It’s probably going to be an inescapable aspect to writing and being an author in this 21st century. Aside from hooking up with one of the “Big 5” a lot of the marketing is going to fall on us as authors. And, from what I’ve been reading, even the big 5 aren’t putting as much backing into authors they pick up.
However, that said, it’s not impossible and not unbeatable. I am certainly not there yet and I am learning as I go.
I’m releasing the first of four novellas this next weekend, called Project Threshold and I’m going to launch multiple ad campaigns for low dollars and see how it goes. I’ve been spending the last year reading, researching and looking at marketing and advertising, and the one thing I’ve discovered?
There is no silver bullet to slay this beast called advertising.
I know but what have I learned? I’ve been watching ad campaigns on TV, social media, radio, you name it. Big companies spend big dollars and they still don’t have all the secrets down.
So, what to do?
The purpose of advertising, as I see it, is to get the word out about your product, whatever it is: books, toys, a device, etc. You want to get the word out to as many people as you can so that they will buy it. Which earns you money and spread awareness of your product.
So how do you approach that as a writer? I’ve been paying attention to my buying habits. If I see an ad for a product, it either catches my interest or not. IF not, I move on. Now, if it does catch my attention, I scan the ad, look for more info like price and value to me. Do I immediately click and buy?
Probably not, unless it’s that one thing in a 1000 I really want or need. However, while I may move on, or even write the item down to check out later, the one key thing is if I run across that ad again. Seeing an ad for something I’m interested in more than once, reinforces that I liked the idea of it the first time and so each subsequent time I run into it, gets me closer to hitting the “buy” button.
Another thing you really have to assess and then know is, who your target audience is. If you’re pushing a toy for toddlers, chances are teenagers ain’t gonna buy it. That’s pretty easy. If you’re a horror writer like myself, how do I find my audience?
Project Threshold is playing off the supernatural, monsters, paranormal and sci-fi tech. So I’m looking for the horror crowd, but also people into the fringe because these stories dip into cryptids and monsters. And picking up some research on age and gender demographics, it looks like the horror crowed is younger–18-30ish range (though I know there’s an older crowd into horror out there too based on my journeys into social media).
So armed with that I’m trying ads on a couple of podcasts, a horror devoted website and spreading it by word of mouth through social media.
AND, I’m going to hit all of these at once, across platforms and for extended time frames. The goal? For people who are already into this stuff to run into ads for my stories across different forums and sites and social media, and more than once.
AND, if I wrote decent stories, word of mouth should start to spread the word for me too.
That’s my plan for the rest of the year. We’ll see how it works and then I’ll adjust and try new things come 2024. In the mean time, you can see my ad efforts at these places:
https://intothefrayradio.com/ I’m going to have two ads on Shannon’s podcast in September.
https://www.phantomsandmonsters.com/ I’ll be on Lon Strickler’s site all year–about a 1/3 of the way down the page
http://promotehorror.com Got an ad banner on the right hand side of their page too and I’m going to run ads for each novella coming out.
Then I’ll try to track where I’m getting the best response from.
Again, hit and miss, but I think the key to advertising is steady effort over time and in multiple places AND keeping track of what works and what doesn’t. Then you adjust, drop ads that don’t hit anything and keep trying new things.
We’ll see and I’ll share info if you need it!