My Weekly Excitement and Marketing Update
Throughout all of my marketing research so far, I have continuously heard one name mentioned multiple times, how freelance editors, marketers, book cover artists, etc have helped so many self-publishing artists succeed in the business through this one service.
What even is a Fiverr? According to Dictionary.com, a Fiver is a five dollar bill. Let that sink in. A service named after a five dollar bill wants to be involved in your life's work, the very material that you put your heart and soul into.
DO. NOT. DO. IT.
A lot of these marketing materials I'm reading so far are extremely focused on printing multiple books at a time, cranking them out like candy. They want you to have a set process so that you can print multiple books a year, and that's how you're supposed to make your living. With 20+ books out a time, you're bound to have enough purchases and accidental Kindle Unlimited reads to make a decent living, to get the Kindle Select bonuses for most page reads in your genre. And that's another thing...they want you to market towards a genre that doesn't have that much of a following, that isn't saturated, so that you can have best seller at some point on your screen. That sounds an awful lot like "Made in China, self-publishing version" to me.
I don't know about you, but as a reader and an author, I don't want to be spoon-fed someone's work that didn't come from their heart. As a reader, you can pick up on that. The plots become less and less original, characters start sounding the same. Each book reads more and more like the last in a never-ending chain of conformity and mundane bullshit. And as an author, how can you settle for that? I would rather work a nine to five job and keep writing as a passionate side hustle than ever submitting to demeaning my work like that. If I write a book a month, it will be because my muse genuinely allowed me to. If I end up making a living from this, I will have the peace of mind and pride in knowing that I made it there honestly.
But enough of my soap box.
So if you don't want to use Fiverr, what should you do for cover art? I found an absolute jewel! Her name is Paramita. She lives in India, and she is an incredible graphic artist. I am extremely brand loyal when someone treats me well and delivers exceptional product. She goes above and beyond. Her website is www.creativeparamita.com. Offering both premade covers and custom (premade are obviously cheaper and much less turn around time than the custom), she is fast, thorough, and extremely friendly. I purchased a premade cover from her for The Still after finding out that my other cover wasn't printing well on paperback and while I was still in the midst of the stupidity that was my Fiverr cover artist. She was an absolute breath of fresh air.
Now, she is not $5 cheap like what you will find on Fiverr. I had a bit of sticker shock when I was first debating purchasing her artwork. I will reference again the old adage that you get what you pay for. Her prices range from $50 to $160 for premade covers with an additional $100 for the full paperback version and $60 for an audiobook cover. So for $150 total, I got an ebook cover for Kindle, a jpg to use in ads, a paperback cover for Kindle, as well as the formats used for Barnes & Noble and Smashwords...all within a three day turn around time. A major cyclone hit India and they lost power in her area for 55 hours and she still got my order to me within the frame listed on her website. She is amazing. Here is her work:
This is a book I would be proud to have on the shelves some day.
Now, in comparison, let me show you what type of things were being given to me from the artist on Fiverr.
Do you see the difference in quality? The price I was paying on Fiverr for this catastrophe? $32. It took him literally a week to progress to this. The work was so incredibly painful that Fiverr actually refunded me for his services after initially telling me that that is against their practices. I sent them over 10 screenshots of emails detailing exactly what I needed him to do and in each one he did the exact opposite. For instance, the direction for the above piece was to take out the window pane. Instead, he added 2348967024897024 of them. Quite the experience.
Moral of the story? Go with Paramita! Hands down! Save up, it's worth it.
Another good bit of news, I entered into contract with a narrator for my audiobook. We are adjusting the script together and it should be done with production by the end of June. His name is Spencer M. Dillehay out of Los Angeles, California. Very excited to see how this goes! Again, I am very brand loyal and if things go well with this audiobook, you all will become very familiar with his voice!
Now for this week's marketing efforts.
I told you in my last blog post that I had signed up for BookFunnel. It's a monthly (or yearly) subscription service and you get the ability to collaborate your marketing efforts with other authors within your genre. I am currently in two of them with a couple more scheduled to start shortly. The first one was just a way to get more Kindle Unlimited reads. I can't actually tell if it helped or not. The second one, however, was a way for me to give my first chapter out for free in exchange for my readers emails. I currently am up to 42 emails for my newsletter list. No where near the thousands every marketing book tells you that you should have, but when you start from nothing, baby steps seem monumental. That list will grow.
I just checked out the statistics for that one BookFunnel promotion. It has been shared 28 times, probably by each individual author. Over 450 readers have clicked the link to the promotion, and 69 readers have claimed their free book or chapter. Chapter one of my book makes up 42 of those claims. Thank you, Paramita, for that cover! I would definitely recommend BookFunnel for those authors trying to get their name out there and build their reader base.
There is also a reoccurring name in the marketing research I am doing, Freebooksy. For a fee, they will promote your book to a list of readers for your genre. They do disclose how many readers are within that genre and, of course, the size of the fee correlates with the size of their distribution list. There is one stipulation....your book must be free. So you have to create a Kindle promotion where your book is lowered to free for the days that your Freebooksy promotion is running. However, Kindle Select only allows you to have one five day promotion period per 90 day enrollment.
Another alternative they offer is through their sister site, BargainBooksy, where they allow books from 99 cents to $5.99 to advertise. I have heard that authors have had less success with BargainBooksy than with Freebooksy, but if you are just starting out, again, any way that you can get your name out there is worth it.
I chose to save my promotion period for when my second book is published and instead went with BargainBooksy where I would not have to change the price of my book. Starting June 1st, for $25, my book will be promoted to 64,000 readers interested in horror genre novels. I will let you know how it plays out!
As always, thank you for reading and have a wonderful rest of your week!