Followers to Flyers: discovering what works

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This is my contribution to the first ever Online Marketing Symposium!

One month into my debut novel release and the word success is not on my lips, yet. But I remain optimistic because there are still promotions in the pipeline. ‘Spiral of Hooves’ was released on December 9th with an online party on Facebook, which was well attended. However, there was a slight delay, of a few hours, with the book appearing on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Since then it has been promoted to my followers and friends in a low key way on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and here. But I have not spammed cyber-space. Apologies if I have been in your faces for the last few weeks. I still need to learn the secret of keeping my followers happy. Treats?

The most useful marketing tools, so far, have been the two five star reviews that have appeared on Amazon. One has even been re-used, by the reviewer, to garner additional coverage on Facebook and an online equestrian site. There are some other reviews in the wings as the novel went out to some of my journalist friends, contacts from when I covered equestrian sports. As the novel is a thriller set against the sport of eventing, the forthcoming coverage in the sports main UK magazine, Eventing, could be key to the spring campaign. Use your contacts but don’t lose their friendship.

Cover credit: Danielle Sands

Cover credit: Danielle Sands

I have also sent the novel to some rider friends, including an Olympic rider, in order to get some useful quotes, and to spread the good news about the book being out. As one journalist friend said, ‘getting the word out in the lorry park will boost sales”. With that end I intend to produce some A5 flyers quoting the reviews and the name riders, and linking to my website and where to purchase a copy. Unable to hand these out at shows myself, being wheelchair-bound, I have some good friends that will get them in the right places. Despite being stumped from pressing the flesh in person, flyers might help spread the word at the grassroots. I have no previous experience of using flyers to promote books, so I will be interested to see the results for ‘Spiral of Hooves’. Later today I will check out the other blogs and see how others have fared with similar marketing techniques.

However, when I was in the film industry we used flyers quite often, although these were usually A4 glossy hand-outs that we used at film and TV conventions, including Cannes. We attracted interest, but not as much as we needed to fund a movie. Some were used for selling short films but it is hard to say how successful the leaflets were. All the sales were via a Distributor so our production company was last in line, having paid everybody else. Flyers do work for some producers and, from my observations, it was the hook plus pitch, the cover and elements like cast that were key selling points. But the flyers mustn’t have too much information. And that has to apply with book flyers as well. What are your thoughts on flyers? No better than random advertising? Destined for the recycle bin? Another useful tool in spreading the word?

For links to other participating Blogs and information on the first ever Online Marketing Symposium! please visit here.

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25 thoughts on “Followers to Flyers: discovering what works

  1. Save the trees, go digital! =) I think fliers are a great idea in your circumstance. I also think it takes someone being exposed to a product multiple times before they’ll make a purchase, so no exposure is wasted.

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    • Thanks for the visit Crystal. All for saving trees but circumstance is, as you noted, against that approach. I can however be selective in where they go. Just putting them under windscreen wiper blades of horseboxes/trailers will not work. Nor will standing on the street corner thrusting them in people’s hands; too many end up in the bin round the corner or on the street. Selective multiple exposure is the way ahead, as you rightly say.

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  2. It would be interesting to know the return on flyers. Advertising mailers are sent in the tens of thousands. How well do they work? I’ve heard some bad outcomes for some businesses I know of and yet I see repetitive flyers sent weekly by other businesses which means they might be having success. Hard data of results would be nice to get.

    I’ve heard that some authors need a few books in the hopper before sales really begin. Having a back catalog can help in long range sales.

    Good luck and thanks for your input on marketing.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    • Thanks Arlee for the visit and the encouragement. Will be monitoring the flyers but know that it will be multiple factors – as Crystal says – that encourage people to pick up the book. And yes we all need back catalogs.

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  3. Great reviews always help. Let us know if the flyers work. My publisher sends out postcards and bookmarks to many of the science fiction conventions, and that has definitely helped sales of my books.
    Thanks for participating in the symposium!

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    • Thanks Alex for your comment and visit. Glad to have my first 5* reviews behind me, especially on day when got a draft from a reader for a 1* review. Shame on me for correcting her misreading errors. Anyway will see how the flyers work, as I told Arlee. Might be hard to assess if people buy because of flyers alone. Thinking that horse shows might correlate to your conventions. We shall see.

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  4. The good reviews definitely have helped me to. I don’t know about flyers. I don’t usually pay them much attention. I do realize it’s harder to get random notice on the internet, though. Good luck!

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    • Thanks Sarah. Good luck to you too. And as you say on your blog, “We need to create content that people remark on–that they remember, and talk about with there friends.” Glad to have you visit Writing Wings… and all my readers.

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  5. I think reviews are one the best marketing efforts especially when posted on a blog too! I use flyers, post them on bulletin boards, and hand them out at signings, leave book marks in places where others can pick them up. Hand out business cards with my books and where to buy on them. Include them in all correspondence and once even posted my website on a bumper sticker! Worked!
    Thanks for participating!

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  6. Great post. Although I haven’t signed up for the blogfest, I’m visiting the participants (notebook and pen in hand…) to learn more about the marketing process.
    But I suppose each marketing journey is unique, and what works for one may not work for the other…
    Best of luck with the flyers!

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  7. I haven’t used flyers in years since everything is headed to social media and mobile phones. However, I have heard going old school does stand out these days. Not sure if it applies to flyers, but in terms of networking, a physical thank you card works wonders because of the extra human touch. Thanks for sharing!

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    • As an oldie myself, old school sounds good. Thanks Buck. Some sort of physical contact is important, not only in this online age but also when I am disabled so getting out is rare. Cards are a great suggestion.

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    • I’ve been wondering about the real stinkers. I always feel a bad review stands out from all the good ones and more often displays more about the reviewer. Glad you like the site Karen… plotting a few more tweaks, such as a different font for titles and maybe a change of colour scheme. Haven’t though found a better theme.

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