Featured Articles
View from Dubrovnik city wall

Croatia: Getting around in Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar

So, if you're here, you're probably looking for information on travelling to and around Croatia? You're in luck' because I just got back. I can only ...

Read More

Remembering Yemen...

I never did make it to Syria unfortunately, but I did visit Yemen in 2008, which I'm thinking about now in the midst of this ...

Read More

Christmas in Prague...

I just got back from Prague - another new city for me. I love nothing more than heading off to a new place and just ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: Getting my Groupon...

Shamus's profile shots scrolled like some kind of Action Man calendar. In one photo the 39-year-old Irish-Canadian was hugging a goat on what looked like ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: Tempur-Pedic promises...

And another Tinder Diary for you, this one's also from last year in Vancouver.  Tempur-Pedic promises... 'I got you a drink!!!' the text message yelled at me. ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

In trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I've just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in ...

Read More

I go to the gym a lot. And other things I never thought I'd say...

Once in Sydney I joined a yoga studio for $350 a year and went once. In New York I spent close to $600 and went to ...

Read More

Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask? Honestly. I can't even really tell you yet, and it's been three weeks. But I'll try. As a ...

Read More

11 things you only ever say on WhatsApp when you're going to Burning Man...

I LEAVE TOMORROW!! Am I ready? Probably not.  I'm what's known as a Virgin, (this will be my first time at Burning Man) and in ...

Read More

Thoughts about rainbows...

I cycled home tonight right under a rainbow - the kind of rainbow that smiles across the sky in every colour, and then more colours ...

Read More

How to tell when you travel too much (and when you should stop)

Yup. That's how. That's a screenshot my friend just sent me, when I told her to add my new phone number in Amsterdam. "Another one?!" "Yeah, but I'm ...

Read More

…Best Of...

It started with a boy called Matt: why I'm going to Burning Man (in 2 weeks!!!)

Going to Burning Man has been pretty high on the bucket list for years... ever since I started chatting to an American guy online back in 2003, who ...

Read More

The Royal's idea of 'Indian street kids' is not quite right

I know I shouldn't read the Daily Mail because it always annoys me... but today THIS was ridiculous. Honestly. Been to India? Yeah, so have I. Met ...

Read More

How to write a novel: 25 rules

This post is so inspiring, just had to share! Thanks to Matt Haig, who posted it originally. Sometimes us writers really need to read cool stuff ...

Read More

Amsterdam, I love you! See you again soon.

I've decided to move to Amsterdam. Maybe not forever but definitely for a little bit, because, well.... this. And this: And this:  OK maybe not the last one... ...

Read More

Free tsunami romance for Valentine's Day...

Winner of the TBC (The Book Club) award for best non-fiction, 2016.  Hey guys, I'm giving away The Day Of The Wave over Valentine's weekend in ...

Read More

How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

This post is written BY JUDITH BRILES posted on February 10, 2016 on The Book Designer Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to ...

Read More

Yay, I won an award!

It's a super duper awesome start to the new year, because after a long hiatus during which I've been working reeeeeeally hard and not blogging ...

Read More

Who's the Mills and Boon Man Of The Year 2016? Get your face on a book cover!

Here ye, all you amazing men - and women who know amazing men! Thought I'd spread the word about this. Mills & Boon are launching ...

Read More

Pills that make you poop glitter...

Oh my! We should give these to ALL the pigeons in London until the whole city is a sparkly rainbow! Granted we'd be covered in shit, ...

Read More

Know your strengths...

I'm sitting in the cafe. It's just me, two loud ladies who sound like they're from Essex, and a blonde with her boyfriend. An Essex ...

Read More

Humans of Iceland...

This is Sverrir and the replica of his great grandfather, who was once the pastor of the pretty and remote herring fishing town, Siglufjörður. He was ...

Read More

Adventures in Iceland (in brief because I'm VERY remote right now and WIFI is scarce)...

It started when we flew Fokker. Yes, Fokker. Oh come on, tell me I'm not the only child who finds this funny? It wasn't long before ...

Read More

NOW FREE ON AMAZON: The Day Of The Wave

A moving, emotional romance based on real-life events. NOW FREE ON AMAZON! The Day Of The Wave follows Isla and Ben in the wake of surviving ...

Read More

***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** VANCOUVER, BC.:JUNE 24, 2014-- Pedestrian traffic in front of Canna Clinic on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, BC, June 24, 2014.  Canna Clinic at 2223 Commercial Drive, has a doctor from 5 to 8 p.m. every day. Locals can get certified by an in-house  naturopath, and pick up some pot.  (PHOTOS by Don MacKinnon)

Comedy night at the Canna Clinic...

Today I learnt two things. The first is that penguins have knees inside their bodies. Yes. Knees. Inside. I'm not even kidding. The second is that ...

Read More

Spalding School Reunion is Imminent...

I got a message today about a school reunion for the class of 96. My first thought was JEEEEESUS, did I really leave school 19 ...

Read More

Best things to see on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. OK, maybe not the best...

I was just eating my sushi on a restaurant patio last night when a man seemingly dressed as a Mario Brother climbed a nearby tree ...

Read More

Oh Canada, how I LOVE being in you...

And I think these photos prove why! I'm so inspired the more time I spend here, which is Vancouver right now, in case you were ...

Read More

Fun on the Natchez Trace - recreating scenes from a novel in real life!

Yesterday a friend and I drove from Nashville, out past the famous Loveless Cafe (where we stopped to pick up some Peach Preserve) and onto ...

Read More

Read and review 'Before He Was Gone' and get a FREE copy!

The New Adult Book Club on Goodreads are reading Before He Was Gone to review. Sign up if you want your free copy to review! "Sometimes, ...

Read More

RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (an excerpt featuring their great work, from Balilicious)

How fuggin AWFUL to hear about the executions of these two men, and the others who were wiped out needlessly today in Indonesia. Don't people ...

Read More

Boxing Day Tsunami book trailer (The Day of the Wave)

I made this today! One day I will give up trying to be a filmmaker (maybe), but it's SO satisfying when it uploads and I'm ...

Read More

The Day of the Wave - Playlist

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had putting a playlist together for a book. There were just so many great artists who inspired ...

Read More

Aliens in the White House...

Just got a newsflash on my phone: 'Small one-person helicopter lands at White House West Lawn. Pilot in custody.' I know I should click on it ...

Read More

Boxing Day Tsunami romance excerpt: (The Day of The Wave)

This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015. In brief... "Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day ...

Read More

Uber in Nashville is interesting...

Me: 'So, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you started driving for Uber?' Him: 'Are you a shy girl?' Me: 'Er, I don't think ...

Read More

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar Store yet?

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar store yet? It's my new favorite place here in Nashville. Contrary to the name, not everything inside costs a dollar, ...

Read More

Lavenders, motorcycles and a feeling of deep uncool at Nashville's Barista Parlor...

There are some places in this world that will just serve to make you feel deeply uncool, no matter how young and awesome you previously ...

Read More

Why Craigslist in Nashville is killing me...

Here's what this guy just wrote in reply to my post about looking for a room to rent in Nashville: "We are seeking a FEMALE caring nanny/care giver. ...

Read More

Observation of the day...

Ubud cafes were full of middle aged women writing books on macs. Nashville cafes are full of cute young guys making music on macs. I know where ...

Read More

Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck #3) Playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhXXflqDQPAxUHvBiWosmLHWTd6sBM4Z I can't write a word without being inspired by every sound in the air around me, and I turned to music more than ever with ...

Read More

Musings on a Nashville snow day...

No one told me flying south for the winter would take me somewhere colder than England. Then again, there's something so peaceful about walking alone down ...

Read More

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me…

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me...

...and other creative souls no doubt! Someone sent me this video today by the amazingly inspiring Ira Glass, which I found very interesting. I can relate ...

Read More

The difference a motorised bike makes...

I miss my bike in Bali so much that today I actually hovered outside someone's house in South Harrow contemplating whether I could justify spending ...

Read More

Proving my roots: The nonsense that is taking the IELTS test in London...

"PUT YOUR PENCILS DOWN! PENCILS DOWN, NOW!!!" Dumbledore boomed. I almost jumped out of my plastic chair, nerves shot to sh*t. I have a problem ...

Read More

There's nothing more sexist than The Sun pulling Page 3 Girls...

Yes... SEXIST. If only for what's being said around the decision to drop this whole thing! "Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad ...

Read More

I SURVIVED: The Freak British Tornado (and the suspect still running loose)

A mini-tornado hit north west London this afternoon - causing damage to homes and cars. I think I summoned it. I was thinking very dark ...

Read More

It's cover reveal day for Before He Was A Secret. Exclusive excerpt here...

Today's the day, whoo hoooooo! I can finally reveal another amazing cover by designer Jeanine Henning, for the third standalone romance in my Starstruck Series, ...

Read More

The night Emma Watson stole my toothbrush...

WARNING!!! I feel like I should say something. I've been quiet for way too long... almost an hour actually, but about an hour ago I ...

Read More

Vaginal smoking and the benefits of yoni egg insertions (note: there are many)...

I have recently become quite fascinated with vaginal treatments. The fascination began when I saw this tempting advertisement on a board outside a spa in ...

Read More

The truth about 'Ecstatic Dancing' at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali... (warning, this post may smell)

Everyone in Ubud knows the Yoga Barn. It's a sort of second home for eager expats, all of whom are quite happy to spend an ...

Read More

Go to Bali for less than a quid! Balilicious is 99p, starting today.

Becky Wicks lifted the burqa on Dubai In BURQALICIOUS. Now she turns her attention to Bali as she hilariously navigates life as an adopted Balinese ...

Read More

How do you handle negative reviews for your book on Amazon and Goodreads? And are readers actively LOOKING for bad books?

What didn't make me smile throughout my recent and ultimately successful free book campaign on Amazon KDP (and I'll tell you this, seeing as we're ...

Read More

Before He Was A Secret Blog tour sign ups are live. I'm looking for bloggers to join in (and get a free copy!)

Once again I'm having a blog tour with the amazing Xpresso Reads for the third in my Starstruck Series, which is coming out in March ...

Read More

Becky Wicks & Sarah Alderson discuss 10 Essential Marketing Tips for New Authors…

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.23.58Author Sarah Alderson and I are guest speakers at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival this week, where we’re discussing all things “marketing” and more on a series of panels. We’re also taking a look at traditional versus self-publishing…

1. Marketing your book is going to take TIME. LOTS OF IT.

It sounds crazy, especially if all you really want to do is write, but you should be investing as much, if not more time in your PR and marketing as you do in actually writing the book. We were both spending 15 hours a day on social media in the month before our books launched. Now we both spend on average 2-3 hours a day scheduling Tweets, connecting with readers and bloggers and writing posts.

Shouldn’t we be writing the next books, you ask? Don’t be silly! We don’t have time for that! You might loathe the idea of having to spend so much time on marketing, but if you want to sell books and be ‘successful’ then there is simply no other way. And if you’re signed to a mainstream publisher, forget it if you think they’ll do it all for you. You will still need to do 99% of it yourself.

2. Create a website with engaging content

Your book might be the greatest on the planet, but who cares? There are millions of books out there. You need to prove yours is worth your readers’ time. How? By making sure everything else you put out there into the world is top quality. Blog every day, offer interesting insights and make sure your website is SEO optimised. Your website is the gateway point for publishers and fans to find out about you and your books. Once you start offering the good stuff, trust us, people will be back. They’ll ditch you quick-smart however, if you simply talk about yourself, which brings us to the next point…

3. Do NOT just talk about your book

There’s nothing more annoying (or boring) than an author who talks about nothing but their amazing/bargain/99c/5-star reviewed book. Intersperse your online plugs with interesting blog posts and Tweets. These can be about anything – your life, your interests, your thoughts on other books and current events, Justin Bieber (hey, he gets a lot of clicks). Once you start offering content that people enjoy on a regular basis, they’ll be more likely to support you when you start selling your new book. Why? Because you have become a source of wisdom and superiority (ahem). We made a few fun YouTube videos for kicks that mixed things up a bit. Don’t judge us.

4. Build your mailing list

A mailing list is your number one tool for selling books. In an ideal world, these are the people who love your work, who can’t wait to hear from you, who will support you till the end of time. But building an email list of this type of reader takes a while. The best way to build a mailing list is by writing a book that’s so good, people beg for more by emailing you and ordering you to inform them of all updates. Another way is offering free content. We both have a download link on our homepages, giving away extra stuff, like bonus chapters and excerpts of new work. This allows us to capture emails. Running a Rafflecopter contest also helps you gather email addresses. However, make sure that the prizes you offer are things that people who read your books would like eg; Amazon vouchers, signed books and swag. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mailing list of people who are outside of your sales demographic and they’ll simply unsubscribe.

5. Make your mantra “Give give give“.

Social media should be 90% giving. We found a lot of success and support through offering free content to our readers. We also interact a lot. We re-Tweet people’s Tweets. We share their blog posts. Creating interesting posts on specialist subjects or just sharing stories that entertain or inform helps you become a useful resource for others. It helps to do a free or discount promo with your book, too. If you’re self-published this is easy with the Amazon’s KDP Select option, but if you’re with a publisher it may be tricky as they won’t want to lose sales. Talk to them about a marketing plan that incorporates giving away some kind of free content.

6. Build your online relationships

Both of us have spent a lot of time building relationships in the reading, blogging and authors’ communities out there. It’s fun as we’re talking to people who love the same things we do, and there’s nothing better than forming new friendships with likeminded people all over the world. If you want your books to sell, you need to start building relationships 6 months to a year before release, with key reviewers/influencers on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Engage every day. Use Tweetadder or Hootsuite to schedule Tweets. Add their pages to your social media feeds and start getting involved. It’s a good idea to dedicate an hour or so every day, just to this. Interact with fans. Follow back. If you constantly self-promote you’ll soon lose followers. Connect. Communicate. Entertain. Inform. Share.

7. Know your audience

Focus on just one or two social media platforms so you don’t spread yourself too thin and make sure you know who you’re trying to reach before you start. If you write Young Adult novels, focus on Instagram as many teens don’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts. Likewise, if you’re writing erotica, it’s pointless writing to Young Adult book bloggers or targeting teenagers, as they won’t be buying your sexy masterpiece. Do your research and then get involved.

8. Get reviews before your book goes on sale

Next to your mailing list, this is the most important thing for a new author to remember. Amazon is often the first point of contact for readers looking to buy new books. How often do you buy a book with no reviews? It’s a good idea to send Advanced Reading Copies to bloggers/key influencers a month, or even further in advance, and ask them to review you on Goodreads. The day the book is listed on Amazon contact them and ask them to paste their review to Amazon. If you can send them the URL, even better (make it easy for them). Don’t waste time asking friends to read and review. Personal experience taught us both this is a huge waste of time. Your friends aren’t your readers. Remember, know your audience. Sarah offered a signed, limited edition bookmark to fans who reviewed the book on Amazon. You need 25-30 reviews (good ones) on Amazon within the first two weeks ideally.

9. Make the most of external resources

Whether you’re a self-published or traditionally published author, there’s a myriad of awesome people out there with skills to help you create and market your books. Going solo? Becky worked with a great cover designer to help her make her new adult books eye-catching and easily convertible to all formats. When it comes to shouting about it, advertise your promos with sites like Kindle Nation Daily and BookBub, and read sites like BookMarketingTools who offer countless free videos packed with information from social media and marketing experts, and best-selling authors. With help for formatting and admin tasks like organizing your mailing lists, sites like ODesk and Fiverr are invaluable.

10. Be yourself

This might sound obvious, but when you’re marketing your book, you’re selling a piece of yourself and you’d be surprised at the number of authors who sound like robots, sending plug after plug out into the Twitterverse. The last thing you want to be in the public realm is a nuisance to anybody, or to come off as an uninformed amateur. A little preparation goes a long way. Don’t just re-Tweet if you can add something to it yourself. Don’t just copy what others are doing when you can create your own twist or niche to a story/article/comment thread. Let your brilliant, creative self shine through in everything you do and hopefully with some time and effort, success in the publishing world will be yours.

See you out there, scribblers!

Becky Wicks and Sarah Alderson have published over a dozen books between them, with three of the biggest publishers in the world (Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan). Their latest joint venture is a comedy romance – The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) is coming soon under the pen name Lola Salt. (Subscribe to my newsletter for updates – it’s up there in the right-hand column!)

For more tips on writing and publishing follow Becky and Sarah on Twitter.

MORE FROM BECKY’S VENTURE INTO SELF-PUBLISHING:

Other posts you may like:

Comments

  1. The best romance novels come with a plot.
    The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy. If he takes it off completely,
    he’s imagining his shoes under your bed.

Trackbacks