Clayton Noblit: Hello, everybody. Thank you so much for coming today. This is How to Build Your Reader Audience with Written Word Media. If you have any questions at any point during the presentation, feel free to comment on whatever platform you are watching on, and we will answer them at the end of the presentation. Let me get my slides pulled up here, and we will get into it. Yes. Just once again, this is How to Build Your Reader Audience with Written Word Media. Thank you for coming today.
Before we get started, just to introduce myself, my name is Clayton Noblit. I am the Senior Marketing Manager at Written Word Media, and I’ve been with the company for a little over four years now. Now, I am not an author. I will leave the writing and editing advice to all of the lovely people watching who know much more about that than I do. While I’m not an author, I am a marketer, and I like to think that I know what I’m doing. That is where I can help everyone out. Today, we’re going to talk about marketing your books with Written Word Media and how we can help you grow your reader audience, sell more books, and meet your goals as an author.
Common Book Marketing Challenges for Authors
Let’s get into it here. At Written Word Media, we talk to a lot of authors. One thing that we hear all the time is that marketing is a really tough thing. It really doesn’t seem to be much fun for most authors. Most authors actually say that it is the hardest part of being an author. Why is this? Why is marketing so difficult when you are the author? Number one, probably the most common reason we hear is uncertainty.
Most authors aren’t marketers. After you publish a book, you don’t know what to do right away. It takes research and time to understand what you should be doing and when you should be doing it. Even after you’ve done the research and learned about book marketing, it can still be a real challenge. There are so many different marketing options out there. How do you pick which ones to do? You only have so much time in the day.
Another reason we hear that marketing is really challenging or difficult for authors is effectiveness or finding book marketing tactics that actually work. A lot of book marketing tactics out there don’t work very well, especially on your first try. This can be a really different and difficult challenge. What works for one book might not work so well for another. What works for one author might not work for another. It’s really hard to find marketing tactics that really work for you.
Then last but certainly not least is the time. Who has time to do all of this? You’re an author. Maybe you’re writing another title. Maybe you’re a parent and you’re taking care of loved ones or children. You might also have a full-time or a part-time job. Of course, you also want to have a life and do other things as well. Finding marketing tactics that don’t take up all your time is really important. For example, learning how to run Amazon ads is a really great thing, but not everyone has the time right away. As things change, staying on top of your ad knowledge is really important. Having enough time to devote to these tactics can be a really big challenge for authors.
How Authors Can Use Our Marketing Services
At Written Word Media, our goal is to fix as many of these issues with marketing as we can. We were started because our founder, Ricci Wolman, was writing a marketing agency. Her mom wrote and published a book, and then needed help marketing it. That’s how our first email promo brand, Freebooksy, was born, and the rest is history. When we’re creating a marketing product for authors at Written Word Media, we want it to be effective, we want it to be easy to use, and we also are committed to providing great customer service with all of our offers for authors. We think we do a really great job at all of this. Let’s go into one of the effective easy-to-use ways you can market your books with Written Word Media.
First up, we have email promos. What is an email promo? Well, it is a way to advertise your books to readers via email. At Written Word Media, we have over one million readers across our different promotions, which is a massive audience for authors to reach. We send email newsletters every day to readers who rely on us to deliver them quality books at appealing price points. When you run a promo with us, your book is emailed in one of these newsletters to thousands of readers who love your genre, and then these readers click on the links to buy your book in the email, and then they buy your book from Amazon or other retailers.
Simply put, an email promo is a marketing tactic where authors pay us, Written Word Media, to advertise their book via email. Some common outcomes of email promos include a spike in sales or downloads on the day of the promo, more reviews as readers finish reading the book and review it, increased read-through or sales of other titles if you have multiple books published as readers finish the book that they got during the promotion, and then if they like it, they’re probably going to go looking for other titles by you.
Then we also see authors with successful promotions see an increase in their Amazon rankings as more readers download the book, and it signals to Amazon that this book is popular. We find that many authors run promos for their books every 60 days with us as a way to consistently grow their audience. That’s a really great thing about email promos, is that they can work over and over again to help build your audience as an author.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about our readers. This audience of over a million people who are signed up for our email lists at Written Word Media. Our readers, we have over a million of them, are broken down into different brands, which I’ll get into more in a little bit. Within each brand, we break readers down by genre. When a reader signs up for one of our newsletters, they come to the brand website. For example, here on the computer screen we have Red Feather Romance, our romance brand. The readers enter their email address and tell us which genres or sub-genres that they like to read. When you run a promo with us, it is targeted to readers who’ve specifically told us that they like your genre.
For example, if you are a fantasy author, you aren’t paying us to reach readers who only read literary fiction. Instead, your book is being sent to readers who have told us that they like fantasy books. This targeting is a big reason why our promos are so effective. Another reason we target by genre is to price our promos fairly. For example, our romance list on Freebooksy is larger than our children’s book list, so a contemporary romance promo costs more than a children’s promo because it will be sent to more readers. That’s how things work from a reader’s standpoint. Now, let’s go ahead and get into our brands.
First up we have Freebooksy. This is our oldest and largest brand, like I mentioned earlier. This was the start of Written Word Media when our founder was coming up with the idea. Freeboosky is for promoting free eBooks. Costs for these promos range between $30 and $245, and this is depending on the genre of your book and how many readers we have in that genre. The first question we get with Freebooksy with authors that are newer to book marketing is, why would I give my book away for free? This doesn’t seem to benefit me. Actually, we see that free promos are a tried and true marketing tactic that authors have been using for a long time and is still very successful today.
If you are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, every 90-day period you can use up to five free days or you can run a Kindle countdown deal. Basically what this allows you to do is to make your book free for a limited time. When you make your book free, more readers are likely to download it and read it, and this can lead to more reviews, and can lead to readers purchasing other books that you’ve published, or joining your mailing list, and like I said, leaving reviews of your book. It’s a way to get readers introduced to your work and boost the relevance of your work as more people leave ratings and reviews.
It can also result in an increase of your ranking on Amazon, and so even more people will see your book as it is higher up on the Amazon charts. Freebooksy, we have a lot of different genres available. Most authors will be able to promote their book on Freebooksy. One of our most popular promos is what is called the series promo. The series promo is where if you have a series you can make the first book in your series free, and when you run a series promo, we send readers to your Amazon series page. Your series page is really powerful for two main reasons.
One, readers can buy your entire series on the series page with the click of a single button, and so instead of having to go through and buy each individual book they can buy the whole thing with one click. That’s really powerful, especially if the first book is free or others are discounted for a limited time. Readers might want to snag that deal right then when they can, and so they just click and buy the whole thing.
Then second, your series page has a different design than your book page, and there’s actually a lot less competition on it from other authors and other books. This can be really powerful because it helps you keep the readers focus on your titles and your titles alone. The Freebooksy series promo is really popular and really effective, and we get a lot of really great feedback on it from authors. In your series page, if you have a series is a really great asset, and so you can use this in other ways even if you aren’t running a promo with Written Word Media.
For example, if you’re running your own Facebook or Amazon ads, I would encourage you to test sending readers to the series page because it can be really powerful.
Next up, we have Bargain Booksy, and unlike Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy is for books that are not free, specifically books that cost between 99 cents and 4.99. Similar to Freebooksy though, Bargain Booksy has many different genres to promote in, so most authors will be able to promote with Bargain Booky and costs for these promos range between $20 and $240.
One important thing to note is that your book does not have to be specifically discounted to run a promo on Bargain Booksy. What I mean by that is if your book is 199 and you never change the price, you can promote it on Bargain Booksy. You don’t have to specifically drop the price to run the promo. If you have a book that’s in this price range, you can run a Bargain Booksy promo. You don’t need to specifically discount it. We do find that cheaper books do better on Bargain Booky as you might expect but the range requirement is 99 cents to 4.99.
Our most popular promos on Bargain Booksy are what we call the Deal of the Day. The Deal of the Day is really powerful because when you run a Deal of the Day, your book is sent out to the Bargain Booksy list and the Freebooksy list and so you’re reaching a much larger audience of readers. Yes, the Freebooksy readers are mostly interested in free books, but a lot of them will also pay for books as well and so reaching that audience can be really powerful. That’s Bargain Booksy and the Deal of the Day promos are our most popular here.
Red Feather Romance
Next up, we have Red Feather Romance. This is our romance brand. On Red Feather, you can promote free eBooks and books print priced 4.99 or below. This is romance only and we break it down into romance subgenres like paranormal romance, contemporary romance, things like that. Costs for a Red Feather promo range between $85 and $185 and like Freebooksy, we do series promos on Red Feather Romance as well, where we send readers to your Amazon series page if the first book in your series is free during the promo. The series promo, once again, very popular. Works exactly the same as Freebooksy, but it’s a different audience of readers.
We do have some authors that will run a series promo on Freebooksy and then the next day run a series promo on Red Feather Romance and reach two different audiences while their book is free.
Next up, we have NewInBooks, and NewInBooks is a little different than our other brands. NewInBooks is all about launching newly released titles. You can promote a book on NewInBooks if it has been released in the last 90 days, or you can schedule a NewInBooks if you have a new release coming up and you want to run a NewInBooks promo right when the book comes out.
NewInBooks has an email list where your book is promoted to, but really it is a book launch promo stack that comes with a dedicated launch specialist who will work with you to promote your book in as many ways as we can right at the launch of your book. When I say promo stack, I’m talking about running a promo on NewInBooks where your book is emailed out to readers that are interested in new releases and then on any of our other brands where we can promote your book, we will also do that. It also includes a digital ad campaign on Facebook or Amazon and posts on social media.
Costs for a NewInBooks’ promo stack cost range between 299 and 499 and what your book will get will vary by genre and so you can learn more about this if you go to newinbooks.com and click on that for authors tab. NewInBooks is a really great way to get your book out there and send a lot of traffic to it during its launch period and the great thing about it is that the launch specialist does so much of this work for you and organizes all your promos and arranges them in a way that will maximize exposure for your book.
That is the real draw of NewInBooks is the great exposure right on launch and how easy it is because we are doing so much of the work for you.
Last for our promo brands but certainly not least, is Audio Thicket and Audio Thicket is for promoting audiobooks. It’s for promoting audiobooks when they are discounted or are in audible. This is our newest promo brand and cost ranges between $45 and $75. Audio Thicket, mystery and thriller titles tend to do very well on this brand. Like I said, it is our newest promo brand.
Our audience is smaller here. We’re excited to watch this grow as time goes on. If you have an audiobook you were looking to promote, Audio Thicket, is where you can do that. Our other brands are focused on eBooks, so you can also promote audiobooks on Red Feather as well if it’s a romance book. All right. Just to recap here on our email promo products. An email promo sends your book out to thousands of readers on a single day. On the right side of the screen here we have an example of our Freebooksy email newsletter. It looks like this is a cozy mystery series promo up at the top of the newsletter.
Email Promo Details
Prices for email promos vary by the email list size and the price of your book. We have five different brands to choose from based on your book price and genre. We have Freebooksy, Bargain Booksy, Red Feather Romance, NewInBooks, and Audio Thicket. An important thing to note is that you must wait at least 30 days between promos on the same brand. You cannot run a Freebooksy on Tuesday and then run another Freebooksy for the same book on Thursday. You have to wait at least 30 days. The reason for this is that we want to make sure our readers are getting new books and they’re very happy with the newsletter.
Also, it takes time to add new readers to the newsletter. If you ran a Freebooksy on Tuesday and then ran the same book on Thursday, you probably wouldn’t see very good results on Thursday because most of the readers would’ve just seen the book on Tuesday. If they were interested, they would download it. By requiring that authors spread out their promos for the same book every 30 days at a minimum, we’re able to get new readers in and ensure that everybody is getting what they want out of the products. Now, you can promote your book on different brands within 30 days. If you’re running a Freebooksy promo on Tuesday, you could run a Red Feather Romance on Wednesday.
If you’re switching up your brand, there’s no 30-day requirement. If you want to pack in a lot of promos in a short period of time, that’s how you can do that. All right, so that is our recap of email promos.
Reader Reach Ads
Let’s get onto another way that you can grow your reader audience using us at Written Word Media. That is digital ad campaigns with Reader Reach Ads. With Reader Reach Ads, we run Facebook ad campaigns or Amazon ad campaigns for your book. These ads cost between $150 or $900 depending on how long the campaign is. The real benefit of Reader Reach Ads is we do it all for you.
Our email promos are very easy to schedule. It’s like buying a t-shirt. You go through the checkout process, give us your book information and pick your date, and then out and you’re done. We handle everything else. It’s exactly the same with Reader Reach Ads. There’s no need to set up an ad account, or write copy or come up with ad images or do any targeting. We handle all of that. Reader Reach is a really big time saving for authors. At least 50% of the fee goes directly towards your budget on the platform.
The rest of that goes toward our team who are making these ad images, writing the copy, doing the targeting, budgeting, scheduling, and optimization during your ad campaign. Another benefit with Reader Reach Ads on our Facebook ads product, in particular, is that we have this audience of over a million readers and we are able to build look-like audiences on Facebook off of these readers.
That is really powerful. When you run a Reader Reach Facebook Campaign with us, you have access to an audience that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. That is another benefit of Reader Reach Ads. A big difference with Reader Reach compared to our email promos is that the results of the campaign are spread out over a longer period of time.
For example, if you run a Freebooksy promo, a successful one we’ll see a big spike in downloads on the day that the promo runs, and then it will slowly decrease after the promo. With Reader Reach Ads, it’s spread out over a longer period of time. It’s a less dramatic spike in sales or downloads during your campaign, but it’s more consistent over a longer period of time.
We do see a lot of authors running a promo on one of our promo sites and then pairing it with an ad campaign or two to extend how long they see the benefits of their promos.
Written Word Media Membership
Finally, let’s talk about membership with Written Word Media. We have three different membership levels. If you run any promos with us, becoming a free member, at very least, will make your life easier. When you become a free member, you get an account. You can add your books too, and so you don’t have to re-enter your book information each time you run a promo, which can be annoying typing your title and making sure you have all your links.
This is a way that we’re trying to save you time because we know you’re very busy. Another benefit of the account is that you can easily access your promo history and your receipts. If you need to deduct your expenses at the end of the year, you know it’s all in your account and you can easily access it. When you become a free member, you also are eligible to join our Facebook group where we publish book marketing tips and you can discuss marketing, publishing, anything else with other authors who have used Written Word Media.
Now, we do have two premium plans which we launched last year we’re very excited about. The first is gold, which comes with an annual fee of $125. The second is platinum, which has an annual fee of $250. Now, the first benefit that tends to catch people’s eye with these plans right away is the discount. When you are a gold or a platinum member, you save 10% on your promos with Written Word Media.
Your plan can actually pay for itself and then save you money on top of your fee over the course of the year. For the gold plan, you save 10% on all your promos after you become a gold member, and you can save up to $200 on promos. You can make back your membership fee, have that pay for itself, and then you can save an additional $75 on top of that.
When you are a gold or a platinum member, you save 10% on your promos with Written Word Media. Your plan can actually pay for itself and then save you money on top of your fee over the course of the year. For the gold plan, you save 10% on all your promos after you become a gold member, and you can save up to $200 on promos. You can make back your membership fee, have that pay for itself, and then you can save an additional $75 on top of that.
Another benefit of being a premium member is you get advanced access to promo dates. Some of our promos sell out pretty quickly because they are so popular, especially in really popular genres. When you are a premium member, you are able to schedule your promos 14 days in advance of non-premium members. Because of this, you are able to get dates before anybody else, and so you’re more likely to get the promo dates that you want. You’re able to schedule your promos in a way that makes sense for you, and it makes your life a lot easier, especially if you’re pairing promos with Written Word Media with promos with other sites. Or, for example, we see people get BookBub deals and they want to pair that with a Freebooksy promo. Making sure you get the dates that you want and have access to the promos you want is a big asset for authors.
Another benefit that premium members really like is access to our Limelight promo. Limelight is an email promo like I showed in the example earlier, when you normally run an email promo with us, your book is included in a newsletter with other books in a similar genre, and readers pick between the books that they’re most interested in buying or downloading. With Limelight, a single author, you, is featured in the promo. It’s a really premium showcase of just your books where you’re not competing with any other authors. If you’re running direct sales, you can link readers to your website to buy books directly from you.
Limelight is a really popular option with our premium members because it’s an exclusive showcase that you can’t really get with any of our other promos. There are many other benefits that come with being a premium member. You get discounts from our industry partners, advanced access to new products from us at Written Word Media. You get access to live chat and much more as well. If you’re interested in premium membership, you can go to writtenwordmedia.com/membership, or just go to writtenwordmedia.com and click on that Membership button at the top of the homepage.
All right, so as we wrap up here, if you’re curious about how to get started with Written Word Media, how to run your first promo, you can just go to writtenwordmedia.com and click on that Promote Now button on the homepage. After that, you’ll see the list of all the different brands and promo options, and you can click in to get started.
If you have any questions at all, there are no dumb questions. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have authors do this all the time. If they’re not sure about what promo will work best for their book or what they should be doing to promote their book, or even if they’re curious about book marketing in general and not specifically about what we do at Written Word Media, they’ll still email us.
We’ll do our best to answer all your questions, even if it’s not related to us at Written Word. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or confused at all about anything. Once again, writtenwordmedia.com, click that Promote Now button, or you can contact us.
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