Two weeks ago, I suggested in my wrap-up post for 2020 marketing goals that I hadn’t yet reached my goal for sales/giveaways of my books in 2020. I just wanted to run one giveaway through KDP Select to close out the year.
Well, it’s not quite the end of 2020, but I’m ready to put a pin in my marketing goals for this year. The main reason: marketing did not go well for me. I can likely point to a number of reasons that this is the case, but the primary one is that I was likely too ambitious to start the year, and even a little too ambitious with my adjusted goals at the mid-year point.
I’ve been known to self-edit when I write… a lot. For the first draft of WoEM, I think I wrote and rewrote the first couple of chapters three or four times before I made any real progress on the story.
I’ve been knee-deep in the discovery draft of my short stories for a couple months, and it’s taken a while to convince my brain that it’s only the discovery draft.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written about actual marketing strategies, so I wanted to find a topic I could cover in greater depth over the next several months:
Promoting a New Book Release!
This topic is relevant to my own publishing efforts, since I’m writing and aiming to publish a two-part novella later this year. I’ll start off with a summary of different book promotion strategies, and then deep-dive into each topic in later posts.
As I write “Survivor”, my not-officially-titled duology, I keep thinking about how I might be able to organize my world-building canon better.
Most of what I’ve written in my fantasy universe has been in The Warden of Everfeld stories, of which I have one novel published and one in draft. “Survivor” is the first story that does not overlap WoEM, but shares some of its history and geography with those novels. And I want to make sure that what I write in one doesn’t contradict the other.
For whatever reason I’ve been thinking a bit about my writing and publishing goals for next year, including my goals for this site. That, of course, leads me into thinking about what I want to do with this site in general.
This one was a sub-headline, but I still have issues with it.
Want to learn how to write good headlines? Check this out. Perhaps it’s time to write a post about creating good sub-headlines…
What this sub-headline does right:
Tells us the author’s purpose for writing the book… I guess?
What this sub-headline does wrong:
Takes a cliche expression and makes it blander.
Doesn’t actually tell us anything about the book.
History repeats itself, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it, etc. This sub-headline is essentially those cliche phrases except worded more poorly.
We can glean from this snippet (and the headline if you saw it), that this is for a historical novel. What type of history? That’s a mystery! (Not even the headline made that clear.) Maybe this book is really a detective caper where we have to guess which historical event it’s actually talking about, giving us clues along the way, but then there’s a big twist at the end!
The sub-headline of a press release is supposed to provide those little extra details that are just too wordy for a short snappy headline.
Here’s the how Google populates the press release I sent announcing that WoEM had been published. See that smaller text beneath the main headline? That’s officially called the meta description, but for a press release, that’s where the sub-headline would populate.
My sub-headline isn’t perfect, but it provides at least a little extra information. Notice how Google truncates it after about 150 characters? That makes it even more important that you front-load that summary with information that potential readers can act on.
What could be done differently:
Just rewrite the whole thing. Replace it with a description of the book, perhaps an actual piece of advice that could be taken from this mysterious history lesson. Or maybe tell us When and Where the book could be purchased.
As it currently reads, this sub-headline is effectively wasted space.