Saturday, April 15, 2017

Self-Publication Part 3 // Managing Marketing Myself

Welcome back to my self-publication series! Here's part one and part two in case you missed them ;) Today I'm covering how I market my book. It's an acquired talent and even harder as a self-published author, because it's all on you.
Ah, marketing. It's a beast. The trick with marketing is that it doesn't happen on it's own. Someone has to be behind the scenes pulling the strings. When you're self-published, you don't have a company doing any marketing for you. This is definitely a downside to self-publishing. However, I have managed so far and this is how!
 Obviously social media is a huge part of marketing. This really used to intimidate me, but I had to get over it. I have basically every account I'm going to now. (Instagram joined the ranks this week.) I've found that just giving updates on my writerly life keeps people engaged with who I am and what I'm doing. Share the little moments. It helps people relate and reminds them that (1) oh look she published that didn't she and (2) obviously people are enjoying this so I should go grab a copy.

And share the huge moments, too. When Martin Hospitality was up for awards and I was running a sale, I totally barraged people with that on all of my sites. I've found that to avoid doing so obnoxiously, I did it once or twice everywhere. (There's bound to be some overlap.) Be your honest self even in the blatant self-promotion posts.

Asking a question can often get people to engage you better. Even when I don't get on social media and engage with other people, I always make sure I interact with the people who choose to interact with me. That alone is a great start :)

That's basically how it works for me. I haven't gotten the consistency thing down to a tee yet.
 I tie all the accounts I have together by having a consistent bio and profile picture on each, so people easily know that I'm the same person. And you wonder why don't change my pictures much? :P
I use MailChimp to send out a monthly newsletter. It takes a lot of time, but it's totally free. I do this in place of monthly wrap-up posts, making it a little more official and writerly, but still giving a glimpse into my life. It's important to be personable!! You can't really force that, but I feel like I don't share much of my life with you guys on here :( So definitely subscribe to the newsletter in the sidebar ;) ➡ See, self-promotion's easy

I'm not sure I do it totally right, but I draft my post under "template" and then just have to send out a "campaign" and apply that template. Voila, my newsletter goes out to my entire list of 30 something readers. For the next post, I just replace the content under my newsletter template and do it again.

For the special sale and such I did a new template and customized it for a sale look. Next sale or whatever, I'll just swap out the info and send it again. It's been a nice tool so far and apparently most people open them and click on the links. A few lovelies even reply! <3 and="" are="" details="" get="" great="" insider="" newsletters="" p="" so="" yeah="" you="">
I obviously have a blog which is the main place where I attract new readers that I bond with. Honestly most of my internet friends have come through this blog!! *sniff*

I don't do a whole lot of blatant promotion on here, but that's okay. You guys get the neat stuff. I've shared the mock cover, first chapter, final cover, release date, blog tour, where to buy it, blah blah blah. And you all still put up with me! ;) Because it's not a part of everything I do, but you all know it's a huge part of me. That's the ideal balance, honestly.

And that's because I do try to share me on this blog. I have no character limits here and am dedicated to showing up every Saturday at least. I'm getting the hang of dropping links in everything I post though. This isn't always beneficial just to me, but linking to other posts I've done and such is a really awesome thing to do. People only click if they want to :) But I'd rather them hear it from me than Google it, and they would too since it's right here.
This is honestly the. most. helpful. form of marketing there is. And it relies on people reading and enjoying your book. I have older couples at my church who have bought it for their family members and recommend it to their friends, particularly our mutual friends who haven't bought it yet.

Getting that little push from people who aren't me is really great! Hearing firsthand from a reader that a book was awesome is the main thing that causes me to read a book for sure.

You obviously can't force people to talk about your book, but you can 

As far as doing things on a more personal level locally, I have done three things so far (woohoo):

  • stsocked my book in the local Christian bookstore
  • had two book signings downtown
  • participated in a local church's book club for MH
These have all been great ways to connect to some new readers who are now fellow enthusiasts spreading the word for me. More details on them in my newsletters ;)


Any specific questions? That was a lot to cover and I want to make sure it enlightened you! For an additional resource, check out the social media posts I've been doing on Teen Authors Journal:
Next week I'll be answering some more specific questions I've received that haven't made it into the posts and hopefully providing you with a simple self-publishing checklist as well.

Until then, have a fantastic Easter Weekend!


  1. Ha ha, first comment!! 😜 I think this series has been helpful to me in seeing the pros of self-publishing. So thanks for that, Abi. One of my friends whom also follows your blog, recommended Martin Hospitality to me and I've since been thinking about buying it almost constantly. So I'll probably eventually get around to purchasing a copy for my own and then I can hold it and swoon over the characters and fall in love with a new story.

    1. Oh, and I actually do have a question.

      How many drafts did Martin Hospitality go through before being published? And when you did the 2nd draft, did you start from scratch, or did you use the same document and just make major edits to it?

    2. Hey, good job! :D I'm glad it's broadening your understanding of the options on the table! I'm sure there are more pros to traditional publishing I don't know about because I've never done it, but I was pleased with my self-publishing experience :)

      YAY!!! You'll have to tell me what you think once you buy it! <3

      Good question! I never had to rewrite Martin Hospitality, so each draft was always the result of going through and making changes to my current document. I did make sure to save each completed draft as a separate document, though.

      Draft 1: I wrote with alpha readers giving me advice
      Draft 2: Applying their suggestions and giving it a read through
      Draft 3: Applying beta readers' suggestions (the biggest revision!)
      Draft 4: Hiring a professional editor and applying her feedback
      Draft 5: One more friend looked over it at the very end ;)

      So I guess it was about 5 drafts. The biggest changes were after having those 5 "first draft" alpha readers and the 16 "second draft" beta readers. Then I always recommend a professional editor for the "last draft." Hopefully that helped?

    3. Yes, it definitely helped me, thanks! And I will be sure to leave a really long comment telling you how much I loved it once I read Martin Hospitality.

  2. This is all SO helpful, Abi! Thank you! I am curious to know one thing, which you don't have to tell me if you prefer not, but how many copies of Martin Hospitality have you sold so far?

    1. Yay! No, I don't mind answering that at all. It will be good for me to tally it up ;)

      Paperback online: 27 (25 from Amazon)
      E-book: 30
      Paperback in person (book signings and local friends): 55ish??

      That's more than I thought! I haven't sold any at my local bookstore yet. I'm about to do another signing, though, so yay!!

  3. this series is insanely helpful, it also motivates me to keep writing so i hopefully reach that place :D congratulations on everything!!

    ~ noor

    1. Yay, everyone needs motivation!! You can do it, Noor! :D Thanks. :)

  4. Hello! I was wondering, how did you get all of those follow buttons? (The ones in the green circles). I really like them; they make your blog look clean since they all match. I also really like your big Pinterest thing. By the way, I'm really enjoying this series!

    1. Oh oh oh!! Aren't they cool? I've had a hard time adding new buttons in as I get new social media accounts but they were a download from a nifty website with a tutorial on how to use them in Blogger. Let me go find it ...

      K, here's the link. You can pick any of the gazillion colors she has to choose from and the tutorial is on the same page :D Good luck!!

      Thanks! The Pinterest feed is just a widget that you can generate from Pinterest itself and then add the code in an HTML/Javascript layout box in Blogger ... I think :P

      I'm so glad!! :D

    2. So I clicked on the link and I figured it out for the most part, except mine are all in a line. But thanks!

    3. And I figured out the Pinterest thing too! Thank you!

    4. That's awesome!! It can be so hard to figure out techy things :P Great job :D

  5. Oh my word, this series is sooo helpful! :) I didn't realize that you did so much for marketing. Is marketing the hardest part (or maybe one of them) for you as a self publisher?

    1. Hehe, yeah ... Marketing is kind of a big deal :P I don't HAVE to be doing as much as I do, but I feel like I should. And it does pay off, I think.

      YES! Marketing is hard for me. Right now I'm behind because I haven't shared like the last 4 blog posts anywhere. Catching up isn't really a thing with marketing because consistency is the key :P

  6. Many authors have cut out the middle man and turned to self publishing. Self publishing requires work on the authors behalf beyond writing the book. Many authors maintain blog posts that sometimes will provide teaser chapers for their dedicated fan base. Using mass email service to send updates is a great way to stay engaged with readers as well.

    Lucius Cambell @ Skild


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