I’ve been being bad and hanging out on Twitter lately when I probably should be doing other things. I keep telling myself that it’s market research, but mostly it’s cat pictures and blogs about writing. Now that I’m blogging about it I can at least pretend it was time well spent.
Everywhere I turn on Twitter – and Facebook and LinkedIn – I see people throwing their cover ads everywhere. I also see them paying to put their cover in places all over the net. Having been a veteran of the internet since I was a young, I can safely say that I do not click on banner ads. They don’t sell to me. And if they don’t sell to me they don’t sell to most people. I don’t click on the ads of people who tweet about their books nonstop or FB posts about their books or…
You get the picture.
Now, I’m not claiming that having a cover advertisement won’t benefit you in any way. Some people do respond to that kind of marketing most of us won’t. What we are interested in is why your book should interest us. Most of the time I pick up a new book or a new series based on a friend’s recommendation. Either I borrow a book from them, or the library, to see if I like the series at all, and if I do like the series I buy the rest as they come out. Or I look for other things by that author.
That kind of thing is more typical to most books and authors than someone seeing your cover advertisement and immediately wanting it. I can think of one book that the cover drew me in and made me want to read it. The good part about that was that it was free, so I didn’t have to go out of my way. (It was “The Book of Deacon” by Joseph Lallo, if you’re curious.)
The most powerful type of marketing you are going to find is word of mouth marketing. Developing relationships, publishing something that gets people talking, and then putting out advertising is going to be your best bet. Think of it like a pyramid. Your well-written book is the base, the next layer is going to be word of mouth marketing, and the final layer (the top) is going to be the kind of marketing you pay for through various services.
Keep in mind that word of mouth marketing includes book reviews, author interviews, and social media among other things, so you aren’t just going to be sitting around waiting for other people to talk about your book. You have a lot of work to do! Just don’t get caught up in the spiral of thinking that you need to sling your book cover around all over the world and pay for a lot of advertising when the foundation of your marketing should be word of mouth.