Marketing A Fantasy Book: My Current Plan

Hey everyone! Finally getting around to doing a full-length post with all of the launch preparation going on. According to social media, what writers most want to hear about at this particular moment is how to market a fantasy book. This is a super pertinent topic right now as I am setting up my early marketing strategy for Chasing Fae. Today, I’m going to walk through my small budget and which sites and resources I am going to be using as of today to promote my book through its first month out and into the future.

Starting Budget: $100

For my 21st birthday a few days ago, my grandparents gave me $100 in two very nice cards. I decided that I could use that money to set up a few small promotion listings and advertisements to get a solid running start with my debut novel. The most important elements for me in my marketing strategy are to utilize as many free promotion sites and services as I can and spend money in key places to maximize sales (and hopefully reviews!) in the future.

Free Promotion Ideas

All Author – This is a great site that allows authors to have a profile and your books in their directories for free. The free plan includes a basic author page with a listing in the Author Directory, up to 4 books, and a tweet scheduler feature. The pro plan is $59 for six months and includes more features like a premium author page, unlimited book adds, a featured book listing, and more. I opted for the free plan here because I had more worthwhile places to spend my money.

Alternative Reads – I submitted my book for a potential Sunday Spotlight Author feature. I’ll see what happens!

Authorsdb – Authors Database is a great free option for promotion. They have over 20k published listing, and setting up a profile and adding your books is super easy. It looks like it has a fun author community; I’m looking forward to taking part in it.

Book Goodies – I opted for a free listing on Book Goodies that will be up for six months. This is a site that I heard was a good option.

Book Reader Magazine – I submitted a book listing and a free interview to Book Reader Magazine, which I am including in my blog tour this coming week.

Discount Bookman – I added a free book listing to this site.

Fantasy Book Place and Fiction Hideaway – These sites are both affiliates of Book Goodies; one is fiction targeted and one is fantasy targeted. I submitted a free book listing to both sites, which will be up for six months.

Fresh Fiction – I submitted a free book listing to this site.

Humanmade.net – I submitted a regular listing to this site, which includes authors from all over the world.

Pretty-Hot.com – I submitted a free book listing to this site.

Paid Promotion Ideas

Awesome Gang ($10) – I submitted a book listing to Awesome Gang because it looks like a great site with quite a few solid affiliations with other sites. I submitted a free author interview to them as well, so I thought this was a good place to add some extra power to my listing. $10 buys a featured listing which gets me a listing on the front page for 2 days, a guaranteed spot in the newsletter, and a blast out to Facebook and Twitter with 70,000 followers combined.

Bargain Booksy ($25)- Bargain Booksy is one of the more well known promotion sites that I have heard of, so I decided to submit a title for a feature. Each genre has a separate price. I listed my book as a young adult title for $25. That gets me a listing in the daily email to thousands of subscribers as well as a feature front and center on their website.

Book Bongo ($19.99)- I liked the different kinds of marketing options offered at Book Bongo. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to do a slightly higher priced package. I opted for the Book Blast for $19.99. My book will be permanently featured in two genres on the website and on the front page for up to two weeks during my $0.99 promotion period. I will also get a feature in the weekly mailout, a post on Facebook and Twitter, and inclusion in the weekly advertising campaign on Facebook. I thought this was absolutely worth it, and I’m hoping to see some results from it.

Book of the Day ($9.99) – Book of the Day was another promotion site that offered a lot of marketing outreach for a low price. $9.99 bought me my book on the front page for 2 weeks, the sidebar for 7 days, listings in the newsletter, on Facebook, and on Twitter; and addition to the Category pages and AI System.

eBook Booster ($20)- I found this form through Armadillo eBooks that guaranteed listing my ebook on 15 different promotion sites and social media channels. I browsed their database of options (and there were a lot of options), and I liked what I saw. I thought $20 was worth the breadth of the outreach. I’m looking forward to seeing where the listings end up.

Read Free.ly ($10) – This seems like an awesome site with a lot of opportunities for promotion at every level. For authors on a budget, this is a great spot. $10 buys a platinum level promotion package. This includes a long list of perks: promotion on the homepage for up to 7 days, promotion in the newsletter on a specific date chosen by me, promotions on their social media platforms, and an automatic spot on the shortlist for the site’s Editor’s Choice section.

YA Books Central ($3.99)- This is an essential database for any young adult author to take advantage of, and it has longevity. It’s been around since 1998. For $3.99, I entered my book into the database. This not only gives me access to a ton of readers, but it also opens me up to take advantage of the site’s other offerings in the future.

So this is my plan so far! I have a few other ideas for free listings in the works right now, and I may do an update later if people are interested. For now, there are a little less than 24 hours until launch day, and I have more work to do! Happy writing, everyone!!!

Introduction to Book Bloggers

Hello! I am sorry about the delay in the posting for this week. All of the work that I am doing for the book has been taking up all of my time, so every time I sit down to do a post, there are like fifty other things to finish. I love doing the work, but I am very tired at the end of every day.

So one of the important things I have learned through researching marketing techniques for Chasing Fae is the necessity of reviewers. Personally, I don’t usually read reviews before I choose to buy a book, but I know many people do. Several of my friends skim the first few reviews to see if a book will be any good. Reviews help sell books. They help gain credibility for an author, and they help find you new readers. Today, I’m going to share my best advice for reaching out to book bloggers and reviewers.

First, A Short List of Book Bloggers and Reviewers for Young Adults

Teen Influencers Book Blog Directory

The Book Blogger List

The Indie Book Reviewers List

Young Adult Bloggers, Sites, and More – The YA Bookshelf

30 Teen Book Bloggers, Bookstagrammers, and BookTubers You Should Be Following

Get To Know Your Chosen Reviewer And Their Platform

The key to securing the most opportunities to book bloggers and reviewers is to be organized. Take a look at the resources that I have posted above, and make yourself a list of reviewers that you might be interested in reaching out to. Please make sure to double check that they have had a few posts in the last couple months or so. Then explore the blogs that you have chosen. Explore the selection of their reviews. Get familiar with their work.

Make sure to specifically take note of their review policy. Here, you will find how to contact the person, what genres they are looking for at the time, and most importantly, what formats they want. This can change regularly. You also want to know what information to include in your email or contact form such as the title, publisher, and a brief summary. Here is a great article that is super helpful in learning how to format your emails to reviewers. Don’t forget to include a personal note of why you want this particular reviewer; connect it back to the person or the site.

Take Time To Plan These Things Out

I spent days putting together a good list of bloggers. I have spent days drafting and sending out messages so far, and I have a long way to go before I finish reaching out to everyone. You don’t want to give yourself just one day to get all of this done. It is a process and one that you’ll be spending time on while you revise, market, write, and market some more. Find some times every day to chip away at that long to-do list, and you will see it go down.

Follow Up

I like to keep a table of emails sent and responses received. It is way too easy to get busy with other pieces of the writing and publishing process and forget that you had outstanding requests to bloggers and reviewers. When I receive an email back from someone, I go back and add it onto my to-do list for the day: “Reply to Person X”. I mark it on my table, and then I remember to reply every time. If you don’t hear a response from someone that you’re expecting a response from or don’t hear in the time frame a reviewer has listed on their review policy, feel free to send a second email. Keep it short and polite with all of the impertinent information. And I can’t say it enough, keep track! Check your email regularly and keep updating your list or table (or both).

Happy writing, everybody!

Marketing Yourself Online

Hey everybody! Today, I want to share advice about marketing yourself online. I think this topic touches many different disciplines outside of writing, and it is an important subject to discuss. Over the last couple weeks, I have stepped up my social media presence and the construction of my brand. I have been hearing a lot of questions around Twitter and around my own campus about what it takes to build your brand online and market yourself. So let’s talk about that today and shed some light on the subject.

When should I start building my brand?

In my opinion, it’s never too early to start, especially if you’re a writer. You can start by bringing your audience into your writing process. Let them see how your work in progress is faring. Share your successes as well as your failures. What scene is being written really well today? Which chapter is giving your writer’s block? Your book or project does not have to be finished in order to talk about it or start a discussion about the topic.

Where should I start building my brand?

Everywhere!

Well… everywhere with conditions. Everywhere you have time to put time into and everywhere that you can reach people who want to hear what you have to say. Depending on your genre of writing or your area of expertise, different platforms may suit your needs while others don’t.

I think everyone should build a website. With platforms like WordPress and Wix available right now, it is very easy to build something beautiful with minimal technical knowledge. Free plans do offer you a decent amount of customization options, and if you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, your options expand greatly. Take a couple hours and think your website through. Add tabs for your current project or projects as well as any published material you have out already. Consider adding a blog that you can update semi-frequently. And don’t forget an “about me” page! Think about your colors and your layout because believe it or not, every little detail can be a part of building your band.

Special Subsection: Social Media

You must also consider what social media platforms you want to use. Again, you should try to pick places that will reach the audience you want to communicate with. This is going to require a bit of research on your part. Find out where your people are. And don’t be afraid to change it up after a few months if you find one place is working better than another! Or don’t be afraid to wait it out. My Pinterest account that I created to show off inspiration for the world my book is set in wasn’t doing much for the first few months. But within the last two months, I have seen a dramatic increase in traffic from Pinterest to my website as well as an increase in people saving pictures to their board.

How should I market myself?

This part is easy. Way easier than you think.

Be yourself.

Relax and be yourself!

Share pieces of your life. Share your goals and your aspirations. Write posts about your writing, your daily life, and your favorite moments. Ask questions! Starting discussions is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and meet new people.

Post frequently. Doesn’t necessarily have to be every platform every day, but invest actual time and effort into this. You need to in order to see great results.

And have fun with it! Experiment and try new things, but always keep it true to yourself and the way you want people to see you.

Happy marketing!

Preliminary Thoughts on Marketing for Chasing Fae

After posting my big news, I really didn’t know what to post next. I’ve got two more days until my big anniversary post, and everything I was thinking of seemed anticlimactic. Maybe on Sunday, I will go back to a post about fantasy writing, or maybe not. I may ride this out a little bit and switch back to fantasy writing posts on Saturdays.

So today, I thought I would share some of the thoughts that I’ve come up with today on how I want to begin marketing for Chasing Fae. I would really love for writers and readers alike to comment their opinions and any ideas that you have for places and people I should reach out to. Please please please share! All of the input I can get is very valued.

Email Newsletter for Chasing Fae

I desperately need to create an email newsletter. I know that it is one of the best ways to connect with fans and share up-to-date news about your books and your writing life. I have just never been able to find the right time or the right way to go about it. The last time I tried to create a newsletter, I started a really cool template on MailChimp. I really liked that platform, but when I went to send a test email to myself, I realized my home address was printed at the bottom of the newsletter. I was a bit horrified, so I tried to turn that off. It turns out that because of international spam law, a mailing address has to be printed. I thought about using my William and Mary PO box, but I haven’t made a solid decision about that yet. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Revamping My Facebook Profiles

Fluff About Fantasy currently has a Facebook page, and frankly, it doesn’t get a lot of traffic at the moment. I want to spend some time making some unique posts on that platform outside of posting links to every Fluff About Fantasy post. Closer to the release date, I’d like to host a live video Q&A session! I’ve never done one before, and I would love to try it out. I’m also toying with the idea of creating a Facebook author profile that focuses on my work as an author and/or a Facebook group specifically for Chasing Fae. I don’t know if I need all that just on Facebook, but I think each type of Facebook profile has its own merits.

Who To Reach Out To In Anticipation Of The Book Release

I have a lot of people to reach out to!

I’ve spoken briefly to my high school back home so far about promotion for my book, and they are excited about my work! I’m really happy to be able to share this with my former classmates and the current student body. I haven’t reached out to the right people at my college yet, but it is only day one. These will be my first places to promote my book through newsletters, any public announcements, and hopefully, communicating with librarians to potentially house my book.

Regional newspapers would be a good place to send a press release to if I can find the courage to make the connection. I’m looking at three cities right now: Charlotte, Williamsburg, and Richmond (the biggest city close to me). I also want to find websites and magazines devoted to young adult books and/or the fantasy genre who may have a place for me to submit a guest post with my bio or welcome authors to promote their work. Still working on that research! If you have any good names or websites, please comment below!

That’s the bulk of what I have so far. Thank you so much for all your support in this journey so far. I can’t believe I’m finally kicking off the publishing journey! I’m going to have so much to share with you over the next coming months, so stay tuned!

Happy writing, everyone!