Random Thoughts and Marketing Experiments #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #authorblog #authorthoughts

buck outside window

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve done a more personal post. Lately, it’s been book reviews, poetry challenges, or new releases. It doesn’t give me much space to explore other interests. I’ve thought about moving the reviews to another day. That leaves me open to new content, but also requires more time. It’s a balance I’m not ready to jump into but will give it a lot of thought.

I said I’d report back on how my marketing experiments went.

The first one was a giveaway through Rafflecopter for three gift cards. What it required from me, other than to put it all together, was some advertising. I did this through Facebook, which I have done in the past. At first, I limited my audience and later I expanded it. It was nice because I capped my spending to under twenty dollars. Plus, I posted it on my website and blog and there was a lot of interest or entries and follows. What I didn’t get were sales, but I added a few new followers. Having done this in the past, it was about the same interest level. One thing I wish I had included in the giveaway was Bookbub.

What I’ve noticed in the past and now is there is a sizeable community that likes to enter contests that have little or no interest in books. That aside, though, I still felt it was worth it for the people who connected with me on social media and stayed after the contest ended.

The second one I tried, which I’ve never done other than through a book club, was a paid tour promotion. I decided on the cheapest option of doing a one-day blitz and scheduled a month out. I didn’t advertise this because I wanted to go outside of my usual blogging world. It was easy enough. I sent in the requested information. There was good communication, and they kept me up to date on what was going on. I also got a couple of book banners to use too. With this tour, there was a ten-dollar giveaway through Rafflecopter.

When my day came, I had a list of those taking part in the blitz through blogs, Facebook, or Instagram. Even at almost thirty hosts, I was determined to thank each one. I only found a couple where I couldn’t locate a post. The main page on the tour site had action, and I was able to respond to several people. A couple of commenters expressed interest in my book, so that was nice.

Another blog had the same activity, but most didn’t. I found many blogs, just did blog tours, and had more than one going on at once. Of these hosts, very few responded to me when I thanked them, and no one commented that I saw but I only checked back for a couple of days.

I did like that the tour ventured out into Facebook and Instagram. Not a lot of interaction other than from the host, but glad for different venues and exposure. My takeaway from my first paid tour was I could tap into a new audience, but I didn’t see any sales. Of course, there is no telling if I was added on Kindle Unlimited. What I did get was meeting a few nice people along the way and I added some new followers from the giveaway, including Bookbub.

There is one option for the paid tours I might consider again. I’d do it using the one or two-week tours and include the people who usually support me. That would be the best of both worlds and, hopefully, less work for me.

I want to thank Jan and her marketing posts over on Story Empire which inspired me to explore different ideas. I’m not done trying new options and will report back here on how they go.

black bear climbing tree

Personal updates:

  • I’ve been busy with some unexpected babysitting, so that has kept me socially quiet recently.
  • I had some good news with a couple of skin biopsies, both benign. I was getting a check-up twice a year and now it’s been moved to once. I have also avoided any more black widow bites or bee stings 😊
  • After losing our dog during our first summer vacation, we are dogless for the first time in forty years. The following vacation we had to spend a lot of it clearing our property for insurance but luckily it got renewed, which is uncommon in our area. So, if you don’t see me around for a couple of days here and there, know I’m taking care of myself. Connecting to that peace that I may have lost recently on many levels. I’m guessing some poetry will come out of this time, but never know where I’ll be led.

Today I have a second post for a new book release from Marje you don’t want to miss, and my new newsletter will come out on the 20th.

Have a great week and embrace that inner child. I know I will be! D. L. Finn xo

52 thoughts on “Random Thoughts and Marketing Experiments #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #authorblog #authorthoughts”

  1. It sounds like you’ve had a busy, difficult time of it. Here’s sending hugs and love your way. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the promo stuff, Denise. Have a good week 💕🙂 … ooh, and I can’t wait to hear the book news! 😁

    1. Thank you for the hugs…sending some back to you. I thought my experiences might be useful to someone. Thanks, Harmony.

  2. Sorry to hear about losing your fur baby! :'( I appreciate you sharing your marketing journey with us. That is always the hardest part of being an author (IMHO). Congrats on the book release! I wish you much success, Denise! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Yvette. Hard to lose that companionship. Marketing is the worst and hard to find way to reach new readers. I’m excited for Marje’s new book. I think you’d enjoy it. Xo

    1. Thanks, Craig, I do and I amdoing that finally, even if a bit forced…lol. I wonder if that is the most common experience to paid book tours.

  3. Thank you, Denise, first of all for mentioning my Story Empire book marketing posts. And second of all, for reporting back on the results you got from the two marketing ventures. Honestly, I think people are getting numb to giveaways and to new books. There is SO much everywhere. But we have to keep trying and that’s what I remind myself of when I get discouraged. Take care of yourself!

    1. Thank you for the great ideas, Jan 🙂 I thought my results might be of use. I agree about giveaways, I had more personal reactions and communications just a couple of years ago to now. I don’t think people realize now that struggling authors are sponsoring themselves. It is easy to get discouraged but it seems there is always a new way to reach readers, so that always offers hope. Thank you, I am taking it easy xo

  4. I have never been a fan of paid tours. Every time I tried to support an author who does them I came away with the feeling that the whole thing is too impersonal. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself.

    1. It’s definitely more personal when we do it for ourselves. I think winning is why a lot of people are involved in the paid ones, but I did see a couple reades mixed in. Thank you, John I definitely am.

  5. Really enjoyed the post, Denise. Like you, I’ve been trying to figure out how to market my books other than my blog. Your experience mirrors what I expected. Darn! BookFunnel has Author Swaps and Group Promos I’m considering. I’d love to hear if anyone has done them. SE had some great articles on marketing–one on Rafflecopter that made it sound easy enough for me!

    1. Thanks, Jacqui. It seems to be a common experience from what I’ve read in the comments. I haven’t tried any of those but am open to them. Let us know if you do! Rafflecopter is easy, you just have to promote it to get those follows.

  6. Maybe with so many blog tours and authors out there that venue is saturated. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry about your four-legged family member. Take care.

    1. You may be right about that, Priscilla. There was definitely several to choose from. Thank you, its always hard to lose our filurry companions. Xo

  7. I’m glad you’re taking time out to care for yourself and babysitting your grandkids, Denise. Thank you for sharing your marketing experience. We babysat the grandkids the last two days so my daughter and son-in-law could go hiking and do fun things. It’s good for them and good for the kids to bond with us.

    1. Thank you, Miriam 🙂 Kids sure add joy to our world. We blessed to share in their joy.

      1. They sure add joy to our world, Denise. My two granddaughters are growing so fast, it’s amazing to see the new things they learn to do and say every day. 😃

  8. My heart goes out to you as you mourn the loss of your fur baby. Thanks for sharing your marketing experiences. Stay well my friend.

    1. I tried it all with A Voice in the Silence. A couple skin ones. I keep getting lucky. Xoxo

  9. Gosh, Denise — I’m exhausted for your sake. However, I’m grateful that you took time to describe your marketing experience. I’ve tried a couple of those things with similar results. I have not done a paid tour, so I was particularly interested in your experience there.
    Take good care of you. Have a peaceful night. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Thank you, Teagan 🙂 I’m taking it easy for now. Sounds like a few here had similar experiences. It would be great to find that magic marketing skill, so I’ll keep trying. I hope your night is peaceful too xo

  10. Yes, I’m with you on the blog tours, etc. I think paid advertising is only successful with the big boys, like Amazon….and that gets very expensive very quickly. Anyone with a phone or computer can be a ‘writer’ today. Congrats on your health, the most important thing. And keep on writing. I don’t always comment but love to read what you post.

    1. It sure can get expensive quick, Lynda. I think you are right about Amazon. It is true anyone can be a writer but we quickly learn to pick through them to get to the good ones, like you 🙂 Yes, taking this health warning very seriously and taking care of me. I do the same read but not always comment. Hugs xo

  11. Fur babies have such a strong pull on our hearts. I feel for you on those difficult times, Denise. Thinking about you. Very glad, though, to hear some positive health news & pray that continues. Looking forward to what’s next from you, friend!

    Also, great post on Marjorie!

    1. We had talked about not getting any more dogs and just having cats for now. Although, I have been looking at and talking about beagles.

  12. I can relate to the lack of time to incorporate a lot variety in our posts. I’d like to just post once a week, Denise, but that doesn’t seem like enough to get all the content in. Sigh. Thanks for the report on your marketing efforts especially the results of your tour, which I haven’t tried. I do wish there was a silver bullet, but I’m still looking. 🙂 I’m glad to hear the good-health news, and I’m glad you’re taking time to care for yourself. Hugs.

    1. It is hard to find and then commit the time into doing more, especially with the blog. Hard to find that balance of writing and then all the rest. I hope to find that silver bullet someday…perhaps at the end of a rainbow. Thank you. Hugs back

  13. Hi Denise, it is lovely to read a chatty post from you and get all this feedback on your marketing attempts. It feels as if marketing gets harder and not easier as time passes, but hopefully, people will be back to reading come the winter.

    1. Thanks, Robbie 🙂 I don’t do it often enough. Yes, no easy marketing strategy that I’ve found so far. I love to read in summer and hope that makes a comeback.

  14. Thanks for sharing your very interesting experiences in marketing, Denise! Marketing is always a horror, als in other branches. You are really getting a little dog? How fine! So babysitting will be your next good distraction. Best wishes, Michael

    1. Thanks, Michael 🙂 Yes, marketing is a huge horror, I agree. Not getting a little dog anytime soon. We’ve always had big dogs and would have to worry about a smaller one living in the forest. The coyotes are getting bolder lately. Babysitting always a good distraction for sure.

  15. Hi Denise! I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is losing a family member. Thank you for sharing your marketing experiences with us. I can’t stand marketing. I’m glad your skin cancer screening came back negative. Take good care of yourself, my friend❣️

    1. Thank you, Vashti, it really is. Marketing is the worst, but I decided to put more time into it. Yes, its always a huge relief when it comes back negative. Hugs to you. xo

  16. I found this post very interesting.
    I too dabbled with ‘Rafflecopter’ during lockdown. Some success and no success at times.
    I was told about blog tours and have now done each of my story books on a tour.
    I like the reviews, which I can use again and again and also add to my website.
    I have made some good connections but never really many sales.
    But I have persevered and am glad I did so.
    Children’s books are tricky

    An interesting read ( which I read via Sally Cronins Smorgesbord)

    1. Thank you, Sue 🙂 It can be hit and miss with these marketing events, I agree. I didn’t offer a copy for the host to read, so I didn’t get those reviews. They can be very helpful promoting. Yes, it is hard with children’s books because the adults are they ones, usually, who write the reviews. An extra step in marketing. I appreciate your visit from Sally’s blog!

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