Promoting Novels Online

How much goes on behind the scenes of selling a indie-published novel?
It’s hard to know from the outside looking in what’s going on to promote a book, so I thought we’d share a snippet of what happens between building bathrooms and delivering the odd blog post for SEETHINGS.
Here are some of the social media sites we’re working with when you’re not reading posts, we’re not chipping out concrete and coughing up plaster dust!:
  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Tumblr
  4. Pinterest
  5. Google Plus.
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Buffer
  8. Instagram
  9. Buffer
  10. ECommerce
  11. Blog
  12. Google advertising.
Let’s start with those things you can easily see on the surface. 
Posts. That happens. More about that later. Regulars may also notice changes on this and our home site. Ads now appear in various places and we’ve opened an ECommerce channel. The advertising helps us pay for the site, the online shop gives us an opportunity to personalize the book by offering readers signed copies, something the Amazon and Ebook models don’t offer.
Now, those things you don’t see:
Facebook is where we spend a little time and it’s nice place to start when marketing a book. Close friends and family will always support their friends so why not work it? We broadcast to FB frequently but we’re careful not to exhaust our friend’s patience by bombarding them with ads at every chance.
Google Plus and Twitter opens up the option to broadcast more frequently to a wider friend zone. Hashtags work well here. Search engines seem to bump FB down the list when it comes to topic related and hashtag searches. Google’s own social site Google Plus gives more weight to content and less to ‘contacts.’ Twitter is the same but the effectiveness in broadcasts are short-lived. It’s a highly disposable environment. If you don’t get a trending response within 30 seconds, you don’t have a response at all.
Pinterest is image based and has some longevity compared to that of Twitter. We often post images here which relate to our story. Pinterest readers are research readers. This means any accompanying search words will matter in the long-term. We still get readers ordering from posts we sent out to Pinterest eighteen months ago!
LinkedIn. There are no crazy buy-it-now ads or shout outs in LI. It’s down to stats and facts. Imagine being dressed in a suit and applying for a job when posting anything to LinkedIn. That’s how we do it, no more than twice a month when we do.
Instagram is also image driven… but it’s not a serious place in any way. It’s a toy. You post pics to get smiles for kooky things. We post completely off-topic images here to show it’s not all business and redeem some light to darkish content. A soft-sell is as good as a hard one!
Tumblr. SEETHINGS has many bad words inside it and we can’t post much of it to most social media. Tumblr does. We post here about 3 times a month.
Blog posts are the beginning. Apart from Instagram, all social media sharing comes directly off blog posts. Posts must be captivating in the first three lines, more captivating in the next five and then seal-the-deal-captivating after that. Crazy? Yes. That’s modern media… and we don’t always get it right. When we do, it explodes!
StumbleUpon has been a real gem. More of our readers come from SU than anywhere else. It’s reader driven, which is perfect for selling a novel. As the name suggests it’s totally random. SU users are presented with random posts. Good pieces will generate strong leads for days at a time.
Buffer is our after-hours delivery service. When we’re asleep, half of the world is still awake. Buffer delivers posts at programmed times throughout the day and night. It’ll also shorten long links, record traffic activity and supply reports. Loading the buffer, reading the overnight stats is a daily task.
Okay, so now you know our days aren’t just about renovating and sticking photos up here. Several hours a day (and night) are put aside to generate traffic and promote SEETHINGS online. Does it work? Yes, but it requires dedication to keep on writing new and relevant content to attract the right reader and then tracking it. For instance, we’ve found tweeting works best in the evenings but Facebook and Instagram score better in the mornings and weekends. Understanding the habits of readers by following the traffic stats has become just as important to us as writing the novel. I wish it were easier to sell books but that’s the state of play in the indie-publishing world!
Now I must go and move on to sorting out my next post over at There’s no time to waste!

Feel free to drop by, subscribe and order a copy of the novel while you’re there. Get reading! – Mx

Michael has put together a strong, heart beating novel, one which the readers of ‘psychotic thrillers’ will enjoy  – for the faint hearted, leave it alone! – Mike M. Roleystone

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