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Marketing an Ebook

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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Mythica
Bibliophile
Posts: 1095
Joined: November 2010
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Post by Mythica » Fri July 22nd, 2011, 9:11 am

[quote=""lauragill""]I just found some HF groups on Goodreads (I belonged to the site, but had forgotten all about it till you and Mythica reminded me. Can you believe that?!) :rolleyes: I did post in the Kindle forum about two weeks ago.[/quote]

I don't mean the Kindle forum at Amazon - I mean http://www.Kindleboards.com - there is a section for self promotion and you're allowed to put links/covers for your books in your signature too (like you can here). A lot of readers there are big readers of indie/self-published books and history/historical fiction is a regular topic that comes up. So you should get some traffic if you join and participate there.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Fri July 22nd, 2011, 1:09 pm

Word of mouth is really the best thing.
No kidding. You should have seen it a few months ago when a friend at Goodreads picked up a very obscure OOP in a book swap. I was intrigued, got a copy from the library and we read it very close together, loved it and pimped it all over Goodreads and else where. At that time many copies of that MMPB from the 80's were available for under $1. Go and look at what's being asked for copies now :eek:

Similar also to a recent mention of The Alnwick trilogy by Melanie Clegg on her blog. I lucked out and got copies cheap (as did Tanzanite), but they're getting rather dear now and not that many still available.

If you are interested in Amazon reviews, you might also look at books in the same period as yours is and try to contact them and offer a review copy. Many put emails on their profile pages just for that purpose.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri July 22nd, 2011, 1:57 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]No kidding. You should have seen it a few months ago when a friend at Goodreads picked up a very obscure OOP in a book swap. I was intrigued, got a copy from the library and we read it very close together, loved it and pimped it all over Goodreads and else where. At that time many copies of that MMPB from the 80's were available for under $1. Go and look at what's being asked for copies now :eek:

Similar also to a recent mention of The Alnwick trilogy by Melanie Clegg on her blog. I lucked out and got copies cheap (as did Tanzanite), but they're getting rather dear now and not that many still available.
[/quote]

Is that what happened to Prince of Foxes? There used to be pages of penny copies on Amazon; after all, there were gazillions of old hardcovers out there, it was a bestseller and a book club pick in its day. But now the cheapest one is $17!!!
Although I can't imagine it was really my few mentions that did it -- more like all the five-star reviews.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Fri July 22nd, 2011, 2:33 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Is that what happened to Prince of Foxes? There used to be pages of penny copies on Amazon; after all, there were gazillions of old hardcovers out there, it was a bestseller and a book club pick in its day. But now the cheapest one is $17!!!
Although I can't imagine it was really my few mentions that did it -- more like all the five-star reviews.[/quote]

It wouldn't surprise me, but I haven't followed that book so couldn't answer for sure. It really is something to see when one of those old treasures get *discovered* and you watch the used copies slowly disappear.

That's the kind of word of mouth I'd suspect authors want to get ;)
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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fljustice
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Joined: March 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Post by fljustice » Fri July 22nd, 2011, 4:40 pm

I investigated and made a list of all the HF and general book reviewers I could locate on the web that seemed to cover my time period/genre and sent them a query letter with a description of the book asking if they wanted to review it. Mine was print and ebook, so I gave the reviewer a choice as to format. You'll want to check out the submission/review guidelines; some don't accept ebooks and some don't accept self/indie published. If you go to my blog, I have a list of reviewers on the right. That should get you started, but more are popping up everyday.

Another good "soft marketing" tool is to offer to guest blog on a History/HF blog. (Again, check out my blog roll to start, each blog will have their own blog roll, you can branch out.) Investigate the sites for compatibility, contact the owner and pitch a proposal. Many sites will be grateful for free relevant, content. It should be about a topic related to your book, but not a review of your book...some interesting piece of research or something in the current news related to your book. The introduction can then say "Laura Gill, author of The Young Lion" with links to your website or sell page.

I agree that the Amazon boards are lousy with spam and most people don't pay attention to them anymore. Goodreads and LibraryThing (also listed on my blog) are great. You can offer free copies for reviews on LibraryThing through their Member's Giveaway program. But I'd recommend going to the HobNob with Authors group first, browse, participate, then offer your book for reviews on that thread.

Marketing is the bane of our existence. It sucks our time and requires skills authors usually are not good at, but it must be done! Good luck.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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