Why the Investment is Always Greater than the Freebie
I’m going to be straight up honest as both a trainer and a writer; anything you want to get for free is going to sell you short. Heck, most items you buy for a cheap price is going to sell you short.
For instance, take two commercial, corporate gyms. On one end of the spectrum, you have Snap Fitness and the other end, Planet Fitness. While Snap may cost three times as much as Planet, you’re going to get some perks at Snap, like fewer crowds, more choices regarding free weights (the real muscle builder and fat burner), and a friendlier atmosphere.
At Planet, you may pay ten dollars a month, but what are you really getting? You might get a free weight barbell, dumbbells up to seventy pounds, and a “customized” leg press which fits four plates on each side. Besides, large crowds and unlimited amenities might deter you from the reason you’re there; to get fit. Count the pizza and bagel giveaways (this is a gym?) and a tornado siren going off if you drop a weight or grunt (again, this is a gym?), Planet Fitness is accurate in their judgmental commercials (while posing as judgment free) when they say they’re not a gym.
No, they’re not.
And free or drastically reduced promo and marketing tools act the same way.
However, much like Snap, which may cost more than Planet but is still a reasonable price, you can get solid book promoting materials for a nice bang for your buck.
But you need to be careful, as some marketing tools may not work as well as others.
For instance, in my rookie indie-author experience, which has mainly been extensive research by reaching out to established indie-authors, social media promotion should be supplementary. Sure, social media is great to build a following and perhaps pitch a link to your books every now and again, but it should be more focused toward driving people to your blog, which in turn may produce a few sales.
My Twitter following is currently at 2,145 and Facebook fanbase is at 1,258, but I don’t expect many to buy my work from these sites. Instead, I depend more on my blog, My Freedom Flame, and of course, marketing tools to get me to where I want to be.
Book Marketing Tools
Yesterday, I conducted research to find good book marketing tools to release my debut book, Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights, the first book in the Lord of Columbia trilogy, to be released this September.
My goal is to sell over one-thousand copies at a cheap price, in hopes of creating a fanbase who’ll buy my second work in the trilogy, working titles being Sword of Destiny and Heart of the Forest (I’ve been going back and forth between the two) at a greater price.
First Round of Book Promos
So, for my first round of book promos, I researched ten reputable companies and decided to look more extensively into a few which jumped out at me.
1) Books Butterfly. They have over 310,000 followers and an even bigger email list. They guarantee results in numbers of books purchased and their basic packages run between $49 and $99. If you don’t achieve guaranteed results, they’ll refund your purchase. There’s little risk involved with Books Butterfly.
2) Book Reader Magazine has a solid following and is great for those on a budget. They cost between $15-$20 to be featured, and those who’ve experimented with Book Reader Magazine have been satisfied with their results. For $15, there’s little risk.
3) BGS Authors might be my favorite, with 88,000 Twitter followers, 6,000 Facebook fans, and an even larger email campaign, their basic package of $49 will give others instant success with Tweets regarding your book, Facebook and email promotion, guaranteed minimum 700 visitors to your book’s Amazon page, global book promotion, help with book reviews, a free book marketing guide, cross promotion with other authors, and feedback on how to improve your book on Amazon. And this is their lowest-level package. I’m going with BGS Authors for sure and once Books Two and Three of my trilogy are in circulation, if Northern Knights sells, I’ll upgrade to a premium package, which I believe is $150.
4) Whizzbuzz Books is from popular indie-author, Derek Haines. I read his blog often and his Twitter page is full of book promotions via Whizzbuzz, which he owns. His basic package begins at $49 and will give you perks such as constant Twitter promotion for a year, email campaigns, links to your book, blog, and author website, and a lifetime membership on his site.
Of course, there is going to be much more than simple promotion via online, and my next mission is to find ways to promote even hardcopies of my work offline, as not everyone is going to want to read the book in e-format. I’m one of those people who prefers the hardcopy, despite being an internet addict born in Generation Y.
Books do sell and as an indie-author, I believe we can make a solid living, or at the very least a decent side-income doing what we love. Besides, My Freedom Flame is all about pursuing passion, where I share my passion and ways you can pursue yours, be it in writing or another field. I also share what drives me to write, as the article I wrote yesterday provides a small glimpse into what I research.