Part 2 of this series of blogs. Read Part 1 here.
This article will discuss the philosophical and strategic methods of integrating your creation, sales, and marketing platforms for your independently created books. It makes no difference what genre you work in, the same strategy must be applied. I advise the time-tested “bread crumb” strategy, whereas you produce the “sizzle” crumb to attract your audience, and then gradually work them into your wider listings, including the new ePub3 (multimedia formatted) book.
Even though I write realistic literary and historical fiction (mostly mysteries), I want to use the Romance genre in this theoretical exercise, as it’s not only the most popular independent author genre, it also has morphed into high quality sub-genres that also sell quite well. Competing with the big publishers, therefore, is quite a chore for indie authors, but they can do it if they apply the correct, carefully organized marketing techniques.
Bookfunnel and Mailchimp
In my featured tutorial, I demonstrate the integration of the best software available for independent authors, which can easily be integrated into my independent ePub3 platform, the Embellisher™ ePub3 creation, marketing, and sales platform. I use Bookfunnel because the developer/owner, Damon Courtney (video link to his “story magnet” feature in Bookfunnel), has spent as much time perfecting his platform as I have, and I use it for my work. This “story magnet” feature, by the way, can also be used to drum-up more subscriptions to the “Direct Story Tool” I will be featuring in this article. Also, since I use Mailchimp to acquire my subscriber lists, I will be mentioning it, as you can start out free until you make money and gain enough subscribers to afford a more advanced version of the platform for your mailing list.
Bread Crumb Marketing
I like to do what the “big authors do,” in that my ideas are nothing new. In the case of my marketing concept of offering a story to the present and prospective readership, author J. K. Rowling, since she was savvy enough to keep and own all her digital rights, applies basically the same technique I will be covering in this tutorial. You can see her example, The Ickabog, here. This was an upscale (she’s a billionaire) version of what I will be teaching you. However, the same marketing strategy is applied: offer a free story to attract new readers.
Before you can sell big, you must have an audience. Fact. Before you have an audience, you must have a quality book product. Fact. This is what both the big publishers and the independent publishers (authors) have in common. If you don’t spend the time to create the quality publication, you will never keep a consistent and buying group of fans. Fact. Therefore, no amount of marketing gimmicks, including the one I’m going to show you, will guarantee anything unless you first have a quality product. This should be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many independent authors forget it and let their ego take over. There are certainly enough predators (vanity presses) out there to take advantage of these folks.
Therefore, I suggest, before getting an account at Bookfunnel, Mailchimp, or on my Embellisher platform, be certain you’re ready to “rock and roll” with a quality book and even book series. The strategy I will show you is a way to attract attention to your style and genre without giving away the store, so to speak, and to create a dynamic tension inside your reader so they want to “see what’s next.” Curiosity is always a great selling point. What’s this sly author going to present next?
Bread crumb marketing allows you to present “a new taste” of your work to new readers, whom you ideally want to become “ravenous” for your future and presently available titles. To a Romance author, this is a killer technique. When you add multimedia, you can become Cinderella!
Why ePub3 is the Best Way to Launch Your New Book or Series
When fully integrated with Bookfunnel, my Embellisher™ platform can give you the dynamic “punch” you need to attract attention from the readers in your specific genre or specialty. Why? Because, frankly, even if folks might read print books first, they are also attracted by social marketing, and this means video and audio. Therefore, using ePub3 formatted sales devices gives you an advantage over “plain Jane” authors of Romance or other genres. Fact. Once you become accustomed to developing ePub3 (free to register and try it out), you can apply my marketing theory in many different ways, including developing a fully functional ePub3 novel you can sell inside my store and market outside this store.
What is more interesting for a book launch? A dull reading at a bookstore or two-dimensional eBook handed out free, or an ePub3 developed version that has all the “bells and whistles” to attract real attention to your artistry? Naturally, you can still give away your autographed paperbacks (I do), but I’m just talking about online presence here and getting new users (younger audience, perhaps?) to learn about what you do.
How to Create Your First Launch Using Subscriptions
If you’re a developer or professional “nerd,” when you watch this tutorial portion, you can spot me making two mistakes. First, I copied the wrong URL link into the “insert story” interface on the third story I offer (I copied the promotion address from Bookfunnel). The second mistake was that I copied the third story’s information twice and deleted it during the tutorial. I left these mistakes in the video because I wanted you to see that even “old pros” such as I can make mistakes, and that one must always do a “dry run” of any application one creates (learned that in the Navy also).
I would also enjoy hearing from you as to how your specific genre might benefit from this application and what you would do specifically to focus on your art. Please email me directly and post your comments here. Here are the brainstorms I had for promoting a Romance book or series launch with ePub3 at the heart:
- Add multimedia to the story (with romantic videos, music playlists, and graphics). See examples of what can be done inside the Embellisher eReader platform — free registration.
- Include buy links inside the story to the specific romance titles that fit the story line I’ve added.
- Use coupon codes (available at the Embellisher Admin subscription level of $24.00 per year).
- Follow-up your story or book chapter subscriber promo with additional promotions featuring sales of your newest title coming out.
You may now view my tutorial and presentation on creating your first Direct Story promotion here. It’s the second video. You may also download this video for later viewing on your own computer.