Monday, April 9, 2012


All right, I admit it. I was preoccupied with The War Horn's release. I was rather absorbed in revision and formatting too, jumping through Amazon's hoops to get The War Horn on the market.

And I say it freely (but with some pain): I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to marketing.  (Although I did manage to create the above banner. It's not half as bad as I thought it would be, but I'm no digital artist, so I kept it simple.)

I've heard it said that half the success of bestselling books comes because they're well-marketed. Oops! Because until The War Horn's initial sales rush started slacking off—about three days after the release date—I hadn't really put much thought to it.

However, I do have an inkling of what I need to do. To spread the word, there are several things I can do:

1) Get The War Horn going on sites like Goodreads and Shelfari.

Check. Here's The War Horn's Goodreads page, by the way, and here's The War Horn's Shelfari page. Feel free to take a look!

2) Get reviews and have readers spread the word.

This part doesn't depend on me. While I know that you all have busy lives—after all, I'm a "reader" of other blogs too—if you read The War Horn and truly liked it, I'd appreciate if you'd spread the word on Goodreads, Shelfari, and especially That would be an enormous help.

And even if you don't have the time to plaster reviews, if you read The War Horn, shoot me an email and tell me what you thought.

Other than this rather meager plan, though, I have no marketing strategy. (It really embarrasses me to say so, but it's true.)

So I decided to ask you. Do any of you have any advice on the matter? Have you picked up anything from other authors that might help in spreading the word and getting The War Horn "out there"? Any particularly good resources? (I'd ask for book titles on the matter, but my choices in books are mostly limited to what I either buy or what I'd get through Kindle Lending Library.)

Thanks, all. You're awesome. :)


Brian McBride said...

I would be happy to advertise your book on my blog, but only with your permission.
Let me know!

Jake said...

Feel free, Brian! And thank you!

Brian McBride said...

I am going to buy it within the next couple of days and I cannot wait to read it!
When I finish it, I will post reviews on both my blog and Amazon. :)
Good luck with your marketing!

Jessica said...

Marketing is a very difficult job! That is one of the slightly intimidating things about self publishing - but most publishing houses require you to have some sort of idea how you are going to market your book anyway before you publish it.

I don't have very many ideas but here's an idea.

Not that you would want to give away a free copy but if you were to hold a giveaway you could cause some hype. They can advertise about your book on their blog with even just a few words, the banner or maybe the synopsis. Let it run for a few weeks, then have a drawing for one free book.

You could also say after so many bloggers have posted about your book (say 50 more or less) you'll give away two at 75 bloggers you'll give away 3 etc. you're giving them some incentive - maybe if they post about it and get their friends to post about it then they get 2 entries and thus increasing their chances of winning, raise the stakes just like you write a suspenseful book make it worth their time, effort - everything.

Tease your readers with snippets of dialogue or cutting us off in suspenseful parts leave us midway in something important in your book, hook us and then leave us wondering WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED!!!!! One author did that to me it was a genre I don't usually read and she left me hanging right there and I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!!! So I bought the book. I know you don't have a lot of time online being in Africa but...if you have twitter FB anything start advertising obsessively be real too and say things that mean something but start following a bunch of people that you are interested in and hopefully they'll follow you back and TWEET and FB about your book!!!

Self promotion is really had for authors - it's not who we usually are but it works from what I hear and the results I've seen for other writers but...there are some basic ideas. :) Hope I helped.

Jessica said...

You could hold a 24 hour special too or something like more thing if I can only remember....oh! yes, maybe look up some other places you can sell you ebook like smashwords and there are a few other internet online book stores but they might be worth looking into...
I really am done now. :)


Star-Dreamer said...

Nice banner, Jake. :) It really looks professional, clean cut. And sometimes simple is better. I think this is really well done.

I agree with Jessica. A lot of the time, hype can be brought up around a story by giving away free copies (with Smashwords, you can just have a coupon made that will let people download the book for free... I'm not sure how it's done on Amazon.)

My plan for some of my future books also has to do with mini blog tours, guest posts, and interviews. Don't feel afraid to approach bloggers you know or that you follow. Writers are often willing to help out fellow writers. :) Special sales are another way to bring up sales... generate some hype. You're at $2.99 right now, right? So say you bring it down to $1.50 for a day... or even $0.99. It would still bring in some money, and people might be more likely to take a look at it for a little while. :)

With "Blue Moon", I gave away somewhere around 8 copies. It was worth it though. I got reviews, and people told other people about it. The reviews on amazon are the important things. I have 3 four star reviews so far, and it's proven to bring in a few more sales.

Just keep working on it. You'll get it. :D And maybe you'd like to do a guest post over at the P&P sometime? I'd love to have you! Just email me what you want to post... You still have my email I hope. lol! I'll get it up as soon as possible. :D

Star-Dreamer said...

Also, if I may make a book suggestion? I really enjoyed reading "How I sold 1 million books in 5 months!" by John Locke. (not the guy from lost.) Now, I've not read any of his other books, but I really really learned some things from this one. It was definitely worth the money invested. You can get it on kindle if you like. ^_^ Just thought I'd put the info out there... I wouldn't suggest the book unless I meant what I said about it. :D

Writer4Christ said...

The book Self-publishing 101 has some good advice about marketing in the last section of it.
Mostly you need to be creative, and make a website about the book(and books that will be in the series if it's a series, about the book and characters, when it was published, your bio and a link to amazon so they can buy it and a few reviews).
Writer's Digest has a lot of free online articles you can read about marketing that can help a LOT. :D
Hope that helps!

Writer4Christ said...

Oh and maybe make a page on Facebook for the book so that people can 'like' it. That way, their friends might see that they 'like' the page and will check it out and so on.

Gillian Adams said...

Mental note: going over to purchase the War Horn now!

I recently started an author facebook page and linked it to my blog and website. It's taken little a while for it to take off, but I'm getting more and more interest in it and my book isn't even out yet. :)

I'd be willing to host an interview of you on my blog too and hopefully help get the word out!

Jake said...

Thank you, everyone, for the great thoughts! This got my imagination going for sure. :)

I'm trying to figure out if there's some way I can give out free copies "officially", rather than emailing the file to people. As far as I know, you can only "gift" copies of eBooks by paying the actual list price, which I don't really want to do. I'm emailing Amazon about it.

I've got a Facebook page for The War Horn, if anyone wants to check it out:


Would you indeed? That would be great. :) I'm not sure if I have your email, but my email is up at the contact me page, if you would like to discuss this prospect further.

Many thanks! And speaking of your book, how's it going? Coming out soon, I hope?


I'll hold you to that ;) I'm a bit swamped right now, but once I free up some time I'll shoot you an email.

Oh, and readers, keep your eyes peeled. I'm looking into the prospect of enrolling The War Horn in KDP Select. It requires exclusivity (which means I wouldn't be able to publish in other formats for a couple months), but lets you get the word out to people through Kindle Lending Library and even lets you put books up for free for a limited time. So there might be a freebie period in the near future!

Star-Dreamer said...

Jake, it's worth setting the book up on smashwords just for the fact that you can create coupons for giving the book away for free. :D That's how I started giving away official copies of blue moon... in any ebook format. I'm serious, if you need help, just shoot me a message. I'd be more than happy to help you set it up. :D

with the coupon code the people who you offer the book free to can go to smashwords, click to buy the book, enter the code, and download the book for free... simple as that. It's so worth it. :D

Gillian Adams said...

Jake - Alright! I'll send you an email!

Yes, the book should be coming out mid to late summer! There will also be a book trailer coming out soon... starring yours truly and a host of great actors! It's getting exciting. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... no original ideas, but I'd be MOST happy to write a blog post about it on my blog. Do I have your permission?

And, deary me, I haven't had $3 until recently. A few giftcards and a few $20 bills, but no $1 bills. HA! I'm planning on buying it as soon as I can! : )


Jake said...

Sure, daughteroflight! Go right ahead! Send me the link, if you want, once it's up.

And to everyone in general: the more Amazon reviews a book has, the more likely it is that random people will buy it. It's pretty important, so if you have time, stop by The War Horn's Amazon page and post a review.


Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'll work on it soon - I'm swamped this week. : P Anyway, I'll send you the link, too.

Okay! Once I read it again (the newer version, lol), I'll review it.


Eruantien Nenharma said...

As soon as I get the money to buy your book, I'll be happy to advertise it on my blog and leave reviews and such! : )