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Accord64

Book Sales/Marketing During COVID-19

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So here we are, right in the middle of a true-life pandemic.  Hopefully, it's a short-term inconvenience, and most of us will stay healthy. But right now there's no denying that our lives have changed. Our priorities have shifted. We're living in a new reality. 

 

So how do we handle this new reality as writers? Sure, it could give us more time to write. But what about those of us with books on the market? How are sales? And how do we (tactfully) address marketing during this time?

 

I really don't have any ideas. Part of me wonders if it's even in good taste to think about marketing books at a time like this. But another part of me sees a huge number of people confined, looking for something to take them away from the daily grind of bad news. Maybe something to help lift their spirits, or to escape reality for a little while.

 

So please, share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

a huge number of people confined, looking for something to take them away from the daily grind of bad news.

And unable to get to book stores, because they are not essential services. Sounds to me like time for ebooks. 

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I've been wondering about all this as well. I had a promotion on Monday, which I'd scheduled weeks ago. It went really well, rocketing my book higher than it's ever been on the Amazon store, and getting it those orange labels in contemporary Christian fiction and contemporary Christian romance.

 

Since then, there's been a huge drop-off and I've only sold a few books. I don't really want to do any marketing right now. I can't frame any "buy my book" message on social media at the moment, but that's just me! Absolutely no judgement against people who can do that. I've got two more Bookfunnel promotions scheduled over the coming month, but I'm not sure about whether I'll carry on with them.

 

35 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

But another part of me sees a huge number of people confined, looking for something to take them away from the daily grind of bad news. Maybe something to help lift their spirits, or to escape reality for a little while.

 

I think this is definitely a way books can minister hope to people. I know several authors are promoting free or 99 cent books or otherwise offering deep discounts.

 

So as far as writing goes, I'm making the most this time to write and plan.

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16 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

And unable to get to book stores, because they are not essential services. Sounds to me like time for ebooks. 

ebooks! this is a great time to promote ebooks. People are stuck homes, with nothing to do. A great way to escape, read a book!

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I don't have a platform or even a book to sell, but maybe one way to promote marketing at the moment would be to donate a percentage/amount of each sale to people in need or to institutes/charities that are helping those affected through this time. This is something I haven't seen others doing, but maybe it's worth considering? 

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I'm part of the #writingcommunity/#amreading followers on Twitter. I noticed a spike in requests for take-me-away fiction in the #amreading and a drop in #amwriting. Seems like people are in need of mental escape. Even the writers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

Well, we could write a novel where a pandemic is the theme. 

 

Ha, I already did. It's about a flu pandemic - published back in 2014. Probably not a book people want to read right now. 🙁

Edited by Accord64
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Posted (edited)

There is one working its way through Critique and Feedback right now, The End Cruise, by BKHunter.

Edited by carolinamtne
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14 hours ago, Accord64 said:

I really don't have any ideas. Part of me wonders if it's even in good taste to think about marketing books at a time like this.

 

Well, what else can you really do?  I mean, outside of pray?

 

Ain't no one here going to create a cure for the virus.  Outside of washing your hands and staying away from sick people, there's really not much more you can do.  So, you might as well go on with life as best you can.

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11 hours ago, Spaulding said:

I'm part of the #writingcommunity/#amreading followers on Twitter. I noticed a spike in requests for take-me-away fiction in the #amreading and a drop in #amwriting. Seems like people are in need of mental escape. Even the writers.

I'm part of the community too. I've noticed the same thing. The vibe has really changed. If this thing drags out over weeks like they're suggesting (or God forbid, months), I think the entire scope of Twitter is going to change and stay changed, at least for a long time afterwards.

 

I changed my blog to a series on faith, connecting to my writing when I can. I had it somewhat in the plans anyway but now I think it's necessary. There's literally no use blogging on Ancient Egypt right now. At least, there doesn't feel like there is. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Hey, you never know!

 

Here's an idea. ;)

 

90427651_3189888677902810_4306468960720650240_n.jpg.8300827dc1f3263203ca974aa64c1a31.jpg

Edited by Accord64
My fat fingers...
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There's literally no use blogging on Ancient Egypt right now. At least, there doesn't feel like there is. 

But they knew about plagues! Draw in their expertise.

 

In my Twitter feed, more people than ever are writing, "I need a good book tonight. Send me your book titles."  

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3 hours ago, Nicola said:

There's literally no use blogging on Ancient Egypt right now. At least, there doesn't feel like there is. 

But they knew about plagues! Draw in their expertise.  

That's true! I'll bear it in mind. Thanks @Nicola😊

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Hey guys, looks like I'm a little late to this thread, but I was having the same thoughts. Over the weekend I decided to do a small Facebook promotion and a banner ad on TGC through Beacon Ads focused on the ebook version. I've done similar ads in the past and they never quite paid off, but I figure people are sitting home wanting new things to read so maybe it will fill a need.

 

I've got a new book with some beta readers right now. I wish I could speed up release on that, but I don't want to sacrifice quality for speed just to get it out now. Hopefully people will still want new book while they're going to the beach or whatever this summer.

 

I don't think there is anything distasteful about promoting our books right now, 

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Well, I'm on day 7 of my promo and zero sales. Even my worst promo would sell at least a couple of copies. I guess people aren't in a reading mood. Or perhaps they're catching up on their reading backlog? Probably watching Netflix. 

 

This promo (through Kobo) was scheduled before the outbreak, so I'm using it as a gauge. I have another starting April 2nd. Maybe people will have run out of things to watch on Netflix by then? 😄   

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12 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

Well, I'm on day 7 of my promo and zero sales. Even my worst promo would sell at least a couple of copies. I guess people aren't in a reading mood. Or perhaps they're catching up on their reading backlog? Probably watching Netflix. 

 

This promo (through Kobo) was scheduled before the outbreak, so I'm using it as a gauge. I have another starting April 2nd. Maybe people will have run out of things to watch on Netflix by then? 😄   

I feel your pain. I have a small Facebook promo ending today. 300 engagements and... zero sales (that I know of). I have a banner ad going up at TGC today, so we'll see if that gets me anywhere. I tried Beacon Ads once before with no effect, and hadn't planned to do it again, but in these special times I decided to give it a whirl. I had just about sworn off Facebook too, but here I am again. 

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4 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

Well, I'm on day 7 of my promo and zero sales.

Ugh. At least it hasn't cost you anything, though, right?

 

I'm hearing that some people who are advertising on Facebook are getting people scolding them in their comments for trying to capitalise on this crisis.

 

I don't see anything wrong with promoting as long as it's tastefully done. I did raise my eyebrows, though, at one author who was pushing their sale offer as a "COVID-19 Special."

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12 minutes ago, Chris Brown said:

I had just about sworn off Facebook too, but here I am again. 

I think we're all retrying things to see if anything has changed. I'm tempted to start an Amazon Advertising campaign myself. Tempted...trying...to...resist... 😵

 

14 minutes ago, EBraten said:

Ugh. At least it hasn't cost you anything, though, right?

It cost me nothing out of pocket. That's what I love about Kobo - they don't force you into a pay-to-play system.

 

15 minutes ago, EBraten said:

I'm hearing that some people who are advertising on Facebook are getting people scolding them in their comments for trying to capitalise on this crisis.

 

That's why I'm still hesitant to market my post apocalyptic novel about a flu pandemic. Backlash potential is high.

 

17 minutes ago, EBraten said:

I did raise my eyebrows, though, at one author who was pushing their sale offer as a "COVID-19 Special."

 

I'm trying not to be that guy. 😣  

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