Look At Me!
Nobody knows the formula for a bestseller. And everybody in publishing likes to grouse about it. In a recent issue of Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/2012/05/01/recipe_for_a_bestselling_book/singleton/
the author presumes to offer the recipe. It’s not. Really just a long-winded article saying the same thing: nobody knows the secret. Essentially, every author is shouting into the ether, “Look at me!” How can you be heard. I’m not going to pretend I know the answer. I think it’s a little of this and a lot of that. I am, however, in the midst of an experiment for one way to reach readers.
The new buzz word around selling books is “discoverability” (as opposed to the old buzz word: “distribution”). But how do you get discovered? Here’s my new theory and I’m going to share it with you. I say we take a lesson from the AMC hit Mad Men. Advertising. The difference is that unlike the days of narrow ties and two-martini lunches, ads today don’t have to cost a month’s operating budget.
So this morning, I hopped a virtual taxi over to blogads.com to shop for blogs that might be suitable to place an ad for THE GENIE IGNITES, a paranormal romance about a hot genie and a strong-willed woman. I started with the hot genie aspect and, oo-la-la, some of the blogs I clicked on nearly burned out my hard drive. Let’s just say, I immediately cleared my history so my husband wouldn’t think I was shopping for illicit sex or that any of the exotic paraphernalia exhibited would be arriving in our mailbox. Sorry, hon. For example (I know you were waiting for that), there’s a site that sounded fairly sexually highbrow called The Eros Blog. I clicked. Much of my coffee ended up on my computer screen. Use your imagination (or your mouse).
There are also several naked celebrity sites and a generous representation of homoerotic imagery. It will be up to you as to what blog you think will be most suitable for your book. I ultimately selected a book review blog that likes sizzle but doesn’t fry my hard drive and the very inspirational site called WelcomeHomeBlogs.com. I blew my budget on this one: $120 for one week. But within three hours of placing the ad, I had 21 click-thrus. I also noticed that the minimum ad rate has now jumped to $240/week. Meanwhile, I picked up another nice little blog space on morningquickie.com, a blog that’s sassy and smart with national and international news, arts and entertainment for $20/week.
I would never buy a print ad for my book. The Genie Ignites is an ebook. That fact demonstrates that I’m looking to a digitally available audience. My ads should be digital as well. And ads should be tailored to the venue. For Welcome Home Blog, I added the copy above the book cover: HE’LL KEEP HER SAFE. And below the book cover: BUT SHE’LL SAVE HIS LIFE. For MorningQuickie, I added the copy: HE’S HOT AND CURSED. And below: SHE CAN HANDLE HIM. The audience here is reported to be women with feminist sensibilities. With blogads, you’ll also get the estimated number of impressions and the audience demographics for the blog. Now my budget is gone, but not a lot of my time, which I need to write book two of The Zubis Chronicles. I don’t yet know how much that time is worth. I’ll have to wait and see how many copies of the book are sold. But according to blogads metrics, somebody is looking at me.
Go look for yourself at THE GENIE IGNITES http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/genie-ignites
Kellyann is an author and editor who started her writing career as a journalist. Her books of fiction usually weave the lore of the jinn into a modern setting. Her interest in Middle Eastern legend stems from her stint as a Managing Editor of Publications for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. Her new novel, The Genie Ignites, is the first installment in a series, The Zubis Chronicles. A native Philadelphian, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and two terriers. You can learn more about her writing and background by visiting her website, www.kfzuzulo.com