of life and death, love and loss.”–Mike Duran, author of The Resurrection

“From a craft perspective, Domschot meets and exceeds expectations with a subtle yet solid conflict-driven plot that allows room for rich character development. Domschot writes in a distinctive voice, offering memorable narrative and realistic dialogue interspersed between unexpected plot twists and fantasy elements that both surprise and intrigue.”–Jessica Thomas, author of Moon Dust Castles, as well as publisher of Provision Books

“Would I like the ending? Would all the suffering be worth it? Would the cat survive?! You can’t always tell with these spec fic authors. Some of them enjoy tragedy as object lessons. That last page was a sigh of relief, I’m telling ya.

I gave it 5 stars. That’s a first for me with a living author, ’cause my realist self says they could always write a better book and where do you go from “up”?”–Robynn Tolbert, author of Star of Justice

“Jill Domschot has published exactly one book, and I am already a total fan of hers. My review (5-stars, of course) called her novel Anna and the Dragon “more literary than fantasy, but…still fantasy true-and-true.” What I fell in love with about her writing was the depth and quirkiness and thinky-ness.”–Kat Heckenbach, author of Finding Angel

There you have it: my awkward marketing for the week. Enjoy your Labor Day while you are able. May the fruits of your labor bring you blessings.

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4 comments

  1. I went to a book signing for a NYT bestselling author. He said the number one marketing tool is word of mouth. This is a man with a $700,000 budget from his publisher for his latest release (yes, I have the ARC with the dollar amount on it, so I know this for sure). Word of mouth is what really sells books. Marketing gets a lot of mouths talking at first, but word of mouth is what keeps it going.

    I’m glad you’re getting those steady sales! And I’m glad to be one of the mouths to help them keep coming :),

    1. Thanks, Kat! Wouldn’t it be nice to have $700,000? My budget is that minus all the zeros. Well, maybe one zero in a pinch, but that’s pushing it. 😉

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