The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

June 28, 2010

It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 15 of 365

In this issue:

  • Have you created your Google Profile yet? Get on it!
  • The Brink is now out in eBook! Where oh where to market the eBooks???
  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #1

 Have you created your Google Profile yet? Get on it!

 So without little or no money, how do you get people to find you online? Participate in the discussion. The internet is all about content, and content doesn’t always have to be news releases and email marketing campaigns. Sometimes, you gotta just be there for other people. Once again, I turn to David Meerman Scott and his advice from The New Rules of Marketing and PR. From page 65, “One of the currencies of social media is that when you participate, people find out who you are. When you leave a comment on someone else’s blog post, you can link to your profile on the Web. All blogging tools have a place where you can leave a virtual calling card, your own web URL where people who read your comment can find out who you are and perhaps contact you.” He goes on to suggest that the best “virtual calling card” is to create a Google Profile and then use that as the URL for people to go to when you are commenting on other people’s blogs. Best of all, it’s free.

 I made the mistake, like many writers do, of going into sites like and amazon’s book club sites and in the “looking for a great thriller” forum, just typing in “hey, if you want a great thriller, check out my new book, The Brink.” That’s like shouting what you do for a living at the top of your lungs at a cocktail party. Major faux pas. Anyway, now I know better. I’m going to start going onto other writer’s blogs this weekend and join the conversation with my Google profile as my URL. I just hope they like me….I mean, I really, really hope they like me!

 The Brink is now out in eBook! Where oh where to market the eBooks???

 The Brink is now out in eBook for the Kindle and the Nook. While that’s awesome, how do we writers find people that actually have eReaders? I’ve yet to see them at my gym or on airplanes. After my current Facebook ad campaign is over (more on that in a minute) I’ll do one just for ebook readers and see how it goes. In the meantime, I went online and Googled in “ebook marketing” and the best hits I got were “start your home-based business making $300k a month by writing a real estate buying eBook” and “money-making super secrets” where you write an eBook to attract people to invest in your Nigerian black money-type scam.  Oy vey! I just tried to set up a Facebook ad and when I used “eBook” as the criteria by which the ad will be sent out, there are only 620 people out of the 113 million above 18 years old on Facebook who are interested in eBooks. Rat farts! Back to the drawing board.  Any suggestion from y’all would be awesome.

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #1

 With the month of June coming to a close, thus ends my stint on the Rising Star award winner page. The buyers at B and N use the results to see what books they will give store book shelf space to, what I like to call “the most expensive real estate in the world.”

 Therefore, as a last ditch effort to pump up my numbers, I am doing a 5 day Facebook ad campaign. I don’t know how familiar you are with them, but I knew nothing about them before I created my ad yesterday. It’s a simple process to walk through it. My ad reads “The Brink by Mark Fadden. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time and discover an electrifying new voice in suspense fiction.” Once someone clicks on it, they are sent to my website. I set my budget at $20 a day and chose the Cost Per Click (CPC) option. I only pay when someone clicks on my ad. What I pay is a rate that I bid on, which was kind of confusing at first. I chose $.50 per click at first where the suggested rate was between $1.10 and 1.63. For the first half of today, I has something like 5 impressions, which meant my ad only went out 5 times. So I changed click bid to $1.15 and damn if the numbers didn’t jump up! Currently, Facebook has run the ad 6,301 times and I’ve had 3 clicks. Not exactly setting the world on fire, but I’ll reassess the ad tomorrow and make edits if necessary. In the meantime, here’s a great account of another first time Facebook advertiser: “My First FaceBook Ad Campaign: The Good, Bad, & The Ugly.”