I have been to the library 4 out of 5 days thus far this week. Do you think I have a problem?
Right, so we talked recently about how some of my staple marketing techniques have been giving diminishing returns, so I’ve been out and about, keeping my ear to the ground for new marketing things. I thought you guys might appreciate a round-up of what I’ve discovered.
BookGrabbr.com — I was on some marketing webinar earlier in the week promoting some authorpreneur cruise happening in midwinter. This service was mentioned by one of the presenters. From what I can tell, this is a service that sets up a way to easily share (and track who’s sharing) your book. For $25 a month, you can set up a place where people can “Grabb” your book or part of your book in exchange for sharing said book with their social media followers. You can set a cap on the number of “Grabb”s your book can have.
I’ve had a hard time finding any notes on the Internet from people who have actually used this service to see how effective it is, if anyone’s having any success with it, etc. It reminds me of the Pay with a Tweet thing from a few years back, which I tried with some Shards bonus content and didn’t have a lot of success with. $25/month sounds expensive, and I’d like to see some data before I invest.
Squirl.co — Same webinar. Squirl.co is a website where you can connect real-life places to your books, and then, if I understand the concept correctly, people with the app on their phone can find your places as they meander about. I’m not quite clear on how exactly it works, but it’s free and so I’ve signed up, never mind that I write fantasy without real world connections, in a lot of cases. Right now I’ve only got Shards set up, and I’ve been sticking in places that inspired the fake university and Pacific northwest city that most of the book takes place in. There is a real location in the book–the main characters visit the Acropolis in Athens–so I’ll get over there eventually, I guess. Not sure what to do with the rest of the books. Hidden Worlds is a portal fantasy adventure, with most of the story taking place in said portal. Do I just pick a random nail salon or high school and stick locations there? There’s no direct correlation to the real world.
Anyway, the interface isn’t too bad. I just don’t quite understand what’s happening. We’ll see if anything comes of it. Their genre options are pretty limited–you can do “paranormal” and “romance,” but not “paranormal romance,” for example.
Bublish.com — From what I understand, you upload your book in epub form, and then can add bubbles next to the text–background information about the scene, for example. You can share these bubbles across social media. They also have a premium feature that allows you to add bubbles to rough drafts and share them, in theory to build interest in your works in progress.
For free, you can upload one book, but if you want more than that (or to do metrics or the rough draft bubbles) it’s $10/month, or $100/year. Again, I can’t find anyone who’s actually used this and has data to report. I found a couple of posts about people starting the service up, and saying they’d come back to report how it went, but alas. The most concrete thing I found was an older thread on Absolute Write that recommended looking at a book’s rankings to see if it’s ranked decently.
Do you guys have any thoughts re: BookGrabbr/Bublish? I hate to sign up for some sort of subscription service that might be a waste of money.
The other thing I’ve seen recently is services that put your book up on book promo sites for you so you don’t have to. These are those places that list free or discounted ebooks when you’ve got them on sale and blasts the lists to their followers or list them on their websites. (BookBub, of course, being the grandaddy of book promo sites.) I watched part of a webinar that was advertising for one that was starting up–which wanted $300 to have you join the group, and then you needed to pay up to $25 for each promo once in, oy–and saw another one on IndiesUnlimited today. From what I understand, though, book promo sites seem to be one of those marketing things that’s dying out–people paying $10 to get listed on a site and only getting a handful of sales, for example, unless they manage to get a BookBub promo (which costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars).
Any thoughts on that, Squiders?
Lastly, I’ve been taking another look at Wattpad. It seems like, if you play your cards right, you can leverage quite a few fans and followers from it. Whether or not said people actually buy your books seems to be up in the air, but people have gotten traditional publishing and movie deals from the site. Something to think about, when I have some free time.
Anything new that looks promising to you, Squiders? Anything you’ve tried recently that has worked/been a terrible waste of time and/or money?