Marketing Q&A with Author Ellie Holmes
Looking to improve your marketing and publicity efforts? Check out our Book Publicity Tips series where we ask real authors to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice to assist both new and established authors.
When do you recommend commencing a new title’s marketing efforts?
You really can’t start too early – just make sure you aren’t going to change your mind about the title. Then you can get into things like a cover reveal when it’s ready and announce the pre-order and publication dates when known. Be sure to take fans on the journey with you and they’ll be aware of the book long before it actually goes on sale BUT moderation is the key. Don’t push too hard as people will switch off and it becomes counter-productive.
What is the #1 tip you could give to a writer looking to go the self-publishing route?
Give yourself enough time to get the story right. Edit, polish, and edit again. Find some Beta readers and try the story out with them. Listen carefully to the feedback you get and do another round of edits. Once you have done that hire a professional editor and work through their suggestions. Then hire a proofreader and work through their recommendations. You want your story to be the best version it can be and for your book to look professional so don’t be tempted to rush to publication too soon.
How do you recommend leveraging your website’s e-newsletter to meet your marketing and sales objectives?
Be informative and chatty – be yourself! Decide how often you can comfortably incorporate the production of a newsletter into your stuff to do list and stick to it. I think authors who only send out a newsletter whenever they have a new book to sell risk missing out on sales. If they send out a newsletter regularly – once a month, once a quarter – regardless of new releases they will grow a loyal fanbase. In between the push for a new book you can run competitions and give your fans a short story or a piece of flash fiction to enjoy.
Why is it beneficial to have a professionally designed book cover and/or author logo?
The book cover is essential in my opinion. Whatever genre you may be writing in, the market place is likely to be overcrowded. You want to stand out. A book cover that grabs attention for all the right reasons will do this for you. Professional cover designers are skilled individuals. They know what works and what doesn’t and they will also ensure that your cover works just as well whether it is in print or a thumbnail sized jpeg.
What type of online content (text, links, images, video, etc.) do you find to be popular with your audience?
Images! People love images. Most people consume social media when they are waiting for something else to occur – filling time during the commute to work, or waiting for an appointment. Images capture their attention quickly in a way that a lot of text won’t. I always use images in my blog posts and there are a lot of images on my website.
How often should an author post to Twitter? Which strategies do you find increase engagement?
I post most days – usually retweeting other tweets or sharing links to articles I have found elsewhere online. I try to stick to the create or curate rule and share interesting content. I do tweet about my own work but that’s usually to push my latest blog post which would fall under the create heading or to reveal a cover, announce a change of status such as a book going on pre-order, or if I was appearing somewhere. I try to keep the ratio to 10:1 i.e. ten tweets about other things and only one about me.
About Ellie Holmes
Ellie Holmes writes full length commercial women’s fiction with a touch of romantic suspense and romantic cozy mystery novellas – books that have heart and soul with a dash of danger. Ellie takes her inspiration from the beautiful English countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. Romantic and engaging, Ellie’s style of writing will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. Heart-warming stories and compelling characters will stay with you long after you close her books. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s debut novel.
Does your website have an e-newsletter? How often do you send it out?