On Saturday 30th May the annual Promo Day event took place at www.PromoDay.info. This free event was a whole day packed full of webinars, pitch sessions, panel discussions, and more.
Loads of topics were discussed during the event but here's a few takeaways of some of the main points raised during the event:
1) There is a big divide within self publishing.
Self publishing has become a more main stream method of publication in recent years but this market growth has also been accompanied by a wide variety of quality. The main reason why self publishing still has a certain stigma attached to it. Whilst some self publishers realise the importance of putting out a quality product, others are in a hurry to get their books out there and so skip some of the important steps of the process. Poor editing (or even lack of), poor formatting, and "template" book covers are common. When a self published book is done well readers shouldn't be able to tell how it was published. Having a quality product matters... both for the individual book, and the self publishing industry as a whole.
2) "Buy my book" doesn't work.
In fact, it can damage your reputation. There was a lot of discussion about the importance of building a strong author brand, and the fact that networking is really just making friends. You need to find a common passion, offer value of some kind, and build trust. When you do that, you don't need to hard sell.
When people see or hear "buy my book" they translate it into "spam". Marketing needs to be about finding a connection and offering benefits.
3) Book reviews are a marketing tool and for potential customers NOT the authors.
Whilst it's nice to get 5 star reviews singing your praises what you really want are balanced reviews that tell potential customers what the reader liked, and DIDN'T like about the book. Yep, that's right. Comments about how the book could have been better are a good thing. It shows they actually read the book and that they are giving their honest opinion of it. Those little negatives then add even more value to the positive comments made as potential customer know they can trust that it's an honest review.
4) Keywords matter.
Whether it's on Amazon, or in social media posts, keywords make a big difference. Just as you think about keywords in order to rank on Google, you need to do the same in order to get the algorithms of other sites working for you so that you get better visibility and reach the right audience.
If you missed the live panel discussions you can watch the replays here: