Two things make me think this.
First, I’ve always been told you should learn from your mistake. I’m certain a ton of mistakes have originated with me in the last three months in regards to my marketing efforts, so I have to have learned something.
Secondly, from time to time I’ve noticed two things. 1 – Spikes in the traffic to my website and 2 – a steady pace to book sales, The Trust.
It’s the strangest and sometimes unexplained, or at least unexpected, things that can cause a traffic increase, but never the less; there’s definitely a cause and effect going on.
For instance, I‘ve been on several blogs where the blog-owners reviewed my book or featured me in an interview or some other fashion. This happens, up my numbers go. When this does I generally know about it and have learned to expect it.
On occasion I will look at my numbers, Google Analytics is invaluable for this by the way, and they are up for no apparent reason.
From time to time I’ve noticed the numbers were up for no reason I could identify. On one occasion, I studied the referring sites for a bit after I noticed a spike. It turns out a prior review of mine caught the attention of blogger. In working through her thoughts on her blog, she posted and linked to my blog. People saw it and they stopped by my blog for a visit.
The lesson on this is blogging pays off. I had no idea that a review would spark so much traffic.
When I released my book, I targeted the large newspapers in my state. I sent out focused press releases about the release of my book. The release of a book from an unknown author. The release of a book from an unknown author with no reader base or other foundation, etc. etc.
The results were astounding. That is if by astounding you understand astounding to mean absolutely nothing at all happened. Overwhelming silence.
Then from all of the announcements and press releases that had been sent out I found a few gold mines.
I started to realize that the local presses were open to unknown writers.
I’ve received excellent press and the experience has been great. Seems they love the human-interest angles and they particularly love the stories if there’s a tie-in to their locale.
Think your hometown paper. Think the setting of the book. Find some way to make your book relate to the location of the paper you target.
There are a lot of local papers and similar publications out there.
If you have a book signing, think smaller presses, community papers, etc. I’ve been amazed at how many people study these publications and will then visit my web site or show up at events. I’ll post on my signing experiences soon.
The lesson behind all of this is that I’m becoming a huge fan of small, locally focused events and marketing efforts. The likelihood of me selling a million books this way is beyond slim, but it is working to continue enough book sales to justify my keeping on with my efforts.
Best of all most of the local efforts on marketing are low to no cost. Which means that if you screw up the lesson gets written off but doesn’t hit you in the wallet.