Why you should self publish in 2011

Yesterday, we talked about some of the possible negative effects of self-publishing will have on the publishing world. Today, a more positive view of it. Here’s a link to thriller writer J.A. Konrath’s blog post on why he thinks you and I should self publish (hint: it’s all about the Benjamins!). It seems that his post has hit a nerve, with 427 comments and counting…

Your thoughts about self-publishing? To the keyboards!  

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Here’s what people are saying about Mark Fadden and his latest award-winning thriller The Brink:

“A masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest
“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas                                                                                                                 
The Brink grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final page.” – film producer Don Phillips

Send Mark an email at mark@markfadden.com.  

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8

Need a unique gift? Buy a signed copy of The Brink for the book lover in your life. 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING!

The perfect holiday for book lovers

“Book lovers.”

The term has been around as long as Romeo and Juliet, or maybe even Adam and Eve. Well, what better way to sell your book than to sell it to a book lover. And what holiday is just around the corner that’s all about love?

As I’ve stated in past blogs, I’ve given up on Facebook ads to drive people to my online storefront. The popular notion is that once people are on FB, they want to stay there. I’ve been toying with a new FB ad about driving more people to my FB author site, but that’s for another blog entry.

So, in order to drum up some sales for Valentine’s Day, I turn to old faithful, Google Adwords. Here’s the skinny:

1. Keyword tool – through using Google’s keyword tool, I found out that terms like “gift book”, “valentine book”, “valentine gifts for him”, and “valentines books” have high monthly searches and low competition.

2. Ad creation – I created a text ad, here it is:

  • Unique Valentine’s gift?
  • Get the heart pumping with an award
  • winning, signed thriller – 20% off!
  • shop.markfadden.com
  • I think it’s pretty good, the title is addressing the person’s concern about wanting a unique gift, it gives them info about the fact that my book is a thriller that won an award, and it’s 20% off.

    Today was the first day to run the ad, so we’ll see how it goes.

    What about you? Are you planning any special Valentine sales campaigns? If so, do share…To the keyboards!

    Special note about the blog – From now on, new “Beyond the Book” posts will go out  on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

    Should you be direct? Using direct mail for book marketing

    In the battle for the eyeballs of readers, writers must try all the different ways to broadcast their message. With that in mind, I am a firm believer in going old school and new school. Social media might get all the press, but sometimes an ad in the local newspaper or networking at the local chamber function is the right way to market your book, especially when you’re having a book signing at the local bookstore, or if you think your book would make the perfect holiday gift for a fellow chamber member’s customers.

    Direct mail is an advertising dinosaurs. It’s been around forever, but there’s one good reason why. It works. For the money, there’s no better way to get your message into the hands of your potential customer. And with the help of technology, direct mail lists have become very specific. Case in point, I bought a 500 address list in my home zip code for $25. I was able to use criteria such as age group (all above 18) and if they subscribed to 2 or more magazines (showed that they were readers). I again went back to the fine folks at NextDayFlyers.com and ordered 500 postcards (but received 700, a nice little bonus!) and for around $35 I had professional-quality postcards at my home ready to be mailed in about 5 days after submitting my files. $140 for postage and 2 hours worth of labor affixing the mailing labels and stamps later and my little babies were taken to the post office ready to be delivered. The cards just went out last Friday and offered this deal – 20% off copies of The Brink with free shipping – good through Nov 15. I’ve already had 7 orders from the cards and I’m expecting more.  Here’s an example of the card:

    In hindsight, I should have included a message about signing up for my email list. Other than that, I gave alot of great information, but most importantly, I gave my potential customer the way to solve a problem – what to give someone this year that is personal, something that screams you spent time thinking about them. For the money, nothing beats a book signed with the gift recipient’s name at the top of the page. I know I would get a warm feeling from getting one under my tree.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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    Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information. Hurry, offer ends Nov. 15!

    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

    Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

    Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

    August 24, 2010

    Day 71 of 365

    Books sold so far (May and June 2010): 246

    In this issue:

    • Writing topic – To Prologue or Not To Prologue?
    • Marketing Topic – Google AdWords, Day 3 and Yippee!

    Writing topic – To Prologue or Not To Prologue?

    So now that my kids are back in school, and I have some more peace and quiet around the house (I work from home, which meant a lot of late nights during the summer to churn out freelance projects while I was “Mr. Mom-ing” it during the day – but I wouldn’t have given up a second of it.) That means it’s time to start churning out the next novel. My main intention of this blog was to provide a chronology of my book marketing efforts so you could see which worked well and which crashed and burned. However, since I’ve decided to write another novel this year, I will be blogging about that effort in the “Writing Topic” section. So, if you are a budding novelist, or know someone who is, I’ll be kickstarting the old noggin tomorrow to get it in shape for the next novel.

    That brings us to tonight’s topic – you lika da prologue-a? Prologues typically set up the main story by providing some backstory info. Sometimes, it will be an event that happens later in the book, like a juicy murder scene or some breathless action event. Some critics say that prologues are signs of a weak book. Like a crutch, the prologue props up an otherwise lackluster story that can’t stand on it’s own. It is the prologue that hooks the reader, and then drags them through misery for the next 400 pages.

    I vacillated back and forth between prologue or no prologue for the next book. It’s a murder mystery and the opening murder scene was, I thought, some of my best work. It was its own separate scene, so I decided it must be the prologue. Then, I thought about what Stephen King said in On Writing, about how you should “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” The scene really didn’t fit because the pace wasn’t there and it had no ties to anything else in the story, so out came the sickle and slice! Thank you again Mr. King for lighting the way.

    Marketing Topic – Google AdWords, Day 3 and Yippee!

    Yesterday’s post mentioned that I changed up the ads. And viola! It seems I may be getting better at this AdWord stuff.

    Here’s the new ad:

    I got quite a lot of hits pretty quickly and my $10 a day budget was topped out before I knew it. Here are the keywords associated with this new ad and the # of clicks for each: “Bilderberg” 9 clicks; “Bilderberg Group” 4 clicks; “New World Order” 18 clicks. Again, the sinister secret society in the book that our hero and heroine are running from are based on the real-life Bilderberg Group, which is said to be planning a One World Government through a combination of efforts including bankrupting the world and social engineering. During the Xmas holiday season, I’ll ramp these ads up a bit.

    I also created a second ad. With Labor Day right around the corner and people looking for a good Labor Day read, I am trying to direct them to my amazon page where they can get the book 22% off and get it shipped in time for Labor Day.

    Here it is:

    Why the “finish it on your vacation” part? Simple. One thing that people have been commenting on about The Brink is that it’s so fast paced and “unputdownable.” One customer review stated that he finished it in a day and a half!  If people are looking for something to take them away over Labor Day, which is only 3 days, they want something they can finish. It makes them feel like they accomplished something in those three days. If not, they feel like its yet another task on their to-do list if they have to finish it once they come back off vacation and into the real world. Of course, that’s just my theory, and it could be a naive one. I guess only time will tell if the ad works or not.  

    Keywords on this one include: thriller books, crime thriller books, new mystery books, mystery and thrillers, and good mystery books. I just created it in the past hour, so no info yet. Stay tuned until tomorrow’s post.

    There is one problem, though. Since the ad is small and doesn’t allow for many words, I can’t tell customers that once they order it, they can then go to markfadden.com to get their book signed for free. And ad about buying a signed book will also be a huge part of the xmas ad campaign.      

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…