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I'd like to start a new forum where people can talk about what's working for you right now in marketing your book.

I think this will help other authors to prioritize their activities if they can find out what's working for other people. This would be especially valuable to new authors.

I've share the hottest tool that I'm using right now. And that's Twitter. As you will note on the main page of this Book Marketing Network website, both my http://www.bookmarket.com website and this network have been rising in Alexa ranks (and visits) because of my use of Twitter.

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Lol you see? My point has been made :P

I put up a cute picture there just a few minutes ago. I don't know if you'll be able to find it among all the other pictures there. But it's definitely funny :D

Good finds :) I think the funny picture idea works well if you have funny books - or books that are amusing, anyway, then people who are looking at the pic and check your website can just flow right into what you're writing, too. 

I did do some poking around on good reads today and found some interesting polls.

How Did You Find the Last Book You Read?

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/60770

 results as of this moment:

* Recommendations from friends (on or off Goodreads) -  52155 votes, 28.4%

Goodreads reviews, lists, book clubs, and newsletter -  31384 votes, 17.1%

Bookstore (physical ones)  19833 votes, 10.8%

Library   15715 votes, 8.6%

Amazon   15463 votes, 8.4%

Mentioned in the media   12547 votes, 6.8%

Blogs   10573 votes, 5.8%

Goodreads Recommendations   7676 votes, 4.2%

Bestseller lists   7162 votes, 3.9%

It was a gift   5774 votes, 3.1%

Other online bookstores   5089 votes, 2.8%

so the top results are recommendations from people they know and newsletters, etc. which says to me that some of those pay to have your book listed in our mailing list might be a good idea - depending on the site. I have used one twice and been happy with the results, but the best thing is to find one that only gets paid if you sell. 

Which is your favorite social media?

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/100518

results as of this moment:

Twitter   83 votes, 43.9%

Facebook   52 votes, 27.5%

Goodreads   19 votes, 10.1%

Blog   16 votes, 8.5%

Others   8 votes, 4.2%

Pininterest   6 votes, 3.2%

Instagram   4 votes, 2.1%

Google Plus   1 vote, 0.5%
which should mean that the majority of readers we're looking for are on twitter and facebook, but don;t take that as gospel yet, because this same group of people said:
Where do you Prefer to Buy Books?
results as of this moment:
A traditional brick & mortar store (large stores, chains)   21 votes 25.0%
I prefer to borrow from the library instead of buying books   13 votes 15.5%
Used bookstores / bargain bookstores   12 votes 14.3%
Online (mostly printed books)   12 votes 14.3%
Smaller, independent brick & mortar stores   10 votes 11.9%
Online (mostly ebooks)   10 votes 11.9%
I browse in stores and then buy online   6 votes 7.1%
I usually borrow books from friends   0 votes 0.0%
As you can see online ebooks - our sought after audience - are only 11%. of course both this poll and the social networking poll have only a few votes by other polls' standards, so results may change as it goes. 
here were two others I just found interesting:
Would you read a book only based on the cover and the description?
When choosing a book, how important is the company that published it?
so there's my research for the moment ;)

Oooo those are good links Joleene thanks! I do want to debate one point however lol don't I always?

As you can see online ebooks - our sought after audience - are only 11%.

While that statement may be true, the online community is growing as are the amount of gizmo's and gadgets. These days I walk down a street and not five minutes into the walk, I see someone fiddling with an I-phone or some other sort of gadgets. I get on a city bus and see at least three out of 20 people with readers. Technology is everywhere and the trend is leaning more and more toward online.

That's not to say that we can't eventually make our books available in print form. If we get enough sales, then we could certainly afford to make our work available in print.

Also, you have to figure the poll number of 11% is based on the number of people that bothered to vote in the entire poll. So if 100 people took the time to vote, then 11 of those people voted for online eBooks.

There is something else I want to point out as well. I'm not saying that social media and places like Goodreads are no good to put up a profile on. I have profiles on FB, Twitter and Goodreads. The real question is how do those readers get there? Some get there because friends recommended the site to them as you've stated. Or they've ordered from places like Goodreads before and get updates and newsletters from the company. This is all good of course!

The thing I'm talking about though, is how to find them when they are NOT on those sites. I want to go to the same sites they visit when they are not on social media or book sites. I want to create profiles at those sites and put my link up on those sites. I think that makes as much sense as anything else I'm doing to promote my books.

I also plan on making some business cards up and taking them to my local (physical) book stores as well as other businesses in the area. I've already spoken to one business and they are perfectly willing to let me put business cards there.

The hardest part is getting known. Once we've figured out how to get more attention then the odds go way up for people buying our books.

LOL!, well, I meant these may not be the people we're marketing to - ie they may not be our ideal audience if they're looking for books in book sotres more so than ebooks, so their opinions on social platforms may not gel with those who do like the ebooks ;) I agree ebooks are becoming more and more popular - I make 99.9% of my sales on ebooks only - but whether the people who took the poll are ebook readers or not can make a difference on their responses to the other polls too - such as people who like anime often tend to like some of the same things, while people who don;t like anime might not like those same sites/things. So whether the ebook buys and the bookstore buyers like the same thigs remains to be seen.

Another point to take in the data is how many goodreads members are authors - so we may just be getting answers form ourselves again ;) The twitter popularity especially makes me wonder about that.

Wow, Joleene!

Sounds like you have a self taught degree in Business and Marketing!

:-)

Hey guys! I get email notifications when people are discussing in this forum, so I hope you don't mind me joining in :-)

You both are published already so I am very interested in your experiences. It sounds like we need to find ways of getting the word out to more readers.

I like this site a lot and it was the first one I joined. I have heard a few other people comment on how quiet it is around here.

Maybe we could brainstorm something with John to get more readers to join The Book Marketing Network. Would having more people that do book reviews join this site be helpful?

Maybe we could get John to start promoting this site to get readers and book reviewers to join. 

What do you guys think? 

And John. if you are reading this-would you be agreeable to promoting your site to invite more book reviewers and readers to join?

Of course you're welcome to butt in Lance. This isn't just for Joleene and myself. If we can figure out ways to help everyone then that's the goal right?

I agree that getting more readers here would be a great idea. However, the problem is where to find the readers. Getting our buddies to sign up is fine but we need more than that. We need to get people from sites that we wouldn't think of looking ordinarily.

We have to think about the age groups we want to target and then find out where those people hang out online. I'm not sure what age group Joleene is looking at targeting and of course I don't know what age group you're looking for 4-Lan.

I'm looking to find people from about 16 to 25 because that is the group that will most likely be interested in reading horror. Their attention span is also shorter so the short stories that I write will actually work in my favor.

This means I have to figure out where these kids hang out the most and then find out if I can put my link on those sites. That is what it means for you and Joleene also. You'll have to pick an age group and try to target them on the sites they're comfortable hanging out at.

On Cheezeburger.com, I didn't even have to sign up. I just uploaded my picture with a title and my site link and "poof" done! The more sites I can find to do that on, the better.

Too cute huh? lol And you can see I made sure to put my site address on it. I bet anyone could do the same thing for their site or for sites they like, such as BMN. :)

Ha! So is that a scaredy cat?  :-)

Good idea, Elizabeth. I am not really sure what age range my book would be appropriate for and would appeal to the most.

I loved the Harry Potter books and also the Eragon books and those are supposed to be for kids!

But, what you are doing makes total sense. Get your link out to as many places as possible.

:-)

If I were to pick a target audience for your book i would say 14 -25. That doesn't mean people older or younger wouldn't like it, but it gives you a place to start. For instance I am shooting for 20-35 BUT I have fans who are older and younger both. That's just sort of the main body of them. 

I also loved Harry Potter, and in fact in a roundabout way it is responsible for my series (long story ha ha!)

Sounds like a long story worth hearing :-)

I have only read two of your books and am on a third now. Shades of Gray was really awesome and 101 Tips For Traveling With a Vampire was cute. I am quite enjoying Vampire Morsels.

But, I have to say, I'm not really seeing a Harry Potter influence in them. Maybe I need to read the rest before I will get that :-)

I cannot really compare your stuff with anything else directly. It is definitely NOT Twilight (thank god!). The horror element in Shades of Gray was great! I liked how you could make me feel very disturbed by what was happening (ie, the vampire bonfire scene).

That's how I like my vampires: violent and brutal. You know how to write 'em :-)

Ha ha! That is adorable! :D

Elizabeth is absolutely right! We need to find our target audience.

I'm searching for the 20-35 age range, mostly female (though I do have male fans, but since the protagonist in the series is a woman and the vampires are hawt it lends itself better to women I guess) who like horror and romance and vampires - women who like action movies tend to like them, as do women who like anime/manga/comics (I could really see the series as an anime!) BUT getting those readers to transition from anime/manga to a novel is a tricky business on the anime/manga hangouts since they're there to discuss anime/manga and not books... I'll be honest I don't know what books to compare mine to. Maybe the early Ann Rice (though I hate to do that for personal reasons) but that's the best I've got because I don't really read in my genre, especially not the best sellers... 

I have read some of Anne Rice's stuff. Pandora and Queen of the Damned were both really awesome. I saw Interview With the Vampire, but never read the book.

I can kind of see a little bit of that in Shades of Gray. Pandora centered around a female character, though she was transformed into a vampire. I don't know if Katelina will eventually be turned by Jorick-but I look forward to reading more to find out :-)

I agree, since you do your own illustrations, you could easily make a graphic novel out of your work :-)

That would be pretty cool!

I talked to WillowRaven about doing that for Blood and Fire. I always envisioned it as this progression from novel, to novel with an illustration at the beginning of each chapter, to finally becoming a graphic novel. But the cost to pay an illustrator made me change my mind.

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