This question has been plaguing my brain for a few weeks now. Which form of marketing works the best? Is it book signings, social media, newspaper adds, virtual book tours, reviews, or is it just simply, word of mouth? With bookstores closing faster than we can blink, book signings are no longer as popular as they used to be. That is, of course, unless your Steven King or Nora Roberts. It has been my experience that they will generally give you a place to sit (if you’re lucky) but that’s pretty much all they’ll do. We have to advertise, bring snacks and often bug passers- by to get their attention. I even went to one bookstore where the manager promised me they would advertise for me and barely left me a dirty tray table at which to sit where I could sign my pretty new books. I was never more grateful that I brought my own sign.
So far, it has been my experience, that word of mouth is the best seller. There are many ways for this to happen. People will tell people if they liked your book and will want to share it with their friends. Reviews about your work will undoubtedly sway readers from time to time, although not always. When purchasing a book online, our natural curiosity often causes us to read what other people have to say about the novel. Again…word of mouth. Virtual book tours can boost sales if done properly. If your demographic is truly represented by the bloggers who are chosen to review your work, word will spread like wildfire and everyone will want to know what all the excitement is about. Now don’t get me wrong. Someone out there will not like your book. You know what they say…you can’t please everyone, so why try. But bad reviews can boost your sales as well. When giving bad reviews, reviewers tend to have a lot to say and they reveal things about the novel that often peek the interest of others. It is often as though they feel they need to justify themselves for the one or two stars they give you and in the process reveal a lot of the good stuff that maybe they just had a personal distaste for. So word or mouth, whether it be good or bad, can still be beneficial.
Although I will still try to find my niche in the world of book signings, until I am popular enough for someone to arrange these things for me of course, (she says hopefully) I suppose I will go back from time to time to the place with no sign and the dirty tray table and just learn to bring my own next time.
"I'm not interested in pleasing the critics. I'll take my chances pleasing the audiences." Walt Disney