Wednesday, November 12, 2014

5 Tips for Marketing Bliss, Part One by Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White uses her experience as both an author and cover designer for WhiteFire Publishing and provides some tips to keep you from harming your marketing efforts in this first of two posts. Part Two will run on December 10. -- Sandy

Roseanna: A rather prolific magazine editor once said, “Nobody knows what sells magazines. Nobody.”

The same is true of books. We all have things we try. Things we are fairly confident in. Things that will certainly work against you if you don’t have them, or that will harm you if you do them. But there are also a whole lot of things that work for some folks and not for other. Or work once for you and not again. There are things that help a little, things that can’t hurt, and things that are a whole lot of fun, no matter the outcome.

I can’t tell you what will, without question, sell books for you. But I thought I’d share some of the things that are always a good idea. =)

#1 Making a First Impression


You can say “don’t judge a book by its cover” all you want, but let’s face it—we all do! A strong, compelling cover will grab a reader’s eye…and a bad one will put them off. Before they ever read a word we’ve written, they see that image, either online or in person.


If you’re working with a traditional publisher, you’ll only have so much input on your cover. Thankfully, their designers have a lot of experience in what sells to their target audience. If you’re publishing a book independently, be sure to choose your designer with care and keep in mind that a small investment can see a big return. You’ll want to make sure you choose images that pop, work well together, and complement the title and theme. Fonts should be, above all, legible! Study the fonts on best-selling books in your genre and see where they tend. Try to keep in mind that online sales usually only have thumbnails of book covers, so title and author name need to be big enough to be seen in a small size. (And yes, I know all this from experience, LOL, as a designer for WhiteFire Publishing and quite a few independent authors too. My portfolio is on my website.)

#2 Know When to Be Invisible


There are so many horror stories these days about authors getting nasty over negative reviews. My advice: don’t. Not just “Don’t get nasty,” don’t respond at all. In fact, my personal opinion is that reviews on retailing sites like Amazon shouldn’t ever be responded to by authors (others disagree with me, LOL). Amazon is for readers. Reviews there are written by readers, for readers. They don’t expect authors to even read them, much less respond to them. Keep it that way. That sends a silent message to readers that they’re welcome to express their opinions without fearing that you’ll be down their throats about it. And opinions do sell books! Let reader-focused places remain just that. Now, when you’re invited to a blog that has reviewed your book, by all means chime in thanking the reviewer for taking the time to read and write a review! That, in my opinion, is the time to respond and engage.



Roseanna will share tips three through five on December 10. You won't want to miss them! 


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Roseana M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of 9 historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She makes her home in the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

10 comments:

  1. Great tips, Roseanna, and I love your covers! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Dora! I've found cover designing to be a wonderful way to be creative when I don't have the uninterrupted time to write. =)

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  2. Book covers are tremendously important in catching my eye. I think they also represent the quality of the stories. If the cover is rich and appealing, this reader assumes the story is too. I agree with Dora. The one above is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! It's the first full-length novel cover I got to design for myself. =) Though I did design the cover for one of my free novellas with Harvest House, so that was cool! (Fairchild's Lady)

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  3. Thanks for such insightful advice. I always hear authors responding to comments on Amazon - I think it's because we are so often told to respond to everything... to interact... but I agree. Sometimes we just need to be quiet.

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    1. I'm sure there are times when it works to respond on Amazon...but I've personally heard too many readers say they only review there because they DON'T expect the author to see it, and will hesitate to post reviews if they think it'll get that kind of attention. Hence my opinion. =)

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  4. I have a hard time even responding to reviews that are written on blogs, because it's SO hard for me to read reviews of my books. Even really nice ones! Great thoughts, Roseanna. Looking forward to part two.

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    1. Yeah, we've had that conversation. =) Which is why my response when I'm invited to look at a blog review is generally just "Thank you so much for taking the time to review my book!" LOL

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  5. Excellent tips. So glad to have you as my cover designer! I'm ready for part two! :)

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    1. I'm glad you have me as your cover designer too. ;-) Can't wait!

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