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A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Indie Literary Fiction [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by James Campbell.

Over the past few months, certain members of the literati have been occupying themselves with the question of genre vs. literary fiction – what do these terms mean, which is better, and so on.

First there was Arthur Krystal’s piece in the New Yorker, followed by Lev Grossman’s reply in Time, completed by Michael Kardos’s rebuttal to both on the Huffington Post’s book blog.

A quick summation: yes, there is a difference between genre fiction and literary fiction; no, genre fiction is not necessarily ‘lower’ than literary fiction or mere escapism; yes, literary fiction has just as many cliches and tropes as genre fiction; and yes, there are many examples of top quality work and utter crap in both categories, and people shouldn’t pigeon-hole their reading habits to solely one or the other.

Left Out of the Discussion

One thing that wasn’t discussed, however, was how books of each type tend to be marketed specifically within an indie pub context.Continue Reading

12 Days of Book Sales: A Dozen Holiday Book Promotion Ideas

The holiday season is upon us.

It’s only Halloween, but you and I both know that holiday displays are going up in stores as I type this.

Scratch that. I was just at Walmart, and half the store is already decorated!

While this time of year is crazypants for you (what the heck am I going to get Dad this year?), it’s also the busiest shopping season for your readers — and that makes it the perfect opportunity for a fun promotion.

And, when you start planning your special holiday promotions now, you  build up excitement before everyone else (except Walmart) begins their own jolly campaign.

While you could go with the old standbys of discounts and personalized copies, they’re…well, somewhat predictable. You know your Duolit gals — we like to have a bit more fun!

So, check out these 12 other holiday book promotion ideas (prettily tied up in a bow):Continue Reading

How to Blog Smarter (And Get More Readers)

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If you’ll grant me just a second here, I’d like to pull out my crystal ball and see if I can call forward your current blog predicament.

photo by puuikibeachAh, yes, I see it here very clearly.

You spend hours of time (when you’d rather be writing or hanging with your family) slogging away to write new posts for your blog. Your topics are all over the place because you’re desperate to find something that will appeal to someone. You know you have a few readers, but no one’s ever interested enough to comment.

The only posts that get any attention are the ones you write about your author career, and even then they’re only picked up by other authors — not a reader who might be interested in your book.

So, what I see here in my crystal ball is this:

You’re frustrated.

But before you give up blogging all together, take a couple of deep breaths (and if you’re of legal age, a drink) and let me help you.

See, this crystal ball is actually a snowglobe from my Christmas collection. My knowledge of your blogging frustrations comes from my own experience because I’ve been there.

Starting with my LiveJournal way back in the day, I’ve had a series of blogs over the last decade or so and have run into the same problem with each one. I had no direction.

No direction means no readers.

No readers means no point in having a blog.Continue Reading

I’m Selling My Chops, But Giving My Gravy Away [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Neal Abbott.

When I began writing, I shared the common delusion that one day I might be rich and famous.

I still may be someday, but that is no longer a consideration for why I write. I am not as concerned about selling books as I am being read. I would much rather sell 10 books to people who read and share them than 100 that sit in a shelf picking up dust, nothing but literary furniture.

I’ve read much about freebies, and I used to think it pointless, even counter-productive. How will I become rich and famous giving away books?

I see things differently now, and I think, better.

I have a novel, Prince, scheduled for launch on November 6th of this year, and I’m trying a couple of things marketing-wise that strategically places some tasty giveaways.Continue Reading

Using Twitter to (Effectively) Build Your Fanbase and Market Your Book

Want more on Blogging, Facebook and Email Marketing? Grab the whole Book Marketing Basics series for less than a buck!

What’s it like dining at a crowded restaurant?

You know the ones I’m talking about — the place is loud, busy and it’s difficult to hear the person sitting right across the table.

How many people does it take to create that uninviting atmosphere? 100? 200, at most?

Now, imagine a restaurant filled with half a billion other patrons. Shudder. In that case, you couldn’t hear your dinner date, even if he was screaming in your ear!

If you’re on Twitter, congratulations: you have a reserved table at the world’s most jam-packed restaurant.

Continue Reading