The exact book marketing strategy I used to build a huge author platform quickly with KingSumo, WordPress and Mailchimp

I’m finally catching up with work and had some time to update my fiction platform… so I decided to record all the behind-the-scenes stuff I’m doing to build my author platform quickly. I published my first fiction this year but have 15K email subscribers, thousands of social media followers and a decent amount of traffic to a brand new blog – mostly by using book giveaways. Other people have been doing these, but nobody has been doing them really well.

In these three videos I basically share everything I do and all the tools I’m using. It took about an hour to set this giveaway up and cost around $250. But that’ll let me reach tens of thousands of genre-specific readers, which I can then try and charm into real fans (building up the relationship once they are on your list is a different story; and there is no guarantee that the people who sign up to your list will like your books.)

PART ONE: KingSumo and Facebook

PART TWO: KingSumo and Twitter

PART THREE: Advanced blogging and keyword tips

In a few days I’m going to be sharing my first course about all this stuff, so you might want to sign up to my list or follow me if you want to learn how to sell more books.

I also use “Gleam”  for giveaways a lot, better for getting people to take specific action, but Kingsumo is better for rapid list-building.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me
  • BGroves

    Great videos as usual. I’ve been using Instafreebie to build my mailing list with a free offer on my first book, and after a week, and a book cover update, I have 500 downloads, and of course 500 newsletter sign ups for the book. I am looking for more likes on my FB page, and more on Twitter, so after Instafreebie ends, I might try Gleam and see how it works for me. I’m also looking for reviewers, that has been my biggest trial so far, and honestly has hurt my sales. So, I’m trying LibraryThing to garner more reviews. I’m hoping I will get at least 40% of Library Thing readers a pretty good number compared to the other offers on that site.

    • Yeah I just started with Instafreebie too – seems pretty decent, have 235 subscribers after a few days (with four books). Once you have a bigger list (or even with your 500 signups) you can email them and try to encourage reviews.

      • BGroves

        I was just thinking of doing that before I saw your response. I know Instafreebie encourages reviews on their blogs to readers, but that is never enough. However, they offer ARCs like Library Thing does, and before my first stand alone is published, I will take advantage of that offer, so I don’t make the same mistakes again like I did with my trilogy.

  • Mateja Klaric

    Hey Derek, this is most helpful indeed. Thanks so much!

  • Derek, from what I saw in the videos you were promoting the giveaway via Facebook and to your lists.

    Are there any specifics you can give on promoting the giveaway (i.e. FB ad cost per day, how you targeted, etc.) in order to reach thousands of people?

    • I usually just use boosted posts because I’m lazy….the one I’m doing now has reached 10,000 people for $20, gotten 9 comments, 5 shares and 107 reactions (likes, etc). I just checked and I’ve gotten 1300 new signups since I started… so that’s my $20 + already having a big list and getting them to share it with their friends.

      I also think boosted posts look more natural than ads… but with ads you can target much better by using narrowed interests, so you can get very specific, people who like X+Y+Z instead of X or Y or Z.

      • Jenetta Penner

        You can target specifically with boosted posts… I do it all the time. I think they have changed it as I don’t think you can boost a specific post from the as manager anymore (I just noticed that today). But you still have access to your saved audiences from the on page boost. So you just need to create your new audience in the ad manager and then use it for your boost. (like i said I just noticed the chance today so I’m not sure if there is an easier way.)

  • Amt

    Just watched the videos. Very helpful. Thank you.

  • Hi Derek, I really enjoyed your videos and thought they were incredibly helpful. I just ran a giveaway myself and I have a couple additional questions for you. 1. How often do you run giveaways? 2. Is there a specific length of time you think is best for running a giveaway? and 3. If we’re just starting out in a genre, how do you recommend that we acquire signed books by authors? Thanks again for the awesome post!

    • You can get signed books at writing conferences (and often, writing conferences let you order signed books even if you can’t attend). Shorter is better, probably about 2 weeks, maybe 10 days. You want to get them to sign up, email them at least once to remind them to share, email them again with “last chance to share and win” then a final email saying sorry you didn’t win (“but here is a free book for you, hope you like it”…) I usually stack givewaways, I did about five before I started talking about my own books, now I do them every few months or before a new book launches to freshen up my list and get them opening/remembering me.

  • Hey Derek… loved your videos…they helped a lot. …you are now my teacher…. LOL O Master teach me more !!!! WAX IN WAXX OFF =D

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