Product Secrets for Authors Part 2

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“I’m an author. What product secrets do you have for getting my book out there?”

I really set myself a challenge with the mini series Product Secrets for Authors part 1 . It has been so much harder to write than I thought!

I was busy in the kitchen inventing pizza pasta tonight when an idea struck me. I’m going to take this on a slight tangent for the second instalment.

Rather than writing for a broad audience, for Product Secrets for Authors Part 2 I’ve decided to become the self appointed Marketing Manager (APAC region) for Ripley’s Games.

About author C.B. Ripley & Extinction Horizon

Product Secrets for Authors Extinction Horizon by C.B. Ripley

Chris is a passionate dinosaur loving author drawing inspiration from, and writing in, the genres of science fiction and fantasy. My favourite thing about Ripley’s Games is the clever “Code Words” segment. Chris takes a crossword and uses the jumble of words to create a story. It’s super entertaining and I’d highly recommend you check it out.

Extinction Horizon is a mash up of Predator/Jurassic Park in space! Check out the cover, it’s spot on! The dinosaur instantly captures my attention and the glow of the earth & text contrasts so well against the darker background. If I saw this in a book shop I would definitely pick it up. We all need to read this because there is a sequel as well!

After some research and analysis, my recommendations as your Marketing Manager are as follows:

Blog Marketing for Authors

  • Display the Extinction Horizon cover on this article (the book blurb is fantastic!) – the images will show in the WordPress reader which should get you a few more views
  • Add a banner to the homepage – use this valuable real estate to have some sort of rotating promotional imagery for your books, even if it is just a horizontal version of the book cover
  • Include your other books to the “Books” tab

Blog Content for Authors

  • I really enjoyed this article and this article – it gave me some really interesting insight into what authors actually go through to create their books. Where possible, it would be awesome to do more content about the process of creating books
  • This article is brilliant – your insights on book covers are outstanding. Consider more of this content sharing your experiences and learnings with other authors
  • Continue with Ripley’s Reviews
  • Create a mini crossword (say 5 words) for your followers to complete or ask your followers to write the first sentence of your next crossword story

Socials for Authors

  • The process aspect could be a great way to get your Instagram account going – post an image of your desk, tips for writing, sneak peek of a sentence each day in the lead up to book launches
  • There are wonderful snippets of your personal life – these could be great supporting images/content on social too – for example posting a picture of the beautiful day outside through the window while you’re writing, images of the books you are reading, your crossword with a cup of tea! Dinosaurs!!!

Longer term product secrets for authors

  • Consider showing the prices of your books on the “Books” page. Often when it comes to buying decisions the customer likes to know as much about the costs upfront at the first touch point. Show the print List Price with strikethrough $9.99 then the Kindle price $3.87 (this tactic can improve your response rates significantly) – you could also test a saving rate instead of the $9.99 (don’t use all 3 numbers at once, it becomes overwhelming for the reader)
  • Compile your crossword stories into a book

I really enjoy your blog Chris! Thanks for inspiring my blog!

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  1. […] blog Product in Heels, it contains some fantastic advice for anyone trying to market anything. In this article, she casts a product manager’s eye over my blog. I’ll be looking to incorporate many of […]

  2. Thanks so much for this! It was a wonderful surprise!

    I love your ideas. Involving my followers in the Code Words segment is genius! I’ll definitely take on board your comments, especially about the site design.

    Instagram is on my To Do list. It seems more challenging to build a following there than on Twitter.

    1. I’m glad you liked it!

      Yes, please do! No pressure to do any of it, but I thought you might like some ideas for the backlog!

      I agree, I just started properly posting on my Instagram this week and it’s been a hard slog. I’m still persisting though, I think there could be something in it. Interestingly, and to my surprise, Facebook has been working well for me. I’m going to post something about that over the weekend!

    2. I’ll have to have a go at twitter – I’ve never used it for my blog.

      1. Looking forward to hearing about your Facebook exploits! That’s another one on my To Do list.

        Twitter’s hashtag functionality and lack of gatekeeping made it really simple to find relevant communities. I still need to put in the time to understand the other social media platforms. Interesting how each ecosystem has its own little wrinkles! Before I started this they all seemed so similar!

I'd love to hear what you think!